Category Archives: Learning

Retraining My Brain to Think About Me

Sooooo. I’m bored.

When I get bored, I think too much. When I think too much, I make decisions that I probably wouldn’t make when I’m not bored.

I’m trying to stop the insanity before it starts by trying a simpler approach: Let change roll in rather than pull it in.

I’m a change driver. I always have been. I know how to make things happen. It’s when I force things that it gets complicated.

I’m not saying I’m going go the lazy route and do nothing in my life. It’s the big life decisions I’m talking about. For those changes, I’m choosing to remain on the prowl and pounce during the right timing rather than roam out in the wild trying to make something happen, spinning my wheels, when it would be easier if I just waited it out in the first place.

I’m realizing too, that I’m bored because I’ve finally simplified my life. My ex added “excitement” (see: complications) to every aspect – from how I rushed to and from work, to what was for dinner, to how he judged my reactions to just about anything, to keeping me up late at night when he was out “hanging with the guys”. My life is simpler now, with less worries. I didn’t realize how “full (of shit)” my life was before; therefore, I was never bored with anything. There was always something for me to worry about.

Now I’m like “now what?” There is no urgency to please him, or anyone else. I didn’t realize before how  every response he had to something I did or didn’t do “shaped” (see: forced) all of my decisions. My ex kept me so busy with his shit that now I’m confused on how to live for myself. I suppose recognizing this fact is a first substantial step forward.

Wow, how relieving and bewildering all at the same time.

I realized my life would be simplified when I made the decision to split from him 2 years ago. But it’s 2 years later that I’m actually living my own life for me and not him. It’s 2 years later and I’m “bored” (see: not overwhelmed). I’m constantly having to adjust my perspective so I don’t force unwanted change that’s bad for me.

This lack of overwhelming complications in my life  feels like I’m waiting around for life to happen, but I have to remind myself that I’m really just adjusting my mindset to make the right decisions FOR ME without someone inflicting their agenda on my life.

It’s been difficult for me to make the smallest decisions lately – like my brain is fogged up and doesn’t know how to think for itself. I feel like a dog trained to do things a certain way for someone else, and now I’m on my own and I’m not quite sure how to navigate without watching for his response queues to guide me.

As I was typing this, my 10-year old came up behind me and gave me a hug from the back of me. I flinched. I seriously had a negative “get away” response to a very loving gesture. In my old life, I was so used a hug from behind (from my ex) being a sign of I need to stop what I’m doing and focus on him. If I didn’t comply, he would be be angry and the day would be lost to my simple desire to finish what I was doing – I could be typing an email, putting on make up, trying to pay a bill — anything he had no interest in was not to be confused with “priorities” in life (see: him). I was the selfish one, I was the rude one, I was the one that should look in the mirror and figure myself out for being so “unkind” (see: wanting to finish whatever task I was doing).

Whenever I get caught up in a decision-making cycle, I just have to ask myself: What do I want? 

Gosh, it shouldn’t be this hard. What a simple question that shouldn’t be so confusing. I guess it took me 18 years in a relationship to get this way, so 2 years being out of the relationship isn’t going to be an automatic fix.

So while I wait in boredom for the house of my dreams to surface in this horrible buyer’s market (see: wonderful seller’s market), and continue “not to date” (see: hide) in the process, I will keep retraining my brain.

I know I’ll get there. I’m a work in process for sure. My new life has already begun, I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

Stifle Me Not

 

Gifts Coming Full Circle

This week I talked to a mortgage broker and we made a plan for when it realistically makes sense for me to get pre-approved to buy a home. I could do it now, but I have a few more things to clean up before I go that route. The daily life of living at my parents’ house has not been unbearable. I have the patience and the will power to hold out a bit longer. I have a feeling the payoff will be rewarding. That feeling usually serves me well.

