Friday, November 29, 2013

A Priority to be Happy: Sophrosyne

My brother is my best friend. I can tell him anything. Sometimes he might take a while to understand a point I'm getting at because of the different mindsets and experiences we've been in that shaped us and we don't see eye-to-eye; but in the end he's still my brother and I know he accepts me as I am. He's smart and funny and what I admire most about him is his ability to just be himself and do what he feels like doing. He can break something down in a black and white way and simplify a problem. As an older sister I always thought I have to be the example I have to get things right; but no, there's something I had wrong for a long time. I'm an anal person. I need to have control over my life, and while I was desperately holding on to the notion that I could actually control everything, I was controlling nothing in terms of my own happiness.

I went many years with the feeling of obligation, that I had to put everyone's needs first before my own. When I moved out during college it was the first time I "did me". It was hard but I did it, and it was thee most liberating feeling ever. I thought I was over my need to "please" until the next time and time after that, etc. It's a habit I can't quite stop doing it. Becoming a wife and mother has only made that habit worse because you naturally take better care of your family than you do of yourself.

I felt compelled lately to talk about goals more than anything else because that's what's been going on in my life and that's what I've been going back and forth with this year. I'm learning things daily about myself and about life. Sometimes I have to go to the store and it's on my mind about the things I need. I make a plan to go the very next day, but then the next day I wake up and I just don't feel like it. I say fuck it and leave it for the next day because it can wait and because well... "who gives a fuck"? If we don't have this that or the other; oh well...too bad/ so sad. Just suck it up, we will live without that item for a day or two. Needing milk for a child is one thing, but needing to go out there to buy $200 worth of groceries when you still have more than a few things in your fridge/freezer and pantry to cook is just consumerism taking over your life. Seriously, think about what compels you to spend despite the lack of a real need. Ever since I have adapted my brother's mentality about doing what makes me happy I've been this much more stress-free. Sure I have to deal with the daily time constraints of being on time to and from taking my daughter to school; I can't take her when I feel like of course. Sure I still have to be on time to Dr appointments, etc, but for the most part I do what I wanna do and if I don't want to, too bad. If' it isn't essential to my family's well-being then to hell with it. If it's essential to my goals then it better be prioritized differently.

I have another situation unfolding soon and it's causing me anxiety and pushing me back to the road of obligation, promises, and keeping my word despite the roller-coaster of my new found "do what I feel like when the time comes attitude". I'm not sure how I'll handle it, but for now I leave you with these 5 points:

  • Put yourself first. My friends and I laugh at an inside joke about the example of the plane safety rule: "Secure your own oxygen mask first before helping others." Maybe it should really be applied to life as well. 
  • Listen to your gut/Things happen for a reason: If my gut is saying stay home, it's best for me to stay home. Bad things have happened on many days I pushed myself to go places I didn't want to go because I felt obligated. Many times I have overslept, or ran late because of something and I get on the road frustrated about the unforeseen event that made me late. Low and behold there's a serious accident that just occurred, and had I been on time I would've been right in the middle of. God is great, I always pray for guidance. 
  • You don't always have to confront...yea I know what a shock that's coming from me. Sometimes the best option is avoidance. I used to confront people about everything. Now I just remove people from my FB feed so I don't see the bullshit they post that irks me and stay the hell away from stupid people. It's just easier to be quiet and far removed from bullshit. It only brings out the worst in you, whether it's anger/annoyance or idle gossip. I don't have time for it.
  • Stay positive and keep yourself occupied on the things that make you happy and productive. If you're busy working on what's important to you, you don't have time to get distracted and lose focus. 
  • Love your family. I mean really love them. Make time for them, and give them lots of affection. It's not just for them, it's your support system. No dream could ever come true without the help of others. Maybe it's one extra person or ten extra people. It doesn't matter. Acknowledge your friends, your family and give support as well. It helps reinforce the reasons behind the need for creating a better you.
Why We Shop: The Neuropsychology of Consumption