Monday, May 04, 2009

Introducing Myself ...

I wasn't planning on posting this morning. When I post something over the weekend, I usually leave it at the top of my blog for all those who swing by on Monday morning when they arrive at the office.

But then I read a post on my friend Jane's blog and wrote a comment that was more like a post unto itself.

And here we are.

As part of her post, Jane wrote, "I think you should treat people better than you want to be treated."

To which I replied:

I do this myself. No, check that. I *did* this myself. Until very recently. And then, one day about a month ago, my new life philosophy came to me in a flash: No more crumbs.

I haven't written people off entirely, but I've stepped back with the expectation that they step forward. If someone tells me they're going to get in touch with me about having dinner and then they don't, then we don't have dinner.

I don't expect them to come all the way to me. And I don't keep a scorecard to ensure that everything is exactly even all the time, but I've been the giver and the doer my entire life and I've finally learned to chill and assess the status of my relationships. If they fade because I'm not putting forth all the previous effort, then they the lack the substance they need to sustain them.

Everyone gets busy, I know. So I'm flexible, but I'm not a pushover.

Not anymore.

And then, once I got a few sips of coffee in me, my brain started to take the idea further.

There are people who do not like me. They will never like me. No amount of hoop-jumping or nice-being on my part will change that. They have decided that I am a certain person and no one will ever convince them otherwise.

Until very recently, I would have tried. And tried. And tried. I was the wind-up toy that made its way to the wall and could go no further, walking in place, walking in vain.

But in these past few months, I've tried, mightily, to shift my energy. And with that effort, I've picked up my wind-up toy self and turned myself away from the wall, turned myself in a new direction. It feels good to be moving again.

I know the truth of who I am. And most of the people in my life know it, too. Yesterday on the phone with Rick, I was talking about the run-up to 40 and the shape my life is taking. It's almost as if I can watch myself putting the pieces into place, the pieces of who I want to be, moving forward.

These pieces, of course, have always been a part of me. I've just recently excavated and dislodged them from their dusty bounds of fear. It is a slow, delicate process, very much like archaeologists gently brushing grit away from objects in the earth.

For some people, I guess life really does begin at 40. Or, technically, 39.

It's a process, to be sure. And I am grateful for my new-found awareness and resolve.


Blogger Mercurie said...

You make a very good point, Beth. I think all of us at one time or another have put a lot of effort into a friendship only not to have that effort returned. I don't think anyone should waste their time on someone who isn't giving as much effort to keep a friendship alive.

8:58 PM  

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