Challenges – You Validate Me

Me – “You so would not believe what BLANK did/said today”

You – “What did they do?”

Me – “Well, I was blah blah blah, and they blah blah blah. Can you believe that?”

You – “No way. What did you do?”

Me – “Well, I blah blah blah. And they blah blah blah. So I blah blah blah. What do you think? Did I do the right thing? Should I have said that?”

You – “Wow YOU WERE SO RIGHT!  blah blah blah. I don’t know what blah blah blah YOU WERE RIGHT and blah blah blah”

Me – “Well that’s what I thought/felt/meant”

How many times have you had this kind of conversation? Now, I will admit, most of the time, it is between two females. Men don’t in general have this kind of conversation. But for some reason when things happen in our lives, often times we second guess what we did or maybe we feel guilty for something we did. Or maybe we felt we over reacted. Or one of a million other things. But, it all boils down to we ask someone else if they think what we did was the right thing to do or say. We look for validation. Validation of our actions, validation of our reactions, validation of our emotions. Should we have been angry, sad, upset, or whatever. Now, I think that there is nothing wrong with looking for validation from others. I think that many times that really helps us to feel better about ourselves. We receive the assurance from our friends/family/loved ones or whoever that what we did was the right thing. Thus, we feel better.

Now, I don’t think seeking validation is a bad thing. I don’t think that seeking support in difficult situations is wrong. But, when you start second guessing everything you say and do, or wanting people to pick sides, or needing someone to validate everything in your life, there is a problem. If you lack the confidence to feel like anything you say or do is the right thing, there is a problem.

Recently, I was told by someone close to me that I could be “whiny” and “needy” and let me tell you, it hurt. It made me upset and angry. I reacted with a barrage of self-defense. But, I failed in a couple of ways in my eyes. I allowed that person to make me feel a certain way. Which I just blogged about a couple of days ago. I allowed that person to upset me and control my emotions. But also, I didn’t think about it. I just reacted. I don’t like to “fly by the seat of my pants” in discussions like that. I like to think through what the person is saying, consider if I feel like it is true, try to see things how they see them, then react. But, instead, I allowed my emotions to take over and just reacted. So, anyway, after that – I had some time and I thought about it. So, what did I do? I called my daughter, who I love and trust to tell me the truth. And what did she say? Well, she said that she didn’t think it was so much I was needy or whiny, but that I sought validation for things from people. That I needed to hear from those I love and trust that I am okay, that I am doing the right thing, that I am justified in my needs, my emotions, my actions, and my decisions. Hmmm. So, why do I need to hear from others that I’m right? Why can’t I decide for myself if I am right or wrong? Why do I have to go to others to validate myself? Shouldn’t I be able to be secure and confident enough that I don’t need to constantly have others tell me that I was right? I should be able to do that. I should be able to do things in life, whether it be stand up for myself, make a decision, have an argument, or pick out clothes. Whatever it might be. Without needing someone else to tell me I am doing the right thing. Wow, this is a toughie. I thought about it, and it’s gotten worse. Like a slide down a hill on a sled. Now, as I think about it, I realize that it has gotten to the point that any time anything happens in my life, I have to talk to someone about it and get validated. My mother, my daughter, my mother in law, my husband (in times of desperation), my best friend, any friend, a random stranger in Walmart. Whoever is there that I can get a hold of, flipping frantically through the phone book, looking for a name that might be someone who will tell me I’m alright. Okay, well maybe I haven’t gotten that bad. But, I will admit to some of it. I will admit that anymore, I am constantly calling one of them going “was I right? Did I do the right thing?”.

So, now comes the really, really hard part. I have admitted there is a problem. I have looked at it. But, now I have to do something about it. Yikes! I have to change. Double Yikes! Somehow, I need to get back the confidence, the self-assurance, the independence, self-esteem, to not need everyone else to validate me all the time. But, how do I do that? How do I suddenly tell myself I don’t need everyone else to support me? Well, maybe by baby steps like everything else I am trying to do. I think what I am going to try and do is, the next time I feel the need to call someone and get their approval, I’m going to not call. I’m going to not tell someone what happened. I’m going to wait and see how it works out. I’m going to force myself to not ask the questions “What do you think? Did I do the right thing?” and see what happens. I’m not sure, but the world might end. If it does, sorry guys, didn’t mean to blow up the planet. If it doesn’t, maybe I will start to gain confidence in myself enough to not need to be validated as often. I mean, hearing you are right is okay some of the time. But I have to quit cold turkey, suffer through the withdraw and then look at it again. I wonder if they have rehab for this kind of thing. Validation Anonymous. I could get a sponsor who I could call with shakes in the middle of the night, who would then refuse to validate me. She would talk me down until I could get a grip again. Sigh, I think I’m kind of on my own with this one. And please, dear readers, I love to hear from you in the comments. But do me a favor, please don’t tell me “You are so right”!

