Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Importance of Being Me.

Something happens to me as the New Year approaches  that makes me reflective. That's normal right ?  Every year I look back and think about the year that was, and to try to define whether or not on the whole it was a "good" year. Sometimes there is more trial and tribulation and other years more joy and jubilation.

Life rarely turns out the way we think it will.  Events occur in our lives - it's inevitable. Constant change is part of life. Often those events define who we become, often without us even realising it's happened. We tread a different path. We tell ourselves  it's not forever,  that it's just a fork in the road , that a situation is temporary and eventually the road will lead you back where you "belong". What I've discovered is that the road doesn't always fork back to where you left off . Sometimes you have to beat a path back or accept the path you're travelling  will lead you where you need to be.

Circumstances over the last five years have swept me along in their wake and I've just gone with the flow because I felt I had no choice.  And  for a long long time I've put "me" on the back burner because I felt other people needed me more and that eventually my time would come. 

Over the last few months I've realised my life is not a dress rehearsal. I've realised I need to live my life in ways that will ensure my happiness and whole-ness as a human being  and that I need to create the life I want to live. I've realised I've been so busy doing for others that I've forgotten how to "do " for myself.

I've slowly over time morphed into other people's expectations of me. A lot of the time I am the carefully crafted role others have decided I will play to make their lives comfortable and predictable. And I've lost a lot of who I want to be in the process.

One of the reasons I write my blog is because here I get to be the me I want to be.  The me I am without all the expectations people have of me in the real world.  I like the me I am here. I think the me I am here is actually the real me that struggles at times to rear her head in real life.

I'm pretty much over the pressure of being that other me.   I've been doing the "right" thing my whole life and still stressing out about whether or not it's "right" enough. I'm drawing a line in the sand  and saying here is  where I stop being so hard on myself. Here is where I stop expecting perfection of myself and here is where I start telling myself "I did the best I could and that's all I can expect of myself ". Here is where I start living a life.

It may surprise you to know I'm not brave about the small things but I embrace major change with gusto. I think there will be a lot of gusto in 2011. It's highly probable you won't notice it - but the people around me in real life will and it's likely to make for some very interesting times. Oh and I'm planning to get brave about the little things too.


Kate said...

Hard to imagine you not being you in the real world outside of the electronic bits and bites you share on your blog. Here's to gusto and braveness, can't imagine you without either.

Helsie said...

You know, I think most of us get to where you are at the moment. It might even come with age. You all at once take a good look, rationalise your actions and reactions and realise that you are mature enough to finally tred your own path without needing approval from anyone else. You've figured it out. You're ready to be YOU with confidence. Most of it is only small things- more in the way you think - and many people won't see a change in you. It's on the inside.
Have a wonderful year - no LIFE !!!

Unknown said...

I remember about a lifetime ago, listening to a newscaster that was very popular here in Canada for his personal comments each time he did his news stuff.
One day he asked "who is the most important person in your life?"
I looked at my four little children as I was making lunch and listening to the news, thinking about the question and who was the most important person in my life....8 minutes later he said "If you answered anyone else but've been cheating yourself!"
He then went on to say that if we look after our happiness, then we share it with others, it's infectious...that's you Shay, you make me happy even when you moan about some little thing, it's the bloggers we visit who make our lives just a little bit more important....can we ask for anything more?
Happy New Year!

Jenn said...

Good for you!
Be bold!
Be brave!
Be frank...or Shay...whichever you like best at the moment!
Anyway, thanks for's nice to see the insight!
Happy New Year!

Helen McNaught @ AuntyHennys said...

Many years ago I read this little piece....

"stop worrying about filming the video ...... BE in the video". It was about how we all worry about taking enough photos, taking the video of every birthday, christmas etc but we forget to actually be IN the moment, share the joy of the birthday. I thought about this for a long time and started just BEING. I love living MY life,I love my family, I love my home (not tidy but well lived in), I love my sewing and craft - I now participate in my life instead of standing on the edge looking in!
Thanks Shay for putting into words your thoughts about being YOU!

Pokey said...

Thank you for the smile you gave me today. That fork for me has come with age, you are younger than I, and quite wise.

Paulette said...

I really get what you're saying, Shay. There's something about getting to this point in life and having those kinds of realizations, I think. I look forward to what the new year will bring--or what we will bring into the new year, is probably more accurate.

Andrea said...

I can really understand what you have written. I hope you can blog through some of these processes, it will inspire us as well!
Thanks for sharing,

Brenda said...

The other day I realized that I don't even know your name - and now, here it is on your blog posts - Shay- a lovely name - nice to meet you. I love that you're going for the 'gusto' - a great word and attitude! Getting older is fabulous, if only because we realize what is important and are able to stop listening so much to those 'other' voices.

Marie said...

go for it girl ... !!!! just leap don't look first !!!!

Lisa said...

Aww, I even like you when you're serious! LOL!

I do think that it's something most women fall into slowly- losing ourselves, that is. Funny how it doesn't seem to happen to men, isn't it?

I am very impressed with your resolution and I have 150% confidence in you. I know that you can do anything or be anyone. Including yourself. Rock on sista!

