I recently enjoyed a telephone conversation with a dear old friend, whom I haven’t seen in years. Amazing, isn’t it, how years apart won’t change that bond?
We covered the topics of raising adult children, and our more relaxed state with our younger ones, who came along later in life. We discussed midlife goals, bucket lists, and how time, at it’s warp speed, is boggling our minds and changing our bodies. We reminisced about high school, and the amazing things we could have done with that time had we realized how intelligent we actually are. Ah yes…..if I only knew then what I know now. I told her if I knew then what I know now, I would have ignored everyone, namely boys, and become a doctor of something, I’m sure……instead I am sitting in bed reading, Boundaries, (by Dr. Henry Cloud and DR. John Townsend) We had a good laugh over that. Apparently life got complicated between childhood and adulthood, and I forgot to draw up boundaries. I never knew that was an option.
It just sounds so cold. Boundaries. In my mind it conjures up images of myself with a stick, spinning in a circle, poking at people and things, telling them to stay away. I realize boundaries are essential and not negative….but in my mind this is what happens. Hence the extreme guilt I feel when telling others, “no.” Might as well be physically pushing them away.
I am learning. AND….I am practicing. When I say no to a social outing or to helping someone out with a task that I really don’t have time for, I have to fight against myself. You see, I love to save people. So, when I am mentally and physically exhausted, and someone I care about needs something, the struggle between the maturing me, and the old me, is real. One says. ” They will think you don’t care if you can’t help.” The other says, “No, you helped last time, you’re tired from taking care of the children and your many other tasks…if you do this, you’ll have nothing left to give.”
I have some big changes coming up in life. Some are long overdue, and there is nothing like a new year looming, to make one want to begin those changes. Some of it terrifies me. However, the beautiful thing about becoming older and wiser, is understanding that most exhilarating changes seldom come without facing fear.
So let’s go, 2019. I have been blessed beyond measure in 2018….mistakes and all, messes, missed opportunities, and lost time…..still, life is good, and I am excited to keep fighting.