Goal Progress – Leggo My Ego

You make me so mad. You hurt me so much. You make me feel so worthless. Why do you make me feel this way? Why? Because I let you. I allow you to influence how I feel, how I think, how I feel about myself and how I act. It is not all your fault. Now, don’t get me wrong – it is not right to push, hurt, manipulate, and insult others. But, it is up to me to let you do that to me. If I chose not to let you, then you can’t. I can chose not to listen. I can chose to set my own self-worth. I can chose not to get angry. I can decide not to get mad and to let it go. So, you think I’m worthless? I don’t. I find value in myself. I know I am worthy, I know I am a good person. I also won’t take the blame for your mistakes. I won’t feel guilty for things that you do. I won’t allow myself to be manipulated into doing things that I don’t want to do. Or things that aren’t healthy for me.

How many of us let others set our view of ourselves? All of us. It’s inevitable in some ways. We learn our self-worth from our parents. If our parents start our lives out making us feel worthwhile and valuable, loved and wanted, then it makes it easier to believe later in life. However, even if you don’t have that kind of luck, that is no reason that you can’t still learn that valuable lesson in life. At some point you have to wake up and realize that your parents were not gods. They do not make the sun rise, and the tides come in. They were just people who had a child. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my parents. But, at some point, I had to stop blaming my parents for everything in my life and take responsibility for who I was. On that same note, I have to realize that everyone in my life is not responsible for how I feel, what I do, and where I go in my life. It’s so easy to let others keep you down, make you feel bad, make you feel angry. How easy it is to say “Well, not my fault – blank – said this or did this”. Nope, suck it up, you are responsible for you. Much of what I feel, do, and say, is in reaction to others in my life. My kids, my husband, my co-workers, etc. Wow, what a lot of power I am giving away. Now, who hasn’t gone into a store, had a crappy cashier who was grumpy and mean. You may leave the store feeling grumpy and angry. But why? Why give them the power to ruin your day. You go to a restaurant and you have a nasty server. Do you let it ruin your whole meal? You are paying for that meal and you should enjoy it. If you don’t like your server, you have some choices. You can sit there, feeling worse and worse, you can let it ruin a meal. Or you can chose not to. You can ask for a different server. You can ignore it and be pleasant. You can enjoy yourself. Now, I’ll be honest. It’s easy to say, not so easy to do. I am one of those who picks up strongly on other people’s emotions, attitudes, and words. I let other people ruin my mood, my day, my meal. But, as I said. I am giving them all the power. I am allowing them to dictate my life to me. This, needs, to, stop. I need to reclaim the power of my life and take back my emotions.

You want to have a crappy day? Have at it. You want to be insulting, rude and mean? Feel free. You want to take your anger out on others? Go for it. You will no longer be affecting me by doing that. I am not going to allow you to push your crap on me. You can judge me all you want, but it is my own judgement that matters. You can think what ever you want about me, it is what I think of myself that counts. I am me, for good or bad. I will stand on my own. I will be who and what I want to be. Succeed, fail, it’s up to me and my decisions and actions. No one can make me do or say or feel anything that I don’t allow them to. I will laugh when I want, cry when I want, even feel down when I want. My emotions are mine, they have value. My life, my choice. I can have it my way. And I don’t even have to go to Burger King to do it.

Goal Progress – Me? In a Church?

My spiritual path has been a long and varied one. I have tried many different paths, many different beliefs, many different churches. I have twisted and turned, tried to force myself to believe things that didn’t feel true to me. I tried to fit molds that just didn’t fit. I memorized bible verses, I sang hymns, I said all the things I was suppose to say. But never felt I fit. Never felt it in my heart. I was always searching, seeking, looking for something to believe in. It was many years ago that I gave up looking for a church that filled any type of need in me. I quietly started looking on my own, finding belief in a variety of places. Now believe me, there are paths out there for everyone. There are those who want the strict scripture taught, there are those who go with the flow, there are those who believe in the Star Wars force, there are some who believe that there is nothing, and on and on. Sometimes I despaired of ever finding a place to fit in. Well, maybe not fit in, but something that I could believe that had a home in my heart. For I have always believed that saying you believe something is nothing if it isn’t in your heart. I raised my kids with the belief that faith isn’t a church, belief isn’t a book, and religion is just instructions on how to do it. You have to find what is true to you, and not only know it, but live it, breath it, have it in your heart every day. Sigh, a tall order when there are no answers. What I mean is, we really, really don’t know. After all, that’s why they call it “leap of faith”. There is a gap there between what you believe and being able to prove it.

