Happy New Year Everyone!!! 2012 is going to be a great year, I can feel it already. This is the year I begin the decade of "Me". This may sound selfish from the get go, but allow me to explain.
I have always been the "helper" the "problem solver" the "mom of everyone". These are all things I love to be and will probably continue to do so for my lifetime. I have made changes in these areas as I have learned when to say no and when to remember that my worth is not wrapped up in always being there for every one, every time. I learned that I don't need to be liked by all people and that is okay. I don't like everyone I meet, so why should I expect that anyone who meets me will like me no matter what? What a boring world it would be if we all liked one another & agreed on everything. I celebrate our differences and embrace the uniqueness of our personalities. Letting go of the pressure to please everyone and for me to like them unconditionally was not only freeing, but oddly, relaxing.
There was a time when I would be the one to be in the thick of a fight. Oh, I wasn't the type that would start one, but if I found someone or something that NEEDED defending, I would be the one front & center to go toe to toe with the best of them. Once I discovered Facebook, these instances occurred more often and could become more heated very quickly. The fights could get nasty and people hiding behind their computers would use their false sense of bravado to fight dirtier than they would face-to-face. I had many a night getting so involved in this drama that I would push my health to the limit. My heart would race, the adrenaline would pump so quickly that my hands would go numb, weakness would intensify and the tremors would be uncontrollable.
The worst moment I had was when one woman decided to criticize my character yet again. It was within a debate on a mutual friend's page and it shook me so much. I was afraid. Not of her, I could handle her. I was afraid her comments would push the friends we shared to pick a side. I was afraid that the friends we shared would believe her accusations. I was afraid that I would get pulled down to her level. I had discovered the attack when I checked my email and Facebook while on vacation with my family. I couldn't believe my eyes. When I had logged off before leaving, I had made a comment in jest and this woman had twisted it so completely around that even I doubted my intent. I tried to explain & defend myself, but she got nastier & nastier. I did put her in her place, but after I logged off, I realized something.
I was out to dinner with my family & the whole time I was worried about what was happening on Facebook and what this girl was doing. I wasn't paying attention to my husband or my children. I didn't notice at first, but when I looked around at where I was and who I was with, I was ashamed of myself. I was worried about something so meaningless. If the friends I was worried about believed her, they weren't really my friends or they didn't know me at all. If I gave another second to this woman on Facebook, I was allowing her to win. She would be stealing time from my family and THAT, that I had control over. I stopped thinking of her & decided I would see how it played out after I returned.
As it turned out, I had my chance with my friend. We actually became closer. We talked on the phone for hours. It was amazing to develop a deeper level to our relationship. She told me her concerns and perceptions and it pushed me further forward into what would become my new outlook on life. I was in control of what I did and how I reacted to others. No one else was, so I took back that power. I wouldn't allow someone to decide for me how I would live my life, so I let it all go.
A couple of months later, someone was making fun of me again and my upbeat outlook. I kind of chuckled about it and moved on. Several of my friends brought it to my attention and wanted me "to know" what was going on. I thanked them and said I knew, but I didn't need to get involved. I looked into it further and read many of my friends posts that had jumped to my defense and I knew if I said anything I would add fuel to the fire. So I "walked away". Several people couldn't believe I did that and said they didn't think they could have been so relaxed about the situation. I ended up starting my own open post stating basically what I wrote above. It is our differences that make the world go round. I accept that others will have an opinion of me as I have one of them. We can agree to disagree and pick our battles. Cliche? Maybe, but valuable lessons nonetheless. I have many friends that I love & care about and if one more doesn't want to join them, then that is their decision & I respect that. I have less stress now that I have learned to pick my battles and care less about what others think or intend. One of my favorite quotes is "How others treat me is their path. How I react to it is mine." Perfect.
So that was my last 2 years, spent healing myself and becoming comfortable in my own skin. So as I began this post, my New Year's resolution is 2012 is the year of "Me". I explained this best to my husband: My 20's were for "us", him & I. Growing together and learning about one another as a couple and as parts of a couple on our own. My 30's were for our children. Giving birth, devoting every moment to their well being and growth from infancy to children off to school. To be the best mommy I can be for them. My husband is a very real part of that decade too, of course. So my 40's are for "Me". None of these decades are truly devoted completely to one entity, but they are the dominating element of that time in my life.
And so I begin 2012, with this post and my challenge to you: Make 2012 the beginning of "You"! This is the year I put myself first. I make my health a priority and not an afterthought. I make my sanity and my emotional spirit a part of my growth to become better, deeper, more important than I have in the past. My connections with my friends are just as valuable as my connections as a wife & mother. Doing the things I believe I need to do to drive me into the next best thing, the person I know I was meant to be and to do what I was meant to do, will Renew my Mind into a whole new me. A better me.
The best part about this is my family will benefit the most out of my new goal. A better "Me" leads to a better them. If Mommy goes down, the house of cards falls with her. Staying healthy and attempting to maintain a better lifestyle including physical therapy techniques & "My MS Yoga", I believe my health will improve or I will heal faster. So that is step number one, relearn how to make my body the best it can be. Number 2, is reconnect with my family & friends on Facebook, in person & by phone calls. I need the people in my life who not only need my friendship, but who's companionship I need as well. This will keep me socially stimulated and help with my sanity levels. ;) Number 3, is about investing my time more in this blog, & put together a book of poetry from my collection of MS poems. I have been asked to do this and I want to follow through. If I can help others with it then bonus for me!
I will maintain the person I am inside and bring out the parts I pushed aside. I need to take care of myself in mind, in body & in spirit. To grow into the woman I know I am and in turn teach my children that we all have value. To find balance and make sure you include yourself when you choose your paths in this life. As I Renew my Mind, I know the rest will follow. I turned 40 years old 6 days ago and I say bring it on!! These are going to be some of the best years of my life because I do have something to say about it and I am going to speak loud and proud. Watch out world cuz here I come!