An Important Lesson

I’m learning to include myself on my to-do list.  Okay wait, perverts, that’s not what I meant.

I get it from my mom: focus on everybody else and then feel sorry for yourself later that you didn’t spend any energy on yourself.

I’m learning that my current way of service is no longer acceptable.  Thank God for this little being that is growing inside of me to teach me lessons like this at the most opportune times.  There has been a bit of a rude awakening to those around me who are used to the Maggie from last week (or, more accurately, last month or so – but “SO LAST WEEK” sounds more fun).

A couple of weeks ago, I realized that if I continue down this path of making everybody else happy and not including myself , then I’m a path to self-destruction and – worse – a path of neglect towards my family.  It’s a tough lesson to be learned – but it must be done.

Now, I have people who are dependent on me – such as the pastor, certain friends, even some relatives …  and these are people who I’ve always wanted to be dependant on me.  I have always wanted people to see me as a go-to girl.. someone who can help solve your problems.  A helper.  A people pleaser.  I enjoy making others happy and feeling as though I had some part in their good day.

Be secretly, deep down inside, where I hoped it would never surface, I’ve realized that I only wanted to be that person so that people would recognize and remember me. So that I would feel appreciated and adored for all of my hard work.

But, recent events have taught me that no matter how hard I labor for someone else, the satisfaction may or may not even be theirs… It might still never be good enough or done enough… or my way of doing things might not quite be in line with the way they see things to be done.  Whereas, my new selfishness that is surfacing is resulting in my having more respect for myself…. it’s about me gaining satisfaction in the things that I do.  And, while that sounds incredibly self-serving, I believe that it’s actually creating a healthier environment in my home with my family.  And, perhaps, I’m earning respect from my peers at the same time.  Maybe I’ll no longer be the go-to girl who never turns down a special favor …. but instead I’ll be the one to ask if there’s something important that I might want to be involved with.

Now, in my brain and on this blog entry this is all starting to sound very philosophical.  And, perhaps some friends or family might see me as being very  egotistical.  But, to keep it simple, I see my new efforts as well-intended.

If I’m going to raise a family in this home, I need to make sure that I’m home to do it.  Something that I’ve said to the Pastor recently that I just can not get out of my mind due to the pure honest of it is this: “It kills me that my number one priority has always been to raise my children and have a husband in a Christian home, and yet I’m never home to spend time with my family.”

So here I am – learning to say “no.”  Learning to finally stand up for myself – to respect my own time – to truly love my daughter.  But, I repeat that this is not easy.

I’m getting e-mail from people asking me if I’m still on top of some of the things that have been assumed of me… and instead of feeling guilty and getting right back on it, I have to say, “no, I’m sorry. I don’t have time…  There’s a gorgeous two year old here serving me a cup of pretend hot tea and I must get back to the party.”

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2 Responses to “An Important Lesson”

  1. chelle Says:

    I think your response is perfect. Sadly life’s responsibilities will always be there, will you always have a two year old wanting to have tea with you?

  2. Garnet Says:

    Wow. It takes a lot of courage to say No and to pull yourself out of the go-to-girl position. It also takes a lot of courage to admit why you wanted to be so in the first place. I started saying “no” only about 2 years ago and I still struggle with it. Especially with a particular person or two in my life *wink* It’s almost like an addiction. It felt so good to get clear of always taking care of everyone else but once I’d dip my toe in to do just a teenie bit from the bottom of my heart, I felt such a strong pull to dive back into it. Just beware of that down the road. And let it be okay. Because it is okay.
    I admire you for setting your limits now. I can only imagine how overwhelming it has all been for you. Good for you for taking a step aside from the fast lane. Enjoy the second half of your preggers and get ready for new baby! (Honey said, “Poor *hubby* gonna live with three girls!” when I told him! Then I reminded him that your dog is a girl too! LOL).

    Take care! You go girl!

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