Is it reasonable to ask for a day off? From life?  Like, for one whole day I’d like to act as if I was the only one who mattered.  I would still abide traffic laws and so forth, but like shopping, eating, sitting, peeing, running, folding, talking.  All THAT stuff, would be on my time.  I can’t even imagine a whole day like that.  Five years ago feels like infinity-almost- never was. I mean, could I actually do that?!  Wouldn’t that be so wrong and selfish and all-about-me-ish? What would they say?  More importantly, what would they think?    I spend an awful lot of my time worrying about what other people think of me; how I dress and parent and buy groceries, all of it needs to be ran by the committee.   The way I clean my house, or sing along at church, tainted by the stench of people pleasing.

When you’re a girl and your Dad clearly prefers sons, life can be a trick or treat scenario.  I never knew what would make him happy.  I don’t blame my Dad for the way I behave at 29, I am aware and ready to be rid of my people pleasing.  It’s helpful for me to look back and identify certain character patterns as survival and coping and doing the best my little 2 year old self could do.  It doesn’t make me any less responsible for them.  They are mine.  No one is holding a gun to my head and forcing me to think- I’m creating much of my own discomfort by allowing certain mental hamster wheels to turn obsessively.  The big (non) secret is I don’t have to do that crap anymore.  I don’t need to forecast the weather or your temperament.  Transformation is, unfortunately, not like shaving.  It takes time to shed this skin.  I will be patient.  I will also be a bit weepy mixed with characteristics of a pit bull.  Its gonna be messy.  Wear gloves.

It’s not easy to be honest.  In my experience it’s quite simple, I just don’t want to hurt your feelings, or cause you to feel bad or be too high maintainance or make it difficult in any way for you.  I want to be easy to love, easy to get along with, easy to be with. And then you’ll stay. This works for a little while.  Until my tank becomes baron.  I become suspicious that you’re on to me and my needs.  I become suspicious of everything.  What do you want from me?  Why are you still here?  What’s wrong with you?   Would it be better if I had a pay stub that proved my value and could track my progress and productivity?   I could get a job.  I could.  Sometimes I think I’d like it even.  And maybe someday I will.  Knowing its a luxury to be a stay at home Mom does not make it any less hard.  Yes, I get to raise my children hands on face forward eyes wide open to it all… and I practice taking in deep breaths, moments of bliss amongst the chaos and poop and spontaneous wrestling matches.  Laughter. Stillness. Combust. Repeat.

Talking, writing, stretching, laughing and dancing.  This is my medicine.  These are my fillers.  All of these verbs when put into action, replace my suspicion with acceptance.  I notice it right about the time I’m being lead into shavasna; I’m not mad anymore.   Forehead is relaxed.  I can see my eyes they are blue.  I remember who I am. I remember that I don’t need anything or anyone to change in this moment for me to be ok, contentment.  It’s sandwiched somewhere in between melancholy and bliss.  Contentedness walks into a restaurant and takes a nap, positive she’ll eat when it’s time.  This is my church.

I just watched myself take offense to a request. What saves me from complete embarrassment is knowing,  I am not what I think.  This has had the reverse effect on me in sobriety.  Before I stopped drinking and drugging I was all about lecturing those people on what I meant to do, meant to say.  All I had to show for all my thinking was bruises from unknown sources and horrendous hangovers followed by spiritual droughts.  The world does not judge us on our intentions- not even our thoughts!  Oh thank God!  I need the pause, the next breath, the next thought to come in and replace crazy with serenity.  Sometimes they tango while I try to decide between being right or being happy.  Ultimately it settles down and that deep inner voice directs me to the next best indicated thing, tonight it was this blog post.  Sometimes its my dishes or a nap or turkey sandwich.

I’m glad you stopped in.  I hope I remember to write some more, it really does my soul good.  Take it easy, friends.  I know the world could use more people who are practicing compassion both to each other and to themselves- that sounds like a very MERRY CHRISTMAS to me.


One thought on “shedding

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