There is a feeling inside one’s body when one steps out into the unknown hoping for a good effect in one’s life.
It’s difficult to know if the area of focus ought to be in the head or the heart. Like the Spring breeze that blows through a house on the first day doors and windows can be thrown open with abandon after the long winter closure, one’s soul feels the suspension of the comfortable in exchange for the possibility of better circumstances or a life that is lived more in tune with that which will open the opportunity for blessings to be showered down.
So it was that through the Fall, as various events piled on top of each other boxing me in in ways that felt like a trap, and very far away from my values and hopes and dreams, I made a decision I only discovered when talk of New Year’s Resolutions started happening in the media.
That traditional week between Western Christmas and the New Year is abuzz with research that supports personal change or points to the difficulties of making such choices, narrative testimonies to past efforts either successful or not, and countless media hosts sharing their own personal choices about said resolutions.
This year I found myself longing to have the courage to make the biggest of all. I made the decision to not let anyone, as far as I was personally able to set limits to contain such events, to waste my time or money.
Soooooooo…..that would be preceded by a confession that I frequently wait way too long to set limits around those activities that come from others and create a sieve of time and resources that drains my efforts to push forward in the achievement of my dreams and pleasures.
By golly, January 1st I put the plan into effect. Whew! That is a HUGE resolution. Think about. How much of your life ebbs away in other people’s issues that have nothing to do with how you are trying to move forward with your life.
I was in the mess of letting way too much of other’s struggles into my life because I suffer from a sever case of ‘nice girl syndrome’ and too healthy a dose of the ability to live the in the cracks and nooks and crannies of time and space left to me by others. The only daughter of a family of four children = during the fifties and early sixties= there were three boys more forceful at making their presence known to the world than I. Defer.
Well…the rest of my cultural history of deference is irrelevant here and now in these few words, but basically the end of the story is I traveled through my own story enough to start staying ‘Oh I don’t think so." For someone who felt guilty reading the book ‘When I Say No I Feel Guilty’, this has been a pretty enormous first two months.
And I really LOVE it!!! The fall out from others is a little tough, but I think everyone will get used to it. For the first time, my focus is on that which builds toward a brighter tomorrow, more peaceful, more joyful, more carefree and fun.
The only metaphor I can give you to share what it feels like is dirty rugs. I’m a life long renter and the one phrase I know landlords never mean is, ‘don’t worry about the rugs; we’re going to replace them after you leave". So every day you end up with frayed, Berber rugs whose seams don’t match, have stains of long since departed residences and serve only to protect one’s feet from sub flooring…well…except in one particular house where I entered to find loops of carpet tossed atop a pile of sawdust, the result of exposure to daily life. I put a rocking chair over it.
The biggest positive result has been in matters of money. I have found that money flows where there is clear water. You know what I mean. If someone is mismanaging money and my money is tied up in that situation, it’s like the drain is clogged. But if I place myself in tandem financially with those who are responsible and sensible and frugal and prudent with their pennies, it’s like floodgates open.
I take a deep breath everyday for the courage to keep going as I am. I suspect my resolve will overflow into my own health care, relationships, adventures, cheer and amusement. Oohhhh, how exciting is THAT?!
Can’t tell you anything to try. I might find in a few months I suffer from terminal feelings of guilt of selfishness, but until that sets in, I’m going to keep trying just to see what happens. Sometimes you just have to go where you don’t know how it’s going to end.