In the meantime, I refinanced my car this week. I asked the mortgage broker to refer me to someone that does car loans. He referred me to a friend of his at a local bank to refinance my car at a good rate. I had to get my ex’s name off of my car loan. When I scheduled the meeting to go sign the closing paperwork, I found out that my first payment isn’t until mid-November (more money to save for a house!) and I got a YETI cooler as a gift. I had no idea about these perks, but it was a welcome surprise.

Now, I’m not here being paid to endorse YETI, but as an owner of this brand’s coffee cup, I will say that I am a fan. I love keeping my hot drinks hot and my cold drinks cold. This brand figured it out and makes quality products in my opinion.

But this situation with the YETI cooler is a bit ironic.

Let me explain.

After being together for 18 years, and married for 11, I found myself becoming increasingly stressed when it came to birthdays, Father’s day, and Christmas gifts for my ex. I have a problem with giving, and over-giving. I give too much of myself and never expect  anything in return. Even if I do expect it, I don’t express my disappointment if I don’t get it. I make excuses for others and go about my business secretly unhappy. My ex knew that. I just figured it out in the last few years. Smart manipulating guy. Naive me (I was too busy thinking of others)… but not anymore.

So one of the last time’s I was stressing about getting him a gift (I think it was his birthday in 2017), I considered getting him the exact YETI cooler (that I just received as a gift for my car loan). Giving big nice gifts had become my thing. I felt like every year I was trying to outdo the last gift that I gave. But each time I would surprise myself and think of something even grander that he would love. And he did, he loved all of it. Well that year I looked into buying him a YETI cooler, and I was about to buy it. I had it picked out and was about to buy it online. But I didn’t. Something was off. I just thought  I shouldn’t spend so much money that year for some reason. Again, a little later I was at a sporting goods store and had the YETI right in front of me and almost bought it. Again, something was off. I don’t remember what gift I ended up getting him, but it wasn’t that. And I wasn’t excited by his reaction when he opened whatever it was that I bought, but I didn’t care for some reason.

I remember thinking later that I’d wished I had gotten the cooler because I wanted it. But whatever, I figured I’d just saved some money and moved on with life.

So now here I am in present day, and I’m relieved that I didn’t buy that damn cooler and listened to my gut. That small little whisper that says “hey, you, what are you doing?”… that little nagging thought that is surrounded by question marks and a weird feeling in your belly…

I recently listened to it again when that asshole was trying to talk me out of buying a home where I’m presently looking. And instead of giving into my frets about him trying to sway my decisions, I called a mortgage broker, which led me to the place where I refinanced my car, which led to my own free YETI cooler and more money for me to save toward my future home.

I’m going to buy a great home, and I’m going to throw a house-warming party with lots of ice and drinks in my YETI cooler.

I’d say this wasn’t just some coincidence. I see you God and your universe angels, quietly looking out for me. My eyes are wide open.

Thank for these gifts that promise cold drinks and peace of mind.

Stifle Me Not

Bad Vibes Suck

It’s amazing how you can try your hardest, and some people just cannot be pleased.

But that’s not my purpose in life, is it? My purpose is to learn each day and not repeat the same mistakes so I’m living my own best life. Not in a selfish way, but if selfish is what it takes to prevent me from sabotaging myself, then so be it.

That is what I’ve learned lately.

I resigned from my job on April 30th. Since it wasn’t a Friday or a Monday, and there was a big initiative that would’ve suffered had I left sooner, I made my last day be May 17th (this Friday). Apparently, I’m not well-liked right now by my immediate circle there. I haven’t let one thing drop since I’ve resigned. All I sense is jealousy and annoyance. I understand it, but I’m annoyed by the lack of emotional intelligence surrounding it.

I learned that I should’ve just done what I had to do, given the 2 weeks notice, and moved on. But no. I hold on. I’m too loyal. I work too hard all the time.

And guess what? It gets me no where more often than not. It’s not worth it. And no one cares.

I have three days left and all I want to do is walk out.

I’ve always been careful not to burn bridges. That is what I was trying to do, but it is apparent that me looking out for myself has ticked off some people and the haters are hatin’.

