Sunday, March 14, 2010

78/190: Self Discovery

I should go back and read my blog over the years, I can't help but wonder if I have had the same self discovery over and over again through the years. I wonder if I will always be who I am or if I am moving forward and growing.

Jeff's Deployment has caused me to learn a little bit about myself. In one of my previous posts I wrote about how angry I was feeling at everyone and everything. I think that was not a result of Jeff being gone but that I have been feeling that way for a long time but being married to Jeff is so nice that I was able to overlook the anger.

Kim suggested that I do something nice for myself a couple of times a week and I realized that I never do things for myself. I started to think about going to the gym, getting my hair done, whatever and I realized that I don't have time. I would have to stop doing something in order to add doing something for myself to my schedule. What can I stop doing? I just couldn't think of anything.

Jeff has been telling me for years to stop volunteering so much, but I feel bad giving that up. However, over the course of the last couple of weeks I have been examining how much I volunteer compared to other moms. It is embarrassing. Why am I doing so much? So I started saying no. It has been so hard. Why is it so hard to say no to doing more? I think deep down I am afraid of rejection. But, if I look at the situation realistically no one even appreciates the stuff I do, they either like me or don't like me based on who I am and not on if I do A B or C at the school. I am going to keep the commitments that I have already made but I am not going to make any new commitments. It has been so hard. I never knew I had a problem saying no. I realize that is silly and that I don't actually care what these people think of me that I just have some switch in my head that fears what will happen if I say no. I have to consciously make myself ignore that impulse and say no anyways. It is a struggle.

I joined a gym. I feel so bad because we have free access to several state of the art gyms on the base. I joined the YMCA where I live. It is not nearly as nice as the base gym and I have to pay for it. Oh the guilt. However, I have a number of friends who go to that gym. It is about 20 minutes closer to my house. It has an indoor heated pool. Oh the guilt.

I have been going to the gym for two weeks now. Both weeks I made it there on Monday and Tuesday but fizzled out and didn't go the rest of the week. But, two days is better than zero days. I have a friend who works out with me and we chat away and the time goes very quickly. To be fair the first week I was overcome with volunteer obligations and then Lily got strep throat. This last week I got the strep throat and it was bad! So I haven't just been blowing it off but still I am hoping to make it at least three times this week. I also love that the people at this gym are from our town and all regular folks. However, there are a lot of over 70 people in there that are much more fit than me. I was surprised how much strength my body has maintained over the years of not exercising on a regular basis. It hasn't been hard or painful to get back into the swing of things. It is like I left off at the fitness level I was at the last time I tried to get in shape and my body has been waiting for me to start up again. Thanks.

I am also working on taking the time to shop for and cook healthy meals. Don't laugh but I am trying to go as Vegan as possible. Just for me not for the girls. It doesn't hurt them to eat bean and veggies soup and if they want to have a hot dog with it then that is fine too. It takes a lot of time to plan and make healthy meals. I have to actually schedule time to think about what we are going to have for dinner, go get the food ( grocery store across the street from new gym) and then cook it, and do the dishes. So much easier to just pick something up. But, I am such a great cook. It does add at least an hour if not two hours of work to my daily schedule to cook at home and I am finding that hard to conquer. What to give up? Probably should give up facebook games for cooking.

Over the next couple of weeks friends have invited me to do fun stuff. I am excited about that. So I am hoping to have an improvement in my anger and in my health after learning to say no and learning to get over the guilt and put myself first.

Here is a funny story. I told all this to Jeff and said, I am going to have to stop doing some things in order to find time to go to the gym and cook at home more. Jeff says, you know I think you should put yourself first. I think this is a great idea. I said, you know that means I am going to have to say no to you and the girls sometimes, because y'all ask a lot of me. Jeff says, that is fine I will understand, I love you and want you to be happy and healthy. A minute later we are saying our goodbyes and Jeff says, don't forget to write me a long email. ha ha get it. He totally doesn't get that it takes time to sit down everyday and write him emails. He is devastated if he doesn't get one. Who do I say no to? Poor Jeff.

Lily is exactly the same way if she doesn't get enough undivided attention the girl is impossible. Which cracks me up because of how much Jeff is the same. I need to learn to be more like them. Both Jeff and Lily are the happiest people on earth and they both take excellent care of themselves and if they aren't getting what they need from me they let me know loudly. Lily 1st grade teacher comments on facebook and to me in person about what a delightful and happy girl Lily is in class. Last night I was behind on a deadline for work and asked her to please get ready for bed on her own, which she has been doing for years, however she wanted me to help her pick her pjs and cried and threw an enormous fit. Just an example. It does actually seem that she only does this to me. I don't know if that is because she has figured out that I am no good at saying no or if it is because she saves up her need and only asks it of me because I am a safe place to be vulnerable. Of course she does have me wrapped around her little finger I guess it is a combination of both. Lily is a unique kind of child, she would never intentionally misbehave. She tries to be perfect. However, she doesn't like it when people tell her she is wrong or needs a course correction she feels that is the end of the world. She tries her best to avoid being told she is wrong but once it happens the world is over and she fights and she is fierce. At school she has figures out how to not get into any trouble so she has a perfectly pleasant time all the time but at home we two butt our heads quite a bit. I guess that is the nature of mother and daughter. Ending this long tangent now.

I am now on a new life path. No longer worried about if I am liked. I am not going to do my best to be there for others in hope that they will return the favor. I am going to take the best care of myself I can. Then I am going to take the best care of my family that I can. Then I am going to do my job to the best of my ability. After all that if there is anything left I will help in the community. I am moving myself from the bottom of the list to the top.


meno said...

i like this post and i think you are on to something.

By the way, i have a favor to ask......

Just kidding, but whatever it was, i hope you would say "NO!"

luckyzmom said...

I think you are headed in the right direction. Everyone should benefit from you putting yourself first:D

patrice said...

Yay for you taking care of yourself!
Besides, it's great modeling for the girls.
Much warmth,

Kimberly said...

Your on the right path. I don't think your saying no has anything to do with wether someone likes you or not it is more with disappointing them. I have a hard time saying no to sub jobs. I feel guilty if I do, but I do do it sometimes. It is hard to say no to Jake too, but it is important for him to learn that he does not always get his way and to deal with "no", because how is he going to make it in the real world if everything has been given to him/done for him.
I hope you have been making it to the is theraputic. I need to get my butt over there too. Keep us posted on how it is going.
If you make time for yourself you will feel good about yourself and in turn your family will feel good too. It's a win/win situation. :-)