May is almost over

May 29, 2013 at 9:49 am Leave a comment

It’s been a while. As usual a lot has happened in the meantime. The funny thing is, I read the first line of the last post, which I wrote in November, and we’re back to foggy, rainy and cold this week! Hmmm! But despite that, a few rays of sun manage to work their way through the clouds and offer a bit of warmth and a reminder that the warm days will eventually arrive.

Rather than go on and on about how busy life has been with family, job and schooling, let’s just take that as a given. This morning I have a few hours of free time and am happy to be home in my cosy apartment. Put some laundry in the machine and thought about straightening up and vacuuming, but my cat is asleep on the couch and I don’t want to disturb him. (And I don’t really want to vacuum!) Sometimes I am less considerate, especially when I think about how he wakes me up early in the morning to feed him!

That rather trivial thought brought to mind: How often are we overly considerate, to the extent that we disregard our own needs and boundaries? That is a pattern that has accompanied me for much of my life, and it’s not over yet! However, growth and learning are a life-long process. They don’t stop when you’re 50! Just recently I had such an experience. Last week was especially strenuous and I decided to reward myself with a night out on the town with a girlfriend I hadn’t seen for a while. We had a lot of catching up to do. My husband had the idea that we could spend a quiet evening at home watching the Champion’s League soccer game. That just wasn’t what I had in mind.

A few years ago, I probably would have given in, not wanting to hurt his feelings, and would not have enjoyed the evening, since I would be plagued by the knowledge that I really wanted to do something else. But now that I’m older and wiser πŸ˜‰ I told him that it would certainly be nice to cuddle on the couch and watch the game, but at the moment I need to go out and have fun. He understood and wished me a fun evening.

We have both learned not to take things personally. When one of us needs time alone or wants to spend time with a friend, that need is acknowledged. It has nothing to do with not loving the other person. “If he really loved me, then…” Sound familiar? Been there done that. πŸ˜‰

Lately the focus has been on trust, clarity and boundaries. As I learn to respect my own boundaries, I can better appreciate others’ boundaries. Sure, misunderstandings can and do occur, but through discussion and the trust that we can find a solution, new possibilities emerge. All of us learned many things during childhood, and many behaviors are unconsciously repeated. We are creatures of habit. Through curiosity, openness and the desire to change, I have discovered new patterns, new ways to approach and deal with situations. But I don’t take all the credit! It has been helpful to talk with family, friends, colleagues and over the years I have also taken advantage of professional help (therapy) along the way. We don’t have to figure it out all by ourselves. There are countless resources available!

Where is this going? As usual, the serenity prayer comes to mind, especially “the courage to change the things I can.” But it’s not just courage, it’s also about openness and willingness to change one’s course, to try something new. Old patterns, even destructive ones, give us a sense of orientation and security. Even a potential change for the better can be a bit frightening, but once it is accomplished, I tend to laugh with relief. How often have I said: “If I’d only known back then… It was easier than I’d expected… Why did I wait so long?” But the process of change takes time and we need to be patient and loving with ourselves — and others.

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Entry filed under: changing my behavior, Coping, daily challenges. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

Happiness

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