Sara said...

The excellent thing about blogging is that when we begin, we answer to noone but ourselves, and by the time people are reading and commenting, we've gotten into the swing of being ourselves in the writing. It's much easier to be honest to random people from a long way away than it is to the people around you, and it's much easier once you've got that little bit of self-truth going for it to spread to the rest of your life, than it would be for us to simply push for self-honesty in real life without the blog-taught knowledge that we can succeed at it.

You're right about it not being a dress rehearsal; life is gunna happen, time is gunna keep plodding on, whether we like it or not. So we may as well have fun along the way.

Kirsten's Cooking said...

Shay - loved this post - I am certain that this will be a great year for you! You are a great writer, and I can tell that you've thought through this post for a while. I can see you and Mr P living it up this next year - you finally are empty nesters! enjoy and please continue to take us along for the ride :)

AnnieO said...

There it is, your word for the year: GUSTO. Can't wait to hear how you get at it!

I for one had the "need to please gene" skip over me, so feel lucky...also I found perfection to be overrated long ago and while I don't like to make mistakes and try to correct them before they get out of my hands, it doesn't kill me if something isn't perfect (especially if it is handmade!) Hope you find a happy place to go to when the perfection nag inside you won't shut up!

thea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thea said...

I, for one, am very thankful that you blog. I really enjoy reading your thoughts and comments (and all the other things, too).

A few years ago (I think), I realized that I had spent most of my adult life waiting for things to be the way I thought they should be, waiting for things to get better, waiting to have fun. So, I made a conscious decision that I was going to do the things that I enjoy doing. I don't/didn't want to be 80 years old and wonder where my life went and wonder why I was so miserable and why all the good things had passed me by. This was probably because I turned 50 and knew that I was not a teenager anymore -- life was going to pass me by if I didn't stop and enjoy it. I don't have it down, but I like to think I am more on track. I think it's better to live now instead of hoping for a better tomorrow. Of course, it really is more of an attitude change than an action change. So it may look like I'm doing the same old thing, but hopefully I'm doing the same old thing because I want to and not because someone expects me to.

seabreezequilts said...

Good on you Shay, we all need to be a little bit braver and be happy to be us and live the life we want to live.

Michelle said...

Lovely post on a very important topic. Way to go, Shay. Bravo, bravo!

Elizabeth said...

I'm not brave in big or small ways. I really admire you for being true to yourself. I hope that 2011 is a really great year for you!

xo -El

Jennifer said...

Yep, can women we spend a lot of time as we go through our lives trying to please other people, parents, boyfriends, partners, children, bosses.....and lose sight of ourselves in the process. I once read that as we age we become the person we were always meant to be, whether that person is good or not - who can tell, but at least it is the true person. Looking forward to meeting your true self!

Deb said...

It normally takes a long time to realise that the most important person in your life should be yourself. I think it is so easy for us to loose ourselves to others and in the events of life. You go and enjoy being you. Enjoy doing for the hell of it, because YOU want to and not because you think its expected of you. Laugh, love and live being you.

Kirsten said...

Hey Girl...was that blog post the real Shay or the blog Shay..just kidding... I like the blog Shay and the telefone Shay...and don´t get to serious...scares me cause I than feel like I should get the thinking about my life too...and that is freightening:-))

Janice said...

Shay - I like the real you. You make me laugh and keep me amused and share yourself with gusto. Keep being you. I think its pretty good.

Baa-Me Kniits said...

I really loved this post....Well done to you and hooray for embracing the real yoga teacher had this saying going all year for us and I really liked it "Be yourself, Nobody can tell you you're doing it wrong!"
You are right this is not a dress rehearsal!! Hope the ones closest to you take it gracefully...and tough if they don't :-) Roll on 2011!

Anonymous said...

Many moons ago, I had an epiphany of great importance. It was a time when I was feeling "put upon" by my husband, my daughters and the world in general. Having been born "a pleaser," I felt that I could not please anyone anymore to the level expected of me. While soaking in a bubbly tub of warm water, the bathroom door locked and a glass of sherry in my hand, I decided that no one else could be responsible for my happiness. It had to start within me. I actually liked "me" and if I didn't live up to others expectations, "****" them. It's been three decades since that night and I am a happier person (most of the time). When life throws those damn barbs, it's one foot in front of the other. Go for it!
Helen (Nanci's private teacher)

Unknown said...

you have a lovely blog
best wishes

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Unknown said...

Love it...Love your Blog & Your Expression of Life....
Woohoo for You...Gusto Yep Looking forward to reading all about that!!!
happy new year...

Lisa said...

You only get one chance, so stop and enjoy the roses. Sometimes I feel caught up in the roller coaster of busyness, good to reflect and think about what's most important.
A friend gave me a fun little thing I hung in the sewing room, it says "when life gives you scraps, make quilts!" Life's a struggle- dead fish flow with the current, live ones swim against it. Thinking of you!

Vesuviusmama said...

Bravo! I had to read twice looking for the little jokes that I missed but nope, they weren't there! I love this declaration, this emancipation proclamation, of yours!