I will never do this again. I will look out for myself only from now on.  If someone has gained my trust and has a reason to be worth my effort, then I may consider it, but more often than not, that is not the case.

In other news, which is horrible news, my 6-year old dog passed away. We had to put him down over the weekend because of an aggressive tumor in his leg. It was an awful weekend. When my last dog died, I cried for days, weeks. And I realized that life is too short and you have to make the most of each day. When this dog died, I did cry, but rather than carry on for days on end, I’m simply reminded of what the last pup taught me when he departed this earth – live each day to its fullest.

So my current job can suck it. My new job is ready for me to be there and they value my skills. I choose to surround myself with positive vibes. Bad vibes suck.

Stifle Me Not

 

Door Closed, Next Please

Okay. I’m paying attention. If there was ever a time when I was clear, it is now.

Sometimes when you try too hard for something for too long, there must be a reason. It may seem completely ridiculous, but there MUST be a reason.

While others may have seen this long ago, I’m just now figuring it out for myself. Why? Because I’m stubborn. I do not give up easily, and apparently this past year has been one big hard lesson about how I can try all I want, but there are going to be stops around every corner just to, well, stop me… from myself.

I was laid off last February 2018. It has now been well over a year and I have tried everything in my power (well, I did at first and then I slowed down out of shear exhaustion) to try to get a job where my old home was, closer to my kid’s dad. The only job I have been able to get is the part-time gig  in my childhood hometown. This job I have now  is affording me the opportunity to make ends meet and keep my wits about me with two kids. My head is currently above water. I’m not drowning – I’m certainly not floating around in the sunshine with a cocktail on a floaty, but I’m not drowning, and for that I am thankful.

My eyes were opened a little more in the past month when I tried for yet another job closer to my ex. It was a county job, so it required two rounds of civil servicing testing before even getting to the interview part. I passed both rounds and made the list. Then I was invited for an interview. Over the past month I had been reading different articles about the organization that weren’t very favorable. I continued anyway – the promise of a stable salary kept me going. I then read something about the head of their HR team that wasn’t too great. I had the feeling of not wanting to go further each time the process progressed. I did anyway. Because that’s what I do. Then I made the list. I was the last one on the list, just barely making the cut. I felt accomplished that I made it that far, but hesitant that I could really go all the way. Finally came the biggest clue – the interview invite provided more information about the reality of the job. They had disguised the job as an attractive management job, when in reality it was a very gritty and unfavorable job. I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty, but working for an organization that has obvious clues of corruption and then discovering it’s recruiting process is a lie is where I draw the line.

I declined to go to the interview. I removed myself from the list. Once again, getting a job in that area, although it was my own choice this time, was not a reality. And who’s to say I would’ve made it through the interview process? Maybe I would’ve been stopped again. But realizing that I had a really good chance this time, and that I might have had some control in the decision gave me the power to opt out. The idea of actually getting the job and starting over again where I had finally broken free from was overwhelming.

I’m no longer moving forward with purpose of relocating to make it easier to exchange children with my ex for visitations. We’re all doing just fine as is. It’s a little frustrating sometimes, but it’s working. And I need to focus on my career for  me, not for making anything easier for him and saying it’s just making it easier for the kids. My kids are seriously doing great. It took me a year to realize that. It took me a year to realize that all of these big stops, and all of this waiting, are for my own good. If I found another job and moved closer to my ex, I would have no family support and be at the bottom of a wine bottle more frequently than not.

Letting go of an old normal is hard, but necessary. I have no freakin’ clue what is next. But I’m going to take my next steps for me. Gosh, what the heck? Why is this such a foreign concept to me? I feel like I just wiped the sleep from my eyes and cleaned my glasses all at the same time. I woke up. Now I have to decide what to wear, for my own comfort, not to impress anyone else.

Another lesson learned. Can I have my key to the next door now?

