Monday, July 14, 2008

Pleasing myself

I've decided lately that when I do things that I want to do, I am inordinately happier than if I do things that other people want me to do.

Not just my husband. Everyone. Family. Friends. Even strangers. I hate doing what other people want me to do.

On the other hand, I love doing what I want to do. I find that I even enjoy chores if it's something I want to do, versus something that has to be done for the sake of the house, the lawn, the dogs, whatever.

I feel like I've given up a lot of my power in letting my desire to please others rule a lot of the time. God, I sound self-helpish. Please don't let me be a cliche.

It's odd because from 2004 until 2006, I was on an absolute quest to have a baby, a baby that I wanted and that pretty much every doctor told me I would not have. I had a singular, tunnel vision kind of outlook on the matter, and I left no stone unturned. I said to hell with everyone who doubted me, and I did what I wanted.

And succeeded. Rather well, in fact.

So what happened? I'm not sure. Well, aside from the obvious - I had a baby. Perhaps I was just tired from navigating such uncharted waters and I got tired. Having a baby will alter every breath of your day when the kid is healthy, let alone when he is not. There is a lot that I do to please him. But it's different - I do that because I want to. Last night I made him laugh so hard he pooped. Without a diaper on. I thought it was fantastic. Not that I wanted him to poop without a diaper, but you get the idea. It is not a chore to make Brody laugh so hard he has to stop so he can catch his breath.

I think a lot of it was caused by adjusting to life with not only a new child, but a child who has a lot of medical issues. I ignored my career, my health, my finances, myself, and my friendships. If it wasn't for book club, there were some months I did not go out at all or do much for myself in any way.

It's not like I was being told I couldn't do anything by anyone. But I definitely. . . got away from myself. I forgot myself. I forgot about things I really like to do. But at the same time I refused to do things I hated doing even if a rational adult would do them. Instead of being a sparkly ocean liner joyfully traversing the wide open waves with abandon, I became the ill-used raft that went with the currents and hoped I didn't drown in the next storm. I was psychically paralyzed staring at my new life, new child, new challenges and unable to move. So I didn't do much at all really. Hence the shambles became.

So now I am going to remember myself more.

I really like the things I used to do. And how I felt doing them. It's an extraordinarily peaceful yet exhilirating feeling to come back into yourself.

We are not talking earth-saving activities here.

But we might be talking Christine-saving activities.

Updates to follow.

2 comments:

Robyn said...

So what are those activities? What do you LOVE to do for YOURSELF?

SaRaH said...

it's amazing isn't it? i've gotten much better at doing what i truly want rather than what i think other want or i 'should' want. An old friend used to say, "Stop shoulding all over yourself. It's gross."