Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Goal: Being UN-Busy

Allow me to intro with a song that I'm particularly fond of for the verses within:
Mayberry, Rascal Flatts

When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to 'grow up'. I wanted that FREEDOM that comes with being an adult and making my own decisions. I also wanted the freedom from the 'institution' of school... (Just never motivated in the school dept.) 
Then this free-spirit found her way into a relationship that wound up making me feel 'trapped' for some years. I still had to "answer to" him in a sense (though it was subtle manipulation into what he felt was 'protecting' me from the craziness in life...and it took me some time to figure this all out.) 
Then, those issues were resolved. I "grew up" - AND - my relationship woes turned into relationship wows! Next, I entered into parenthood (willingly!) Ha! I adore my girls, and I wouldn't change it for anything... I'm grateful for their (and my) health, and the bond we share. But it IS a bit of a ball-and-chain, particularly when you're literally feeling 'chained' to them via breastfeeding without the ability to successfully pump in between.
Include in there, the subtle manipulation and expectations that ensue within extended family relationships, particularly as they evolve, as well as our go-go-go-culture in general, and I realized I had been still feeling a lacking sense of true 'freedom'.
I'm a go-getter by nature. Never been willing to simply 'settle'. I know what my heart yearns for - and I go for it - with good intent and no desire to hurt anyone else in that process. People often like to view that/ me therefore as selfish and/ or stubborn... However, it simply makes me motivated & determined (and sometimes stubborn - but I'm usually glad that I was in the end!) 
So now I'm starting to see more clearly, those things in life that mean the most to me, and those things which will ultimately win-over my instinctive desire to find some genuine source of ZEN in my life. I'm not willing to just fall into the practices of our work-crazed-society because I'm afraid I won't otherwise fit in or I'll be judged. Newsflash: All of us will be judged no matter what we do... So I say - why not do what matters to you?! Exactly. 

I barely made it to bowling this season. I just don't feel a connection with most of the girls there. I enjoy it once in a while, and I like socializing between the girls & the family of workers up there whom I feel more connected to, in fact. I've had little prods and mentions made by various members of the team on different occasions - all similar to the phrase, "You should come up to bowling more." I've been SOOO wildly tempted on a few recent occasions to ask, "Really? Why do you think so?? What am I missing out on?" Any time the games go over, everyone's bitching. They complain about how crappy it is to have this commitment on Mondays... and yet, I'm expected to be there (even though I don't bowl - unless asked to sub.) On days where my patience had been already worn particularly thin, I was even more tempted to beg the question, "Why would I want to go hang out with a group of gals who barely take notice of my presence when I am there, and who I recognize have (and clearly continue to) talk-smack about people who aren't there... when I could be at home in my sanctuary, surrounded by pristine nature, and my husband who loves me in spite of my faults and my often-no-apologies-attitude (NO "I'm sorry I don't live up to your expectations" from me!) - as well as my darling daughters who continue to grow more every second of each day??" Gee... Let me think this over. Tough choice, right? 
I've also taken the priveledge that I hold by working for myself, to establish some more straight-forward guidelines for myself & clients with regard to my 'business hours' - or hours I'm willing to make myself readily available. I don't go into Best Buy and say - "You know, it'd be a lot more convenient for me if you were open until 11pm." And so - I shouldn't feel guilty for not (nor should I be expected to) work outside of my preferred parameters. 
As a mom, I automatically inherit the challenges that come with the parenting-package... And so, I've decided to no longer give up on one of my enjoyed perks - buying dresses for my little ladies for special occasions! I let it go for a while, while beneath the cloud of a financial strain that has since passed... But now, I must embrace this right while I still can!
I don't apologize for not being near my phone at all times, simply because I can if I want to.
And finally - there is no reason to expect that we can only say 'no' to people when we have something scheduled. We can elect to revel in some non-scheduled time as a family, without the need to provide any kind of 'excuse' or 'valid' reason.
Nothing more will be done out of obligation, expectation, or a concern of judgement. (While the latter hasn't usually been a motivating factor for me, it can creep-in on rare occasions.) It's not all about everyone else's convenience. I'm willing to work with people, and meet in the middle when trying to plan things - and help people out - sure! But I'm no longer going to regress backwards from my goals due to others' expectations. I'm only willing to commit to things that mean something to me, or my nearest & dearest. There is a pretty significant difference between those lovely perceptions. And if people choose to judge me over my choice to be so free (which certainly reflects onto them as their desire to be so free)... so be it. It's entirely their prob; Not mine. They can also opt to choose more freedom in their lives. If their fear of how others might perceive them holds them back - not much I can do about it. I don't intend to hurt or 'derail' anyone else in my process... I simply want to live more simply, make a point to enjoy more free time, and make decisions accordingly. Amen!

TIP: I've learned from a wise lady in my fam that we all have a "No" - and when we must use it - we must use it - no matter the reasons. Period. I so appreciate this light being shed through her own practices of maintaining a certain amount of assertiveness! And I SO respect her for it! That's how people should feel about that.
A QUOTE (or 4!): "If you really want the key to success, start by doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing." ~Brad Szollose 
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions." ~Dalai Lama
“It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion, it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who, in the midst of the world, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes." ~Tony Blair
WHIDFML: All of the above!! 

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