Stifle Me Not, Me

Hurry Up and Wait

I’ve been hurrying up and waiting my entire life. And this week feels like the longest waiting ever. I’m waiting for signatures to start the clock ticking forward.

Once my dissolution paperwork is signed by my almost-ex-husband, I feel like I’ll need to hustle. We talked, made some verbal agreements (or so I think, you never know with him), and now I’m waiting for his lawyer to return from vacation to finalize some things.

I’ve been hiding out at my parents house, taking care of my kids, in a part-time job for the past 7 months. I can’t stay here forever, nor do I want to. I feel like everything is up in the air. I do not feel settled. I want some stability and to feel settled. I don’t even care where, I just want to have a place that I call home for the long haul and where I have set doctors and schools and stores and restaurants and people that I know. I have that here and I have that where my last home was, but making any future plans these days is a pain in the ass.

I succumbed to getting a pediatrician and a dentist in my new temporary mode of living. I do not have a doctor. I do not know if I should register my kids for their current schools for next year or not. I do not know if I should look for a house or apartment in one area or another. So I move forward while waiting. I’ve registered them for their schools and I live like I live here permanently, but the back of my head always has a “what if”.

If, last Fall, you would’ve asked me if I would be in the state of living in waiting still this Spring, I would’ve laughed and said hell no.

Yet here I am. I’ve stood my ground on what I want in the dissolution paperwork and I just need signatures. You’d think that the career progression wouldn’t be related at all to my marriage, but it is. I’ve seen the first hand how each time I set a boundary with my almost-ex that my career encounters a new positive opportunity. I don’t know if this is some sick game the universe is playing or if I made that up in my head and it just seems to be working out that way.

This week I’m moving on in the second round of a job opportunity. It is near my old home an hour away. It’s a good opportunity with benefits and long term potential. It’s closer to my ex, which is great for my kids well-being, but it’s farther from my family, which may not be the best for my own well-being. They are my support system. If I move with the kids back to being closer to their dad, I have no support system.

I’ve been really working on myself these days with setting boundaries and not trying to make decisions involving others in spite of myself, but when it comes to my kids, obviously I want what is best for them. But I realized the other day though that they’re actually really doing great. They don’t see their dad daily, but we do our best to accommodate each other’s schedules, even at a distance, and they seem to be happy and healthy and thriving. They both love their schools. They are sleeping soundly and wake up with smiles on their faces. They are loving and they are loved.

So I don’t think I can really make a bad decision. I get hung up on what if this happens or that happens and OMG, yes, what if??? Guess what, the worst has already happened (okay, no one died, but close enough). My marriage and career died all in the same year and I’m still standing. It can only get better from here, right?

Stifle Me Not

Expectations Low, Hopes High

My laptop has a funny smell. And sometimes it overheats. I’ve had it for a few years now. It’s well past its warranty. I’ve even had it repaired once at a PC shop. They did a good job. But all good things must come to an end. I’m pretty certain it won’t last too much longer, but I’ll guess I’ll keep typing and just expect the unexpected. Normally I’d be happy that I’d have an excuse to buy a new electronic toy because an older one was done, but money isn’t endless these days, so I hope something works out in my favor.

I’ve learned to approach life that way these days. There’s an ideal in my head usually, but I’ve learned not to get too bent out of shape if things don’t go as planned, or imagined. Many times we may not admit that we have an idea in our heads of what we expect out of a person, situation, or just life in general. In almost 40 years, I’ve learned that the unexpected is inevitable, no matter how well we plan or control anything.

I have an aloe vera plant that I bought last summer. I bought one for my sister and ended up getting one for myself too because it was cheap. I don’t usually do well with plants, but I figured I could keep something related to the cactus family alive. When I moved, I forgot about it and it started to go a little brown and the soil really dried out. Great, only I could kill an aloe vera plant. Well, despite the look of it, I watered it and put it near a window. I’ve been slowly take care of it week by week and month by month. Today I noticed that it looks pretty good. It’s green and seems to be actually growing.

