Friday, December 26, 2008

Reflections and Resolutions

I don't know if it's just the aftermath of Christmas and that everything has slowed down a bit, or it's the fact that I've had several much-needed days off in a row... but I'm feeling peaceful.
Inspired and connected.
Stronger and more determined.

I've been thinking about my New Year's resolution for this year and rather than focusing on outward "things" like I do most years... this year, I'm going to try and focus more internally.
Yep, I know I need to lose weight. I know I need to get more exercise. I need to eat healthier. I need to get so many things in order. But just saying that, doesn't get it done... or give me the incentive to do what needs doing.

I always put everyone first - and myself last. I'm a giver... that's just what I do.
Having trouble? I'm the first to call and offer support.
Need a listening ear? Call me up and I'll be there.
Are you lonely, upset or at your wits end? Drop on by. The kettle is always on and I've got broad shoulders.
Need milk or you're going to be running late? Sure... leave the kids here.

Now see, I like that about myself. I really do. I like that I don't have to work at it or force it, because it just comes naturally. My mom used to complain when I was young that I was "the champion of the underdog"... and that I gave too much. I gave too freely and without always looking to see what the repercussions would be.

I still do that.

Oh, I may be a little fussier nowadays, when it comes to dragging home angst-filled teenage boyfriends and every sad-eyed looking puppy on the street, but I still get friends - or friends of friends - or parents of my little charges - asking for help, or just needing someone to talk to.
And I find it hard to say no.
And I don't want to stop that entirely.
I really don't.

But I do need to start thinking of myself and putting myself - and not only with just my life, but with my life with my guy - first.
Without my batteries being fully charged or re-charged, I have no juice left in me to share with anyone else.
What I could do with ease in my younger years, is becoming harder to do as I get older... and I end up feeling more and more drained and resentful.
I need balance, and I need to start working on getting that balance, so the buck officially stops here.

So here's my New Years resolution.
I'm going to get one of those business clocks. You know, the one with the open and closed hours on it ? And it will be stuck on the wall just outside the front door.
Monday... 9-5 Tuesday... 9-4:30 Well, you know what I mean.
From now on, when my work day "officially" starts at 9 am (or 7:45 or whatever is scheduled), any parent who shows up 25 minutes early, can just plant their butt on the bench on the front porch, and wait until 9 o'clock or 7:45. That extra 25 minutes is ME time and no one is gonna get away with it anymore. That door - and this business - will remain closed until it's time to open for the day.

See, I get up at 5am most mornings. I check through my favorite blogs first thing, while I'm having my first cup of coffee for the day and then I get my cute little bum in gear. I jump in the shower and get ready for the day... and then there's vacuuming and mopping and tidying of the playroom to be done... and I usually have just about 30 minutes at the end of those chores, to simply sit down and relax for a bit. That's 30 minutes of me time. But do I get it?
Invariably, I always have a parent show up early, since they need to get to the store/ to work/ to school early... and it's just easy for them, because I'm on the way. It's convenient for them. Or they want to run to the store on their way home from work, so they'll be 15 minutes late.
Do I do it? Yes.
Do I mind? Yes, again.
Is it convenient for me? No.
Will I continue to do it? NO I won't.

And friends who think that just because I work from home, and think that I have some kind of glorified life where I get to sit on my arse all day and get paid for it... well, they need to find someone else to visit with.
And they need to think again.

Hey, y'all are welcome, but you need to help with the craft work or washing hands and faces, doing the dishes, playing with the kids, wiping noses, changing bums or whatever it is I need to do. Because this is my JOB and it's what earns me my living and pays the bills.

Do NOT expect me to drop everything and listen to your troubles, when I'm busy working. Would I go visit you at the bank/grocery/store insurance office or where ever it is that you work... and ask you to drop everything make me a cup of coffee during your working hours, or turn a blind eye to your clients so that you can listen to my tales of woe?
No... of course I wouldn't.
So why do I let them do it to me?
Because I'm nice.
Too nice.
Now, there's nothing wrong with being nice... but from now on, my being available to every Tom Dick and Harry is gonna stop and it's going to be on my terms from now on.