I first had to come to grips with that leap. That we won’t really know. But, then, there are ways you can know. There are ways like life experience. There are those who have experienced miracles in their lives. There are those who died and came back. There are those who have had many different types of experiences. Well, as I got older and had more experiences, it helped to form my beliefs. Things I knew in my heart more than my head. But still I was seeking answers. I now, after many, many years, have formed my own beliefs. But what about others. Certainly there had to be others out there that believed the same things I did, that had the same questions, that didn’t fit the mold. And then, the internet came along, bringing people together. There I found a home, others who felt like I did. I found people who wanted to walk my path along side me and learn and teach. It was a wonderful feeling, to have others to take the journey with me. But, online, as wonderful as it is, is still rather lonely. What about here in my area? What about face to face? As much as I didn’t think I missed it, I missed it. I missed that connection. Alas, there were no churches anywhere I lived that seemed to fit.

I was online one day and talking about how hard it is to find a church that fits. So a friend suggested I look at a church called the Unitarian Universalists. Huh? I had never heard of them. It wasn’t something that I even had begun to look into. So, off I went online in a search for what exactly it was and what it meant. I found out that in a lot of ways, they were like me. Searching, but also doing. Following a path, but always searching for answers. I found out that they believed in all paths, like me. Anyway, I found a UU church not far from my home. I kept talking about going, telling my family we should go. But it was on the to do list, but not getting done. Sundays are hectic at my house (like any other day isn’t?). I am not sure from week to week what is going on. There were two services on Sunday, 9:15 and 11:15. But, with my older son working on Sunday morning, my husband working different times on Sunday, and me playing taxi driver, it seemed like there would be no time to go. But, then, this Sunday, my son was off, my husband didn’t have to be in until afternoon and the opportunity presented itself. So, I announced – This Sunday we are going to church. Everyone kind of looked at me like.. huh? I put my foot down. I want to go to this church. So, they all agreed we would go Sunday morning. There, it was done. We were going. Now, for the hard part – waking up in the morning. Mornings suck. I hate getting up in the morning. Coffee, lots of coffee. But, worse than that is rolling out of bed three other people who hate getting up. And getting them ready. And getting them out the door. Jeez, who would have thought that going to church was such hard work. Just give up. Don’t go. You don’t really need to go to church, do you? What are you going for? You have managed all these years without church. Just give in, give up. Don’t go. Go back to bed.

No. A new year, a new me. I want to go, they are going to go. Into the car, on the road. I’m nervous. I always get nervous when I try something new. I always get nervous meeting new people. I get nervous going new places. Get over it. Drive. I was worried about being late – I’m always nervous about being late. To me, being late is punishable by death. We end up being early. But there is a few people there, by the greeting table. Okay, name tags, talking to people, this isn’t a bad thing. Be social, you can do it. Now, we went to the 9:15 service, which is smaller, more open, less structured. We find our seats and the service begins. I have a wonderful time. I am moved. I am in tune. I feel…. welcome. Something I have never felt at a church before. Not that the people in other churches weren’t nice. Not that they weren’t welcoming. I just didn’t feel like I was in the right place. This, this is the right place, the right time in my life, the right…. path.

Now, I’m not going to suddenly jump in and join all their groups, start all kinds of projects, and whatever. But, I will go back. I want to go back. I want that feeling of being in the right place at the right time. I want that feeling of being with people, face to face, who are sharing with me their path and learning from mine. I want to go back and feel like I belong to something bigger than me. And, now, I’m on my way.

Goal Progress – Can You Hear Me Now!

