from all the pretty horses by cormac mccarthy
sandstorm leaving southeast idaho last year.
a. most (not all, but most) of the things i stress about are completely out of my control, i.e. unsuccessful pregnancies, child starvation, the age gap between my kids, student loan debt interest, foreclosure rates and foreign wars...
b. bad things are going to happen. they just are. tires will burst, dumb people will somehow weasel their stupid opinions into your life, blah. i can't control what other people will do, but i can control how much i allow myself to be around said dumb people. i.e., if someone that adds stress to your life is inevitably around, focus on other people that you actually like and don't subject yourself to that person.
c. i have been pulling stressful things into my life, for my whole life.
- on c., i want to clarify - not on purpose. just because i thought i needed to "pull stress" to me because it was required of me to be a good person. making decisions prematurely, setting unrealistic goals, volunteering for things i don't have time for. spending time and energy trying to create or foster or nurture relationships that are more poisonous than good. see?
so here is what i've done.
i only choose to involve myself with people that i feel make a positive influence in my life. i don't walk around saying "talk to the hand," to people who are negative, i'm still polite, jeez. but i'm trying to create this... i guess "emotional community". so it's not like a physical thing, it's an emotional thing. an emotional realm of people that i like. there's this lady that my mom knows who is super nice and super uplifting. she and i have almost nothing in common. i don't particularly want to hang out with her and swap snuggies... but i do like her, she makes me smile and she doesn't gossip. lady, here is your ticket into my emotional community. meaning, she is invited to be in my life. i will have meaningful conversations with her if the chance arises. meanwhile, there's this super annoying lady who is constantly trying to tell me all of the juicy gossip of the neighborhood while she complains on and on about how frustrating it is that she can't stay un-pregnant. bye bye. peace. i will still smile at you and say hello and offer help if you need it. i'll open doors for you and if you needed it, i would clean your house and make a meal. but no, you are not invited to my emotional community.
i don't volunteer or say yes when i shouldn't... when i don't have time or energy. i do what i can the very best i can and hope that's enough.
i exercise and breathe and sleep like a champ.
i avoid even thinking about people that irk me. i've had quite the therapy in deleting facebook friends and for those who i can't delete without causing offense, i hide from my little newsfeed thingy. it works like a charm.
do you get it?
the effort that i was putting into befriending/maintaining/obligatory visiting/all that other stuff is now being directed toward much more cathartic activities. like spending more time playing with gage.
i've wondered.. is this selfish? sometimes i think yes, but then i pause and remember my new creed. which is....
i can and should feel peace every moment of every day.
some people are addicted to drama, like, their eyes light up when they realize that a fight is about to happen or someone wants their weasley opinion about someone else. i think i used to be this way, but i am not any more. thank heavens. i don't want to talk about other people. i don't want to know the bad things they do or the gossip-worthy scandals they're involved in. i don't want to hear about more sadness. now, obviously, if someone has a problem, they can come to me and talk to me. especially if their problem is with me. but if you're a third-party, i don't want to hear about it. even if i'm involved.
when steven and i were just barely married, we didn't worry about things. if it was stressful, we just laughed it off as we worked through it. we didn't let it consume us. but then life became so complicated - money and medical bills and responsibilities and societal pressures to conform to... what? some undefined something, following a timeline that has been arbitrarily chosen for all mormon couples to follow?
but that's not the point! hello?! the point is that life is passing us by so so so fast. it can be over like THAT and then it's done. and everything we did on earth is forgotten by us, by everyone, except for the cool stuff. like being a really good mommy, or living abroad, or the hilarious practical jokes that we played on each other, or the talents we cultivated... not the money, not the things, not the friends in high places... do you see?
so, to all of my faithful readers who never comment, and to the sweetie-pies who do, let's live, okay? i'm tired of sadness, i'm over it. i'm happy. i don't take sleeping pills anymore. big indicator that life is good over here. i love it. i love breathing, i love sleeping, i love walking, i love writing, i love talking and learning. especially learning about other people and places.
so if you are one of those people in my emotional community, or you'd like to be (it is a really nice gated community with a clean community pool and free milk shakes), then talk to me about things of substance. tell me about what you think about life and what you've read recently and how you feel about things.
i'm not waiting anymore, i'm not worrying anymore.
i'm happy, wholly, completely, sans-stress, happy! and it's awesome!