I feel like that plant – like a dried out lonely little brown plant, but I’m slowly improving day by day, week by week, and month by month. i keep taking care of myself and reassuring myself and turning negative thoughts around. I’m not sure what the future holds. All I know is that I’m okay today, I have a green plant, and tomorrow doesn’t look too shabby. Maybe if my laptop dies I’ll have money for a bright shiny new one. Or maybe not, but I’ll keep going.

Stifle Me Not

Withdrawal from My Old Motivation

It’s like I was super hooked on a drug and I’m still having withdrawal. I don’t even want the drug anymore, I was just used to it. It was my way of living. It became who I am, and so I just accepted my life that way. Now I’m lost and confused and lonely, and even though I don’t want that drug anymore, I’m not quite sure what else to do.

I’ve never been on drugs before, but I know reason for dependency on a substance is to go after the feeling that the drug gives you.

At first, I was going to make this analogy about my almost ex-husband. Then I realized it applies to my career. But I really think it applies overall to the way I’ve been feeling, or wanting to feel, for the last 15 years.

I have been a hooked on a feeling. A fleeting feeling.

I am driven not by who I am, or what I really want, but what I can do for people. I have been caught up in the stress of imbalance between doing what is best for myself and using that energy to make others happy – in my marriage, in my career, and even when I was a little kid.

I have been hooked on doing well in life to help others, to make others happy and proud. I went to college, I acquired skills, and I have always done well at nearly everything that I do in my career. The same thing in my marriage. I paid attention and strove to be the best wife I knew how to be for my husband (no matter how much he’ll say that I did not). If he wasn’t happy, I’d overcompensate or corrected my behavior the best I knew how. We wouldn’t fail, we would prevail despite the bills and the stress of raising a family. I could make this work. “I”.

I am of the “pleaser” variety. I get honest joy out of making others happy. It’s not bullshit, I’m not making it up. I didn’t fully realize the extent to which I like this until it was too late and I had served so many others in spite of myself.

I have served others in spite of myself.

And I lacked the boundaries to look out for my own well-being.

Others do not question it. Why shouldn’t they? They aren’t responsible for my boundaries. I am nice. Nice, and smart, and oh wait, I’m pretty too. I’m “perfect”. I take these compliments and I accept them because I like feeling like I did something good and I helped someone else. I like the approval, even if it doesn’t last long.

It feels strange getting to know this person that I am in this 39-year old body. I start to have regrets about what I could’ve done, should’ve done, would’ve done in my 20s or early 30s… but I’m recognizing the same “mistakes” in others as I’ve made. Who’s to say it’s a mistake? I’m the only one saying that. I’m trying not to beat myself up and label everything I did or didn’t do that led me to this place as a mistake… because at the end of the day, I’m learning from it.

If you learn from it, it’s not a mistake. It’s a lesson. Learn, move on, and do something different the next time is what I keep telling myself.

So here I am, having an eerily similar feeling to when I was 18 and first on my own at college. I didn’t know who I was – I was just out in the world trying to “make it”. However I’ve learned that if you don’t recognize your own wants and needs, your own purpose, you can wander aimlessly and stumble into serving the purposes of others instead of your own. That happened to me. I let that happen.

I’ve been cautiously taking each step like its the first time. I’m paying attention to my feelings. MY feelings. I’m trying not to discount the reason for my feelings – that is what they are for. If I begin to feel similar to before and don’t like it (fearful, anxious, unhappy, etc.), I’m trying to take a new direction… set a boundary – even if that means straying from the comfort of known territory. What I once was is no more – I can’t be that person anymore or I will be miserable. I can’t use those drugs, the happiness of pleasing others can’t be my reason for existence. I have to find what makes me want to live on my own without pleasing others as my primary motivation.

I’m searching for my new motivation. I buried it within me long ago and it’s just taking time to emerge. I suppose it will surface when I’m ready.