Communication is key in life, with anyone. You have to communicate from the time you are a baby to let people know what you need. And developing good communication skills isn’t easy. People see things differently, hear things differently, think differently. Men and women are very different – it’s amazing we ever communicate anything to each other. I really am amazed at how many women are with guys, won’t tell them what’s going on in their heads, but expect them to be mind readers. But on the other hand, men have a variety of grunts they consider communication which we women are suppose to be able to determine if you are hungry, horny, listening, ignoring us, or simply burping. So, in other words, often like dealing with babies again. Just kidding. But yeah, we definitely have different ways of communicating. And communicating to teenagers, male or female, is like learning a new language. Then there are your co-workers, your boss, people in stores. It never ends. It is amazing we ever get anything done in life just trying to make everyone understand each other.

Now, I am a pretty good communicator. I know many of the tricks of the trade. I know about me statements, positive statements, avoiding accusations, staying focused, thinking before you speak. I actually use to teach women effective communication to help them get jobs. So yeah, I’m on it. But, and this is a big but, it’s hard to use it in my own life. I am sometimes amazed at how poorly I can do with it. I struggle with things like telling people how I really feel. Telling people what I want. Telling people what I need. Yeah, so fail. I am also a people pleaser. I will say or do something because I think it will make other people happy – screw what I want.  This goes a long way towards building up anger and resentent. Ooooo the two biggies. Anger and Resentment. That’s a deal breaker. That will kill any relationship. You let anger and resentment build up enough and all kinds of evils will happen. Heads will roll. And not always fairly. You let enough of it build up and you start letting all kinds of little, bitty, things bother you. You did NOT just look at me. Why are you always BREATHNG!! It’s so annoying! Stop it. So yeah, when you are married, it’s not always easy. Add to that mix in my life, where you are two ships passing in the night, and communication gets even harder. So, needless to say, but I’m going to say it anyway, when I decided to make all these changes in my life, it would have been nice to include my husband in many of these plans. Maybe asked him what he wanted? Maybe ask him where he wanted to go and do things? Mmmm, nope. Plow ahead and just expect him to get with the program. Or ELSE! Not very fair, is it? Well, that goes back to the point of women and men being very different. Why in the world couldn’t he read my mind? Why couldn’t he figure out I was done? Why couldn’t he see that I was making changes for the better? Well, probably because I didn’t talk to him much about it. Now, while I am shocked and amazed that he is not following my blog (isn’t the whole world hanging on my every word?) there is not much I have said to him about this. So, where did this lead me? Let me tell you.

My husband and I view the world very differently. My husband is very.. unique. But, I love him and I married him. I took him for better or for worse. So, many of the issues we have, I have known about for a long time, but swallowed them instead of dealing with them. So, the other night, yeah, explosion. I yelled, which is not good, I accused, even worse. I pointed fingers, I laid blame, I used absolutely none of the communication skills I know how to use. I let the anger and resentment build up until I couldn’t see straight. But, actually, that explosion acted as a catalyst. I now what I have to do. I have to talk to him. Get us both on the same page. Get us both pulling in the same direction. Heck, I’d settle for the same planet. But I have to do it in a calm, reasonable way. I can’t shout it at him at the top of my lungs then march off to work feeling justified and angry. Not fair. So, working on a new project this weekend. Organizing what it is I want to say, how I want to say it and being fair. It’s not nice to not play fair. So, we shall see how it goes. And if he doesn’t want to play fair, I will take my marbles and go home.

Goal Progress – Living With a Hoarder

People collect things. All kinds of people collect all kinds of things. I have had various collections in my life. But, what do you do when you live with someone who won’t let anything go, papers, boxes, containers, scraps of cloth, anything. That’s what it’s like living with my husband. Honestly, the sad but true joke around our house is any time you empty anything, you look at the container and say “I could use that for something”. Coffee containers, boxes, bags, shoes, shoe laces, bricks, stones, wood. Now, he is an artist. He has been an artist his whole life. He has a life time of artwork built up. And it’s not just drawings. He writes plays, short stories, he has a novel he has worked years and years on. And it has built up. And up. And up. He has an old, old, old, really old word processor. It’s broken. But it has several of his plays on it. But it doesn’t work. And it’s huge and heavy. It’s in my closet because he is convinced he is going to find some computer guru who can magically fix it so he can print off those plays. Sigh. He also has clothes that he has had for years and years. For years before he knew me. Which, fine, if they are not in bad shape, keep them. But, he keeps getting new clothes too. So, yeah, piles of clothes. Whew, I would post pictures, but no, not going to. In the beginning, when we moved into our first apartment down south, I said – we are not doing this. We are not going to allow ourselves to be buried alive under our stuff. If it doesn’t have a place, it goes. Which started out mildly successful. In fact, as an anniversary gift, my parents bought my husband a desk. It was suppose to be a gift for both of us. It’s a big desk, with bookshelves everything. Because, yeah, we have a lot of books. It was suppose to be a place for him to work, so he wouldn’t take up the entire dining room table to work. But, you guessed it, it is now buried under a ton of stuff, and he takes up the dining room table. And when that is too full, he has a little portable table that he sets up in front of the couch, which then gets full and doesn’t get taken down. Sigh.

