I’ve been reflecting on my year gone by, in therapy, as well as my goal for this year – which is “deep healing”. I’ve made a lot of progress. There has been a lot learned. There is a long way to go – but I’ve started to realize I’m not unique in that. Everybody has areas of growth they can be working on.
This is going to be an interesting time. I’m moving to seeing A every two weeks. I’ve privatized the blog. I won’t be travelling ‘home’ to see my family until December – that is the longest I’ve ever been away from that house. One year and two months. I’m giving myself time.
The next step is to unclutter and uncomplicate my life. To slow the fuck down. To be mindful of how I spend my time. To ask what makes me feel good? What doesn’t? What do I need, and what do I want? How do I assert myself without compromising my relationships? What do boundaries look like? How does this new way of living fit into my old life? How do I simplify my side business? How do I manage my finances now that I am assuming there is no money coming my way from my parents? How do I prevent myself from overscheduling, but also ensure that I don’t isolate?
These were all questions that crossed my mind as I was doing dishes today. I don’t know about you, but doing the dishes is often where I get my best ideas. And I was really trying to connect with myself, and thinking about how much I’ve grown, how I know why I behave the way I do, but I don’t know a lot about the new me. And I came up with these five goals. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to pursue them, I’m thinking about it and being really mindful, but these are areas I would really like to see some growth in over the next year in therapy with A, and also in my pursuit of “deep healing” this year.
1. Stick To A Schedule – But Be Flexible
Super counterintuitive, I know. This challenges my tendency to be a ‘yes-man’, saying yes to everyone and everything. Feeling like I owe people my time or my energy. The other day, a friend asked for my help with something. First, this is a friend who seems to appear suddenly when she needs things. But second, this is also a friend who has previously really been there for me. She asked me to do something. I said sure, when I had time. She told me that she only had 24 hours. My first thought was “your lack of planning is not my emergency”, but yet I fit her into my schedule. These are the kind of things I want to stop doing. I want to plan my time in a general way, and leave room for days where I don’t feel up to it. I want to not be hard on myself when things change, and to allow for room to change my mind, but also encourage not giving up.
2. Set Realistic Goals – And Don’t Give Up
I am a mother-fucking perfectionist. If it isn’t perfect, I don’t want to do it. My business is actually really great at challenging this part of me. I want to quit all. the. time. but I can’t. I can’t because I need the money. I can’t because it would be such a disservice to myself. I have to learn to accept the failures and the shortcomings and that perfectionism isn’t actually a thing. I usually give up at the first sign that the original plan isn’t going to work. I want to challenge my perfectionism, while encouraging adaptability.
3. Be Aware Of Old Patterns
This is huge, and challenges me to be incredibly self aware and to continue to develop healthy relationships with others. There is this man, at work, who behaves in a very similar way to my brother. He’s not abusive, he lacks that side of it – he isn’t a narcissist. However, he is very ‘woe is me’ and ‘everything is horrible’, and he can be incredibly self-deprecating, yet makes fun of others. However, as soon as someone makes fun of him, he gets really sad, and upset. And I enable the crap out of him. I didn’t really realize I was doing it until Dave pointed it out. But I do. I enable him, I tell him he’s right, and that it’s okay, and that he has every right to be upset (he does sometimes, but mostly he doesn’t), but then I secretly am thinking he needs to grow up and act his age. And I gossip about him – because I do think he is incredibly hypocritical (he makes fun of other people, when they get mad he says “oh, suck it up” but as soon as someone makes fun of him, then he’s right for being mad?). I need to stop enabling him, stop talking about it, and really draw the line in the sand that we are coworkers, and deal with him on that level instead of encouraging behaviour I find awful – and being really disingenuous in the process.
4. Stop Asking For Permission To Have Needs
This Is HUGE. I realized how often I was doing this today. Instead of saying to my husband “I would like some alone time right now”, I go “do you want to do something by yourself?” and if he says no, I go along with whatever he wants to do. At Wendy’s today (he was eating, I was not), I asked him “Do you want to take your drink to go?” instead of saying “Now that you’re finished eating, I would like to go.” Not asking for permission doesn’t mean trampling over everybody, but it does mean allowing space for my needs, and also being open to negotiation. For example, saying “I need alone time right now”, but having my husband say “I was really wanting to do something together”, means we can continue the conversation. I do this ALL the time, ask for permission to have needs. I have needs. I’m allowed to have needs. And I need to respect them more, in order for other people to respect them as well. This is all about setting boundaries, reflecting them, and respecting them.
5. Reduce My Need For Outside Validation & Praise
I have this intense desire to be told I’m doing a good job. I had a good game in dodgeball on Thursday, and I congratulated myself in our team chat the next day. I told everyone at work when I had a major success in a project, instead of letting my work reflect it. I want praise, and validation, and it simply does not mean enough to me unless its coming from someone else. It’s basically me going “I think I did good, did I do well? What do you think?” There is a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence. This is (along with #3) going to be my biggest challenge, I think. I need to re-develop confidence in my own work and realize that the love and respect people have for me doesn’t change with the quality of the work I do, it doesn’t depend on it. In fact, I think it makes most people frustrated when I ask for validation. I need to do my work, take pride in it, and let others tell me when they feel like telling me, that I did a good job.
These are the five goals I’m going to work towards. I really don’t think you can have giant milestones for these things. They are slow, they happen over time. I really want to be mindful of the words I’m saying, the actions I’m doing, the emotions I’m having. I want to be aware of how I am presenting myself. I want to slow down and remember that the words I say and the way I act is reflected back on to me. The longer you say something, or believe something, or put it out into the universe as truth – the truer it becomes.
I’m slowly but surely building a scheduled, regulated life. And while that scares me, I’m starting to see the benefits. And I’m hoping to slowly move towards these goals over time.