Stifle Me Not

 

In a State of Fine

Somehow more than two months have gone by without me posting anything. I’ve quite simply been busy.

Busy learning how to be myself again.

My first 90 days at my new part-time job have been less than moderately challenging. It is quite administrative, which leaves me craving something a little more challenging (like in jobs of the past), but I’m not quite there yet. This part-time gig is helping me (just barely) pay the bills and have the time I need for my kids. It is not, however, helping me have enough money to move and survive outside of my parents house.

I did manage to complete my 12-week human resources course that I started in September, and I passed the certification exam! That was quite the day. I was soooo proud of myself. It felt good to succeed at such big challenge that was all for me. Mine.

The point of getting certified is to lead to bigger and better career options. Now I need to figure out my next career move, but I’m feeling a little comfortable and stuck. Job searching is so draining and time-consuming. I know I have to do it again, but I’m still recovering from the 7-month long job rejection trail from March – October 2018.

I’m also still trying to get divorced. I don’t know how this takes so long when it’s really not that difficult at this point. We’ve sold our house, divided anything else, and have a basic plan for the kids. My lawyer quite frankly sucks. I informed her of how disappointed I am with her currently level of support and promptness. Within a couple of hours of sending her that message, I received and updated e-bill from the law firm for owing $0. The ball is currently  in her court. I’m ready to switch to someone who is more efficient and effective in the world of divorce.

Overall, I’m fine, but I could be better. Way better. I need some fun in my life. I’m gradually emerging from beneath the rock I’ve been hiding under. It’s been a long hard process, but I’m still swimming forward.

Stifle Me Not

Hibernating, Healing, and Making Slow Progress

I’ve been really trying to focus on my own well-being these days. I feel like I’m hibernating, and healing in the process. Its funny how, until you’re out of a certain situation, you’re so unaware of the reality of your life. It’s not really funny, it’s more sad and unfortunate.

I’ve felt so good lately, and been having so many realizations of what my old life was like – I’m amazed that I ever lived that life.

I can’t believe how suppressed and disillusioned I was in my marriage, especially now after being out of my old home for months. I only see my ex when we exchange the kids for visitation. Even though I kicked him out over a year ago, I still saw him regularly because he lived nearby. I didn’t realize how damaging his frequent presence was. Being farther away from him has done my mental and emotional well-being a world of good.

I have come to realize that in the past, every action or inaction of mine was so fear-based. I wasn’t afraid of being hit or scolded. I was never beaten or screamed at. It was quite the opposite. I was seemingly showered with love and affection and allowed to have all the freedom that I wanted…yet, I never felt free to be my own person.

Why? What was I afraid of?

I was apparently afraid of disapproval and ultimately not feeling “good enough”. Not pleasing him in the littlest way would cause me to overcompensate in any one area. It’s hard to explain without examples, so the example that is top of mind was my weekly grocery trip (aka my weekly energy zap), followed by alleged accusations of me being uncaring and having complete disregard for what my ex liked.

The Weekly Energy Zap

Each weekend, I would make a grocery list and go to the grocery store. My goals would be to: 1. Buy healthy meals for the week (and try to save money), 2. Get anything extra that he or the kids needed (wanted), and 3. Make sure I wasn’t gone too long or he would be mad when I got home.

I would happily drive to the store and navigate the crowd on a Sunday afternoon. Grocery shopping on any weekend afternoon is just a bad idea if time is a priority for you, however, that was the only time I had without kids. While shopping, I’d often get calls or texts from him about the kids’ behavior, or a reminder to pick up something else that wasn’t on my list. Fine, great, got it. I’d get stuck behind a slow-poke in several aisles, or have to wait in the dreaded deli line. Without fail, almost every time, I’d get a text while in the checkout lane – “how much longer”?

I’d get home and unload the groceries and balance the impatience of my children. Sometimes he would help unload the car, sometimes he wouldn’t budge from the couch or the video game he was playing. I would sometimes spend $250 for a week’s worth of groceries and he would ask “Did you get my iced tea?” (even though I just bought four other kinds of requested beverages).

