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{January 26, 2014}   Reflection: A Kinder, Gentler Me

Warning: this is not sweet and nice. Read ahead at your own risk.

January 11, 2014

If you’re anything like me, come January, you begin to reflect on the past year.  Where you were, how far you’ve come, and all that.  I’ve taken part of today to read over old blog posts.

This past year has been a rough one.  Maybe the rough patches don’t always make it into my blog – that’s ok.  But looking back, I see things that I did not recognize till it was too late.

And in a way, I prefer not to reflect. But it helps one grow.

I don’t know that all of the changes in my life have been positive ones.  I’m left with more questions than answers.  I’ve been pulled into a mess I never wanted a part of by people who should’ve minded their own business. There have been several people I really loved and respected that have completely let me down.  People I thought were my friends lied to my face, lied to my husband, talked behind my back, and gossiped about my child.  I’ve been accused of “digging for information” (because the lives of middle aged + women are so incredibly fascinating) and shunned because I didn’t choose sides.

I thought I was doing the right thing by trying to maintain all of my friendships.  The drama in question was not my business.

But it’s not theirs, either.

I’ve learned, through a series of events, that I had more liabilities in my life than I ever realized.

January 22, 2014

Those liabilities have done me a favor. I didn’t see it at the time, but now I recognize that’s what they did. By removing me from their lives, and the way they did it, I am able to see their true colors. I see that the friendships I thought I had were nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

Some of that has a bit more sting than I’d like. The Little General asked after me while CrazyMathLady was in from Africa. (My thought is she’s made my welfare none of her business and if she won’t talk to me, she need not talk about me.) And CrazyMathLady is still too closely aligned with Arsenic, et al, for my comfort. She says she’s not going to stop being my friend, even if I stop being hers. I believe actions speak loudly…. 7 years, lost. Of all the Bunco women that cut me loose? I miss the Higher Authority. I always saw her as a grown up version of Monkey 2, seeing the beauty in everyone and everything. Learning the truth about her was rough.

The past year has been one of many changes, and not all good ones. It’s hardened Real Chick. She doesn’t want to let anyone through that tough exterior because she sees that she cares too much and knows she’ll get too involved. She still has a heart the size of Texas and will bend over backward for a friend, but there won’t be as many with that label again. And Pioneer Woman questions things more. She’s less trusting, almost lost. Me? I’m disappointed. I want answers to the questions I don’t want to ask.

In the end, though, this past year has reinforced the Golden Rule for me. It’s made me appreciate the quality friends I have because the quantity was meaningless. It’s taught me that I’m stronger than I knew, better than I knew, and to stand behind my decisions, unpopular as they may be.

So this year is about a kinder, gentler me. This year is about taking care of my family and cultivating the friendships that are blessings in my life. My true friends and my family bring out a better version of me and that’s who I will discover this year.

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