This weekend, I took the opportunity to clean out a few things that needed attention. A new sense of purpose and direction took over my focus, and it felt great. A change has emboldened me to continue packing with gusto, so I carefully cleaned every item I could for a few hours that needed to be wrapped and packed. So many breakables! I focused on my bookshelves, going up and down the ladder to retrieve my most precious heirloom items, and I got many of them packed away, with tender reverence.
While the DVR played old episodes of Saturday Night Live, I packed and enjoyed my solitude along with a few giggles from SNL's warped sense of humor that matches my own.
By the time 2:00am rolled around, I had seven boxes of items carefully put away into seal boxes to await the day they are carried out of this house for the last time. Let me tell you, I felt like celebrating, so I did. I took the time to do a happy dance in the living room, by myself. Well, the dogs watched with confusion, but it was a good moment.
Looking forward to change in our lives, being forced to go down a different path than expected can propel us to tackle things we never thought we'd confront. For me, going into action feels good and helps to remind me that life continues, through the good and the bad. Life has a way of rolling around, with or without you. Let the ongoing action in this world lead you to better times.
In my situation, I do what I can when my body cooperates and when it decides to go into shut-down mode, especially due to having a reconstructed cervical spine, I obey the order. I have found that it is better to listen to your body, than to have a situation that is spiraling out of control. For me, the hardware left permanently in my body can create massive swelling when I overdo things. Unfortunately, metal plates, bolts and screws do not have the tendency to bend or to be flexible with the natural movement of our body, so when I am moving a lot, the metal in me can create painful issues and swelling. Therefore, when I feel my arms and hands get tingles in them, I know it's time to call it a day.
That means that my Sunday of this past weekend did not turn out as I had planned. I wanted to go to the mall and shop for a dress, but I spent the day warding off swelling from doing too much the night before. But, the trade-off was worth it. I'll still make that trip to the mall this week sometime, I can't wait!
It looks like our house will be back on the market by the end of this week. It is a main priority for me to get the house ready for the sign to go back into the yard. There are no words to express how badly I want to be out of this house...it will be the best thing to happen for me in years. This time, the price will be reduced to better match the market's expectation, and I am fairly sure it will be the trick to get this bad boy sold. So, I also spent my Saturday cleaning linens and dusting things that begged to shine again. And as I dusted, I realized that my efforts to make those dusty items shine again is how I feel on the inside about myself...I am almost begging to shine again, but I don't think the Pledge treatment is going to do the trick.
As for me, I've always felt as if part of my role was to be the glue in the family. I never minded that part, except when I've continually been forced to pick up the shattered and scattered pieces, glue them back together, only to turn my back for a moment, yet hear it shattering all over again.
As my children grew up, I was glad to be a mother who would often sacrifice to be that glue, sometimes I was kept so busy gluing that I would nearly become depleted. But, for my children who are now adults, I'm thankful for the years I continually poured out the glue. However, I am no longer ecstatic about fixing problems other people cause; I've hit that wise point in my life where I have realized that I need to save my glue, for me.
Moreover, I don't want to waste any more time gluing something back together that is no longer salvageable or that is so carelessly and thoughtlessly re-broken due to a foolish person taking my heart's work forgranted and who always feels that I will somehow put it all back together and make it all better. Well, I'm using the glue that is left for me...yes...me. There comes a time when you must mourn the loss of something that had once been precious, then you discard the broken pieces and bravely move forward while being thankful that you have yourself to rely upon.
For us wives, mothers, daughters and sisters...this can be difficult to do. How can we even THINK the word "me?" Well, I am here to tell you through great experience, you better think "me" because you cannot expect anyone else to honor your own dreams, thoughts and desires better than the "me" side of you! It's great to share and to be a part of something bigger than yourself, but if you do not take care of the "me" part of the equation, there will be nothing left for you to share.
Be generous and sweet, but do not feel it necessary to pick up the mess that another adult makes. You can walk away and let them clean it up themselves. I figured something out...it's good for the destructive person to get on the ground and to search for the missing pieces of their implosion; it's good for them to be humbled and to do more than say "OOPS" with a shallow, meaningless apology as you finish doing the actual dirty work.
Instead, let them know what it's like to always clean up someone else's messy destruction. It will enlighten them and make them a better person. Sometimes, having to do it all ourselves makes us more aware, so we can become less destructive ourselves...knowing how hard it is to do the detailed repair work without any help. Of course, we all know those people who can't pull themselves together and who can't live a good life without someone continually pulling out the glue. I say, if you are an adult and have repeatedly and purposefully brought on bad situations into your life and the lives of your loved ones, then you need realize that the people who hold the glue will eventually start to avoid you. And no amount of manipulation or controlling techniques can make someone turn back around to help you once they are truly finished, you might as well be Medusa to them.
I will still do some gluing when necessary, especially for those who fall into hard times with suffering that comes without asking for it. I also honor other people who always try to be the glue because I know what that position feels like; I hope their day of freedom will also arrive. For those who serve as the glue and are appreciated for it while not being taken advantage of, by all means, keep gluing!
However, I will no longer be the glue in the same old way as I've been for the first 25 years of my adulthood. I had to be angry about it for a while, had to be mad that I was, yet again, left standing alone to put the broken pieces back together, broken pieces that should NEVER have been broken again. But this time, my system has been reconfigured and a big surprise is in store because I have realized...I don't have to do it anymore. I can walk away from the unrepairable disaster zone and save myself grief and misery that comes with gluing something back together again that I know deep down will simply be trashed again, very soon afterward. I've learned, it's inevitable with some people who never learn to quit being destructive.
Taking care of me is now a priority. Protecting myself is important. That other person can pick up their own mess and try to put a broken life back together by themselves because I'm not doing anything but working on my own broken shards that are off limits to anyone but me. On one hand, I feel amazing...I am finally honoring the part of me that is sick and tired of gluing when someone else carelessly breaks the same thing over and over. I can save my glue for times when it will really be needed and appreciated.
Do not worry, I will not start hoarding glue.
Believe me, my life will become much less complicated and less stressful while becoming more enjoyable and full of wholeness, instead of brokenness.
And my mantra for the time-being has become...
"I DO NOT HAVE TO BE THE GLUE!"