When I first didn’t buy the tea, I didn’t think much of it. “Sorry, I forgot.” I didn’t think I was some worthless slug wife that can’t do a simple request for her dear husband. I was unfazed. I just worked a 50-hour week, cared for kids, cleaned the house, and just bought lots of food to feed our family. I was amazing. I was handling life.

It was bit-by-bit and day-by-day as the years went on that I became a puppet.

He would be disappointed about the tea, but he wouldn’t chastise me or get mad in any way. He would simply make it a point to buy the tea that week. He would save this tea example for weeks or months or years down the road to illustrate how much I don’t pay attention to him. The next time I went to the store, I made sure to buy more damn tea. From then forward, I always bought the tea.

One time I accidentally bought diet tea. He didn’t criticize me (too bad), but he again made sure to get his own regular tea and let me know how it tastes different from diet. He would even drink the diet so it wasn’t wasted. What a guy! He would even drink the diet tea. He’s so flexible. He’s so patient with his apparently brain-dead wife who can’t read tea labels.

I wasn’t beaten, but I was invisibly controlled and manipulated. And I allowed myself to be trapped. I allowed the opinions and perceptions of my spouse to impact my self-worth. Example after example would go into his mental database of ways in which I don’t care about him. And before I knew it, I was keeping my own mental database of how unworthy I was. It was a classic case of him projecting onto me, and I absorbed it all. I was like a sponge that soaked up much of what he spilled.

My self-worth became a dirty wet moldy sponge.

I don’t think much of what he projected was intentionally planned, and I creatively learned how to make excuses for him rather than ask myself how healthy it was to live that way.

This one example may not seem so bad. And to me, at the time, it wasn’t bad at all. It just was what it was. It’s the sum of the parts that made the overall whole so detrimental to me.

Hibernating to Survive

In nature, animals hibernate to survive. The purpose is to reserve energy when food is scarce.

I’m hibernating to survive. To heal. I’m working part-time so that I have energy left for my kids. I’m getting sleep. I’m learning to consider myself when I make decisions. I’m like a toddler figuring myself out.

This hibernation phase of my life has been invaluable. It’s opened my eyes big and wide to learn from the past rather than let me be a victim from it. Manipulation by others is so damaging if you don’t keep your own well-being in check. Whether a person intentionally manipulates you or not, it can happen so subtly; you don’t even realize it’s happening. Typically, if someone is manipulative, they have their own underlying reasons for why they behave that way.

I certainly have more healing to do. The real test will be if I encounter another person that spills ongoing sludge. Will I absorb it or speak up loudly and clearly and not make excuses? I certainly I hope I choose myself if that happens again.

Until then, I am peacefully resting and restoring my energy.

Stifle Me Not

 

May 31st Lesson: Honesty is the Best Policy

It’s the last day of the “What Did I Learn Today?” Challenge for May. I started reflecting on daily lessons learned to give me something to do each evening, instead of wallowing in self-pity and beer. Okay, I didn’t drink too much beer. More tears than beer.

I did the two things I said I was going to do: I reflected on my day, and I was honest about what I learned. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned from this entire month is that doing this wasn’t easy, but it is possible and it helped me be more self-aware.

Being honest with myself was a big reality check. There were nights after I put my kids to bed that I did not want to think about anything. Or I was thinking about too much at once. Many times I just wanted to journal about my day, complain about my soon-to-be-ex-husband, and whine about being unemployed. But how much value would that have added? It took some effort to see my days for what they really were and recognize what was impacting me the most each day. I had to be honest with my damn feelings.

Damn feelings.

I’m still going to keep it going, maybe not every single day, but there will be more reflecting and honesty with thy self. Learning is the key to growth. I’m in this little life pickle because of the choices I’ve made and because of the choices I’ve avoided.

Be super honest with yourself. Its easier said than done.

Stifle Me Not