Now, I am not a neat freak. I am not even a happy cleaner. But, I like things organized. I like things to have a home. And I like to keep things in their home. I have made several attempts to organize and get rid of things. But, I have met strong resistance. So I did what anyone would do, I gave up. Well, okay, maybe not everyone would give up. But, I did. I gave in to the clutter, the mess, the chaos. I hated it, but I gave into it. I thought, this is it, this is the way it will always be. But, what have I been saying – 2012, A New Year, A New Me. I don’t generally allow people to come over to the apartment. I am embarrassed at how it looks. But my best friend has been giving me suggestions and my daughter finally came over and saw the apartment. Their attitude – we can do this. Put your foot down. Start somewhere and start getting rid of things. So, where do I start. Clothes. We need to get rid of clothes. They are everywhere. So, yesterday, after I got off of work, and got our son off to school, I grabbed some trash bags. I started in one spot. I started gathering clothes and going through them. My pile, my son’s pile, my husband’s pile. I went through my son’s clothes, got rid of many of them. I went through my pile. Okay, still need to weed more out. Then, I called my husband in and began battle. You don’t wear this. But it’s warm. But you don’t wear it. But I like it. BUT YOU DON’T WEAR IT!! Into the bag it goes. You would have thought I was asking him to slice is own fingers and toes off to get rid of old t-shirts. Sigh, after about three hours, I have 7 bags of clothing to go out to the thrift store. And more to come.

Another goal – to reclaim my dining room table. When my husband comes home from work, he starts shedding. Now, you have to realize, most people think my husband is homeless. Especially in winter. He wears about 5 layers of clothing. Then he carries a military style backpack crammed full of stuff. Then he carries a couple of shopping bags full of stuff. That is everywhere he goes. To work, to the store, he is like a turtle carrying his stuff with him. So, when he comes home from work, the bags get tossed down, the backpack gets put somewhere, the layers of clothes come off in the middle of the floor, he shoes end up somewhere strange, like the kitchen. But the pockets. The endless, bottomless pockets. He always wears khaki pants, with pockets everywhere. So, once he gets down to the bottom layer he starts emptying his pockets onto the dining room table. Let’s see, there his cell phone, his wallet, whole bags of mints, his Chinese exercise balls, loose change, Jimmy Hoffa, stones, random bits of paper, wrappers, a stray cat, some cool thing he found in the parking lot, a couple of knives, his journals, his pens, his ex-girlfriend’s best friends right shoe. All onto my table. So, what to do with this mess. Well, I got a box. A decent sized box. And I put everything into it. But, now the box is full. The next day, there’s more stuff. But no box. The box is full. So, I said, empty this box or I’m throwing it all away. Didn’t even flinch. Still sitting there full. So, what do I do now? Put my foot down. A New Year, A New Me. It is now going to be labeled the 24 hour box. I will put your stuff in it. It will wait 24 hours, if it is not emptied, it will be dumped into the dumpster. You think I’m joking… try me. I AM DONE! I want a clean, uncluttered area that I am proud to call my home. Not a war zone where I am fighting our belongings for space. Onward and Upwards. Tally HO!!!!

Goal Progress – Loving and Letting Go

Caring about people is very important. It is important to have people in your life that you love. And I have a very loving heart. I often times care more than I should maybe. I have mentioned in other posts about letting go of people who pull me down. Getting rid of people who drain me and give nothing back. But, also as I have been saying in other posts, saying is not the same as doing. Breaking old habits is hard. But, with some help from my best friend, today, I took an important step. A hard one, but one that needed to be taken. Today, I took a stand and said no. I stood my ground. I changed a behavior. And it was very, very hard. But, I feel both good and sad about it. But, then, let me explain.

