I’m back. Life was hectic, the holidays were upon us and I had 1001 things I wanted to get done during my 1.5 weeks off from work. After about thing 271 I realized that I’m insane and I needed to try to do a little less with my time. I think this is part of the Catholic Guilt I have so ingrained in me. Idleness feels like I’m sinning or something and I’m sure someone more religious could even point to a verse in the bible about it.
Wait a minute, here’s one google found for me from Proverbs:
A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
Although I don’t have a direct hotline to God like Babci does, her religious beliefs rub off on me nonetheless. I really think laziness is one of the toughest vices to have and I feel bad for anyone that suffers from this horrible affliction. I fear it so much that it’s hard for me to schedule unplanned time just for the sake of it.
On a regular basis I over schedule myself and then have to go through an editing process to make things more reasonable again. I volunteer for too many things, or start one too many house projects and then it’s overwhelming. I work like hell to finish a bunch and then feel relief for a bit and then start the process all over again. Over the holidays, I had to edit out the internet completely (sorry readers) but now I’m at a point where I can add it back in again.
Sometimes you need a break from Certain People
Although I’ve gotten good at the stuff part of the equation, I still struggle with some relationships. I have a very strong sense of family and I have one cousin who really treats me and my family with a lot of disrespect, is miserable all the time and she always makes the holidays a stressful and frustrating time. She is either extremely late to things or does not show up at all, but then complains that the holidays are not what they used to be and throws herself a big pity party about how she’s all alone in the world. Without going into all the gory details, let’s just say this year, she did a couple of really selfish and unthinkably rude things two days in a row. One of them was not showing up to full blown extra Xmas dinner that we made especially for her because she wasn’t ready to visit for Xmas on the day, but was complaining of not having good food to eat. She cancelled, but not until the turkey was in the oven and we’d been cooking all day. This is not the first time we have made special plans for her and not the first time she’s done this exact same thing (shame on me for doing it again). The second event was even worse, but I won’t get into the details here.
I’ll tell you that I probably wouldn’t have changed my ways with her (because she is family) but this issue is also affecting 4 other family members. I’m the gatekeeper between her and them and it’s not my intent to abuse my immediate family and yet, here I am letting it happen. It’s funny how you can take more abuse than you can see given out to people you care for.
Anyway, I had lunch with my girlfriend that has multiple psychology degrees and she had some really good advice I had to share that helped me to my decision of not tolerating anymore. She is no longer getting invites to our house for the sake of our sanity. Here’s that advice:
- When someone repeats the same rotten behavior, don’t ask yourself what’s wrong with them, ask yourself what’s wrong with you for continuing to put up with it.
- Always bring relationship issues back to yourself. You are the only one in the pair that you can control so figure out what you need to change to either live with the relationship or terminate it.
- If you give things that are not appreciated, stop giving. In fact, the more you give, whether it’s money or time or food, the less it’s appreciated. (I can attest that Babci trying to force feed me all the time is not as appreciated as it probably should be).
- Don’t try to reason with someone who can’t hear you. Sometimes people are in a place in their lives when they can’t see beyond their own issues. It’s pointless to try to talk out your problems with them when they are not capable of hearing what you have to say. Even if what you say is very clear, they will distort it to something else that is more relevant to their own personal struggles.
- Too much forgiveness leads to entitlement. I always thought that I should never give up on someone, so I forgive readily. However, if you forgive someone all the time for their bad behavior, then eventually some individuals feel that it is okay to treat you that way. You are not only hurting yourself but hurting them for thinking they can act any way they please because there are no negative consequences to their actions. Forgiveness should also have some consequences attached to it to prevent the person from doing the same rotten thing to you a second or third time.
- Time is precious. Keep the things out of your life that make it miserable. Happiness takes planning. Sometimes changing for the better takes time to implement (like getting a new job), but being on the journey to the new destination is more than 1/2 the battle.
Other than that, our holidays were superb and I hope yours were too. Does anyone else have any sage wisdom to share about toxic people? I would love to hear it, especially as it relates to family and coworkers as they aren’t always so easy to just remove from our lives completely.