I want to start walking again. Not just for my health, (although I know I need to do it for that reason as well) but simply because walking for half an hour at the end of the day, well... it gives me a chance to unwind and reflect on things. It recharges my batteries. It gives me a bit of a breather, and gives me the energy to do what needs to be done at the end of the day.

But in order to do that, I need to have a firm finish to my day. When a parent books until 5, that means 5... NOT 5:30, simply because they need a liter of milk and it's easier for them to go to the store, when they don't have their children with them.
From now on, it's gonna be : "honey, you had 'em, YOU deal with 'em now".
When I'm done for the day... I'm done for the day. It's closing time...the doctor ain't in... my shoulders and listening ears are off duty... and I want - and need - to focus 100% on myself , my guy and our needs now.

The diet and the exercise resolution? Yes, those need to be done and I do plan on doing them, but I need to have balance in my life first and foremost. So that I have the energy to focus on them and to focus on myself, my guy... and God from whom all blessings flow...


Narelle Nettelbeck said...

Yay to you! I like your resolutions. Stand firm and don't be swayed, you may not win any friends but you will start to feel more in control! Enjoy your walks.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I'll say it again. GOOD FOR YOU!

Out Back said...

I know the feeling exactly, I think it comes with the job.

It is a lovely time of the day just before dark to go walking especially if the weather is nice.

Good luck with your resolution and stay strong and as Narelle said try not to be swayed.


Sherri said...

That's exactly how my Mom was, took her awhile to figure out that people were taking advantage of her good nature. I've noticed Josh and Bec seem to take after their Mothers. I on the other hand take after my Dad, I'm just mean and onery...hahaha Good luck with your resolution Katie

Kathy said...

You Go Girl!! You should definitely do this and stick by your guns. If you let them they'll walk all over you and not because they are inconsiderate necessarily. But because you are there and so convenient. So stand up for you and take that walk and reflect on days gone by or days to come and have some ME time.

Anonymous said...

You are sweet to be concerned, but the mammies got grammed Friday because it seemed like as good a time as any. :) I had my first one last year on Halloween! How's that for a Halloween to remember? :)

Hope you had a great Christmas!

RoyalInsignia said...

May be you could send a letter home politely explaining that you would be happy to help only from now on there will be a 50.00 charge for early drops or late pickups. Or something like that.:-)

Angelena said...

I think the clock idea is a great idea. I too am a giver so I know exactly what you mean.

Tatersmama said...

Narelle... Thanks! I had a long walk - and a long "think" last night and it felt just wonderful!
We can do anything we put our minds to, so here's to standing firm!

tatertales...This made me smile, as did your other comment. I just thought "WHEW!" I was gettin' a bit worried there! I need to get my boobies trapped again, but it's just so hard finding the time. :o(
Goodonya for doing it!

OutBack... Hun, I know that you and Narelle KNOW what it's like and I'm grateful that I'm in such good company! Your support and kind words mean more than you know. :o)

Sherri...I'm proud to think that I'm even a little bit like your Mom - because from everything I've ever heard, she was a wonderful person. She raised you, didn't she?

Kathy... I know they don't mean to be inconsiderate, and I know that I made the rod for my own back - so it's up to me to change it. And change it I will! The support of friends can make all the difference, can't it!

Royallnsignia... Smart thinking, 99!
I started drawing up a letter last night, telling them that it's $10 for the first 15 minutes, and $5 for every 15 minutes thereafter... but hey, a flat $50 sounds even better! *grins*

Angelena... What would the world be like, without us "givers" eh? It can be hard to balance our own lives along with giving to others.. but we need to put ourselves first, don't we!

Thank you ALL, for giving of yourselves...and for the wonderful comments!
You know, I think I want to be just like Sherri when I grow up. *winks*

Pam said...

You go girl! Way to stand up for yourself!

The W.O.W. factor said...

Oh I know EXACTLY what you are saying!!!
And .."...friends who think that just because I work from home,..."
I posted about that back in Aug!! Frustrating when the word "NO" is not in our vocabulary! I'm getting better...and now I've been working on the delete button for using on my hubby because he is still using "YES", "no problem", etc. all of the time...


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