I have a person I have been friends with for a long time. He has many problems, one of which is drinking. I have been there for him. I have held his hand, I have cried with him, I have also enabled him. I have seen him through the good times and the bad.  I have helped him get sober, oh so many times, only to see him fall back off the wagon. I have listened to him talk for hours. I have tried and tried to give him the help he needed, encouraged him to get help from other places, given time, patience, love, and anything else he needed. When he would call in trouble, I would be there. When he would fall down, I would pick him back up. Well, you get the point. Anyway. So, I was always careful about certain things – my kids never saw him drunk. I never took my kids to his place. I never let him interfere with my children’s lives. But, on the other hand, I did let him interfere with my marriage in some ways. There were many nights that my husband walked in the door from work, I would kiss him and run out the door to help this friend. There were many nights when we were both off, that I spent over at this friend’s apartment trying to help. It took away from my marriage. So, when it got overwhelming, I finally had to step back. But, slowly, I let this friend back. But he was sober and doing well. I was proud of him. I was happy for him. I enjoyed talking with him again. Until today. Today, he called me. He was drunk. He was driving around. He wanted me to help him. I told him to find a motel, get a room, and when my husband came home I would come see him. He texted me, and called me, to make sure I would still come see him. I would. But, before my husband came home, my best friend came over. I told her what was going on. She pointed out that this was the same behavior I always did. I always ran when people called me. Nothing I could do for him would help him. He needs to stand on his own. He needs to get help. I can’t help him. All I can do is enable him to stay the same. And by reacting the same way, I am staying the same too. I am allowing him to drain me.

So, I did it. I told him I wouldn’t come. Even though he tried to make me feel guilty, to manipulate me, to pull me back in, I stood my ground. I didn’t go. I told him that I wasn’t going down that hole with him again. That I loved him, I would be there for him – but not to call me until he was sober. I would not do this any more. I do not need people in my life to drag me down. I need people who will lift me up. And while this may not seem like a big deal, it is. To me, it was a really, really hard, and important step. I stopped a behavior that is almost ingrained in me. And from here, there is nowhere to go but up. I accepted that I can still care – and still let go.

Challenges – Balance and Priorities

So, claiming this is a new year and a new me is a lofty goal for anyone. Setting up a huge list of goals is great too. And I have posted here about how everything I do is affecting those around me. It would be easier if it were just me and I was changing just my life. But, having a child and a husband living with me, and an older child who is with us every weekend makes it all that much more challenging. Things have to be done, needs have to be met, things change. I would like to be more selfish, to take more of what I need, to do more of what I want to do. But, that has to balance out somehow with the needs of my family. Especially my kids. To me, there is really not such a thing as quality time, as much as quality AND quantity time. Kids need you. You have to be there. Especially when they are younger. And with a younger son who has some special needs, there is no such thing as putting off what needs done. So, when they need me, they need me. Some things can’t be avoided. So, what do you do when there are so many things that can’t be avoided? What happens when your life is so full of things that NEED to be done, there is little left for what you want to get done.

Then, there are other things too. So if you think about it, life is like a series of circles. There is you, then there is your family. Then there is your community. Then there is the country. Then there is the world. I am active with my family. I try to be active in the community. I try to keep up on what’s going on in the country. I try to follow what’s going on in the world. I worry about my family. I try to help those who need help in our community. I want to see changes in our country. I worry about the state of the world. If we don’t try to make changes in the world outside our own little circle, things will only get worse. But, when you are struggling to do things just for yourself, and then your family, what is left over. For anyone who looked at my schedule, you will see that it is jam packed. Now, working midnight shift doesn’t help. The world operates on the day shift. But, I do a lot on line to try and be active politically, spiritually, socially. But it isn’t always easy. There just aren’t enough hours in the day or enough of me to go around.

When I look at all these things, I get a bit overwhelmed. When I think of all I am responsible for, it gets a bit intimidating. And then, when I add on there that I want to be more selfish, I feel like somehow I’m dropping the ball elsewhere. It’s easy to say to set priorities. But sometimes it all seems to be so important. There doesn’t seem to be something that I could just let slide. But, there has to be somethings that I let go. There has to be some things that take a back burner. For most of my life, it has been me that took the back burner. For the most part it has always been me that made the sacrifices. I haven’t asked others to give up for me, it was always what I gave up for them. Now, of course, I’m not going to tell my kids to buzz off, it’s not their turn. But, there must be some ways to show them that there is some times when they simply need to do for themselves. Or maybe help them to feel included in the things I am doing for me. I also need to look at ways to get my husband to step up to the plate and take some of the responsibility too. That would help a great deal. But everything can’t be code red. Everything can’t be of the most importance. There has to be a balance. It’s finding it that is the challenge.