I have always shared my life with someone. I even shared a womb. No seriously, I have a twin sister. It was very rare growing up for me to be alone especially since I always had a built in best friend around. Even though we did not have brothers or sisters we had a plethora of cousins around who would come to visit, spend the weekends, or on occasions live with us. I can remember as a child thinking I just want to be alone from time to time. Then I grew up and I had to share a home... with a boy... because I got married. Ladies you know where I am going with that sentence. Shortly after we moved into our first home I gave birth to baby number one, then baby number two, and then baby number three. We are a family of five and on a day to day basis our house has always been chaos. Even to this day, and my kids are in their twenties, it is chaotic in our household. I can remember day dreaming when the kids were little that one day I will be able to go to the bathroom and close the door to pee in peace or jump in the shower and take my time rinsing my hair out before I would hear, "MOOOOOOOM". Sadly, although those moments are fewer, they still exist. I still can't pee in peace, but I digress.
Even with all of the chaos that went on I cherish those days of my younger self with my sister and my cousins then with my husband and my kids. At the time I held on to them tightly because I enjoyed every moment, especially being with the people I love the most. To this day I still hold on tight to the memories. However, if I could go back I would change one thing. I would have told people to "LEAVE ME ALONE". Let me explain. I would not want to be alone all of the time. I would just want to be alone some of the time. Preferably an hour a day but even a set date once a week would have been heaven. You know that question "If you would go back in time what would you tell your younger self?" My answer is this, "Make time for yourself...daily... become "meish". "
Let me explain what I mean by "meish". When I looked up the word "selfish", an adjective, stated by the dictionary it means “ a person, action or motive lacking consideration for others: concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure”. I immediately thought yes I want people to be "selfish" because I want people to take time for themselves. Heck I want to take time for myself. However the more I was using the word "selfish" it started to sound really harsh. Then I reread the definition of "selfish" and the words "lacking consideration" didn't sit well with me. I do not want you or me for that matter to lack consideration for others and I certainly do not want you or me to lack consideration for ourselves either. Mulling it over, researching a new word through a google search, a strange word popped into my head along with its definition...."meish", an adjective, a person, action, or motive of oneself taking consideration of their own health and happiness regardless of others expectations." BAM there is was, the word that is much more softer than "selfish". Who knows we may have just created together a new word to add to the long list of confusing words in the English dictionary.
I look back now to when I was younger and the days I held resentment towards people doing things they enjoyed like playing a sport or exercising or working on a hobby or just peeing in peace. I would mumble under my breath things like "must be nice to have time on your hands", "what about me", "when do I get time to do things'. Granted some people were in a different space in their life then mine and sure I could go back in time and blame life or certain people for not having time to do things. For example like running around our kids to school, sports, and activities, maintaining a household, entertaining friends and family, taking care of our fur babies, going back to school full time, supporting ill friends and family, or just spending time with the hubby. The truth is this...ugh and it hurts to even type it... it was all my own fault. It was my own fault for not making myself as much of a priority as I made everyone else and saying "LEAVE ME ALONE".
Now I am not saying you should say "leave me alone" in a mean or derogatory way and just come straight out and yell at someone to leave you alone. Nor am I saying you should become a selfish person and not do anything for or with others. What I am saying is you need to learn the word "no" and you need to learn to tell people "No, I can not." Let me put a disclaimer here too ....never apologize for making time for yourself. When you say "Sorry, I can not" that is telling the universe you feel guilty by saying "sorry" for making yourself a priority and you should never tell the universe that you are sorry you are a priority!
This is a practice that I am working on currently and I will admit it is very difficult. It is especially difficult to admit to others that you are making yourself a priority. You see people put their own expectations of you on you. Unfortunately you may have had a hand in their expectations because you allowed such behaviors of expectations to occur. Regardless you are not responsible for other people's expectations nor do you need to succumb to the them. Even if they begin to think and call you "selfish"...see how that word sounds nasty????
Expectations are merely someone's belief in making something happen and let me make something very clear to you, NOBOBY is in charge of making something happen in your life except YOU! If someone is upset with you because they expected you to be somewhere even after you said you weren't going well thats on them, not on you. If someone expected you to do something even after you said you weren't going to do it well that is on them, not on you. Most of the time these expectations come from family and friends and boy do they know how to flip the expectation guilt switch especially when you say "no" to an event or a get together. The truth is it is not written in stone that you have to attend every family event or go to every friend get together. I am here to remind you that you can say "no" especially if it interferes with your "meish" time.
My point here is this...it is okay if you miss other peoples events because you are taking care of you. You can not truly be there for others if are not there for yourself because eventually it will begin to affect you mentally, emotionally, and physically. It is okay if you miss your kids soccer game once in a while. It is okay if you miss a friend get together. It is okay if you were't home to make dinner. Because guess what? Regardless if you are there to watch your kid score a goal, or giggle with your friends, or feed your family... life will go on. The ball will still reach the net, your friends will still snort laughing, and your family will not starve even if you are not there. Peanut butter jelly sandwiches are not hard to make.
I learned all of this the hard way because much like you I was stretching my time for everyone else and I stretched so far I was on the edge of snapping. Truth be told I snapped a few times. I was bending over backwards for everyone else and expecting everyone to do the same for me and guess what....they weren't. So I got mad. I got really really mad. I got resentful. Then... I would snap. How dare they not show up! How dare they the tell me no! How dare they not do what I want them to do! Are seeing a pattern here? Then I realized one day it was not them I was mad at, it was me. I had put expectations on them to succumb to what I thought should happen. Instead of being understanding and happy for other's happiness I was being "selfish". See again how ugly that word is? So, I began consciously practicing every time someone told me no or did not do what I "expected" them to do to be happy for them and to send them love. Although it took time to get out of my expectation ways I have learned how to truly be happy for others regardless of what they decide to do. The key to all of this was I too learned to tell people as they told me in a polite way to "leave me alone" while I became... "meish".
If you would like to learn more on how to become "meish" send me a message. I would love to share with you my 8 week program..."What About Me?"...a guide on teaching women how to become "meish".