I'm approaching forty. Not right away, but soon. Maybe that is why I have been doing so much more navel gazing lately. I've also been reading all these books, by Liane Moriarty, that are about women and relationships and it makes me think about who I am and how I am perceived.
My friend, Katie, sometimes writes me emails about how she perceived me when we met- just little anecdotes in conversation- and they are always so different than how I remembered.
I wonder why I strive so hard to be the perfect wife, mom, hostess, friend, class mom, daughter when nobody seems to really like that kind of person. We all love to hear about their hidden insecurities, because it makes us feel better. Me, too. I wonder why that is. Maybe my friend Marchelle, the social psychologist would be able to tell me. I'll have to ask her about that later.
My sister, eight years older and wiser, tells me that when you reach a certain age, you stop caring so much what others think of you. I am starting to understand that and go with it. But it still doesn't make it more clear how to be more honest and true to myself. Even if I don't care if others think I'm great, don't I still want to be great for myself?
I am starting to realize that I am truly my hardest critic.
I am also trying to find a balance between control and letting things go. When I was young, I was not this organized. At all. I was a procrastinator- waiting till the night before my Shakespeare Lit class final to read every play by Shakespeare ever written, curled up on the couch until 5AM with Old English swimming before my eyes. I used to get drunk and not care, I used to fly by the seat of my pants. Over the years I've changed. I had to keep tight control over my world and not let anything fall through the cracks.
There were some reasons for this that are now changing. I can't talk about it here, but I am now starting to be allowed to not always be in control. I don't know how to adapt to that.
I am also sometimes overwhelmed with the responsibility of raising my children. I don't want to screw that up! I am charged with raising these children to the very best of my ability and while I can be forgiving if I let myself down, I am horrible about forgiving myself when I let them down. I know you will tell me that they are going to be fine, but I don't want them to be just fine! I want them to have the very best, most perfect foundation I can give them. God, I am ridiculous.
I know I need to RELAX. This is why I vacation so much. For some reason I can relax then. And I am doing better at letting go. This has been the theme of my whole year. Letting control go. My Christmas cards went out a week later than usual (even though I ordered them in October). I just didn't rush to get them out. And then someone commented that I didn't have the first Christmas card out this year and they were teasing me, but I still had a flare of panic that somehow I had let something slip. I am a crazy person.
And when life gets tricky- as it has been doing lately- I start to slide back into old controlling habits.
Huh. So there's that. Thank you for sharing this therapy time with me. Why do I write this out? Because maybe other people are having this same thought pattern and want to talk it out with me. So feel free to talk.
Does anyone want to have a book group discussion with me about this great book? Katie has started reading it and we are book clubbing by text. The audio version is the very, very, very best, but it's on sale on Kindle for only 3.99 right now. It's called Big Little Lies.
So now on to Christmas! And Joy! And a new recipe that I made last night that is simple, delicious, easy and not made with lentils! Perhaps I will post it tomorrow.