What I believe....

So there's this new song called "You Say" and it's a lovely song.  The girl who sings it is a new artist and she has a stellar voice.  She reminds me of Adele, and I could listen to that voice for days.  Except....  there's a verse in this song that makes me cringe. 

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know (ooh oh)
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh you say that I am yours
And I believe
Pretty right?  Lovely song, lovely sentiment. And then this part....
The only thing that matters now is everything you think of me
In you I find my worth, in you I find my identity
Wait.  Hold up.  STOP.  Those two sentences I find really scary and dangerous and HARMFUL.  to anyone really.  I can say this because I've been there.  I've felt that way.  And that's just co-dependent DISASTER.  You simply should not, and CANNOT think this way.  You can't tie your self worth to someone else's opinion of you.  Not your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your parents, your best friend.  Don't do it.  I had to learn the hard way, that my worth is not dependent on someone else's opinion of me.  I had to learn to divorce myself from caring so much about what others thought of me, and believe me, that was NOT easy for me.  I fell in love and fell into co-dependency.  In two different scenarios and both were equally damaging for me.  I encourage everyone to divorce themselves from that kind of thinking.  I understand what it is to be in love, and what it is for it to matter what the person you love thinks about you- but here's the thing.  If and when that relationship changes, or hits hard times, or even ends- then what?  What are you left with?  I remember times in my life, not even knowing who I was because of that very thing.  If he doesn't love me, do I even exist.  What am I supposed to do if I'm not his caretaker?  If he doesn't want me, then I may as well just die.  If I'm not his wife, then who am I? 
Don't get me wrong, I do not knock the idea behind the lyrics, because she means well. She is/was (that may be changing) a Christian artist so when she is talking about 'you' she is talking about God.  Knowing THAT, I can listen to the song and understand and feel ok.  I am shaky on my religious beliefs, but I can understand how this song, about God, can really get someone thru a tough time.   However, it plays like a love song.  Until I did my research, I thought it WAS a love song.  I would bet that most people think it's a love song.  And I'm imagining young girls listening to this song and dedicating it to their boyfriends. 
And to that I say, stop.  Don't follow that path towards giving away your self worth to someone else.  It's too big a responsibility and people are flawed.  I think even the most well intentioned person cannot reasonable take on the enormous task of holding someone else's entire self worth.  It's a trap.  It's a suckers bet.  Imagine that you are this well intentioned keeper of my worth.  I am fragile and rely on you to tell me if I'm a good person but I'm bound to make mistakes.  If you get angry with me, it will crush me.  So you are somewhat trapped.  If you break me, you're the villain.  I am pretty much free from all blame.  I would be better, if you guided me better.  The ability to blame YOU for all my shortcomings is right there.  You don't want that.  And ultimately, when you tire of the responsibility, you will hand it back to me- and I don't know what the hell to do with it- that's why I gave it to you in the first place.  And yes, I've been right there.  Not knowing what to do with myself because if the ONE person that gave me meaning no longer wants me- then I have nothing. 
I have had nothing.  More than once. 
I won't ever let myself be in that place again.  Not ever.  I love The Man.  More than anything, and sometimes I wear my self-reliance as a shield, and it's something that I constantly work on to find balance.  What he thinks of me matters, the same with my parents, my friends, my kids etc.  However, my self worth is not tied to those opinions.  My self worth comes from who I know I am.  What I know I am capable of.  My beliefs, my loyalties, my sense of integrity.
I decide what I'm worth.   

Working on that plan

I was hoping to have a plan written down for some work-life balance.  A work-life balance PLAN.  I don't have it yet.  Hopefully in a month I will have more at home work to do and less time will be spend delivering food.  It's hard to make a plan that I know is going to change.

Today I made a point to tell Bonehead- who is now 15, by the way, that I appreciate him helping out with the dogs while I'm working during the day.  And making dinner either for himself, or for everyone.  I know it's hard on him when I'm not home.  I told him he was doing really well and was a great help to me and that I APPRECIATED him.  He thanked my acknowledgement with a hug.  He's become a moody teenager, but I know when things are bothering him.  I see the look on his face when I tell him I'm heading off to work.  He sometimes says, "are you ever just gonna work at home again?"  It breaks my heart.  I joke with him and say, "well, you want to eat don't you?"  He doesn't know I'm not really joking.

I have started taking my crochet projects with me on my shifts, so if I happen to have some slow times, I can work in a row of stitches here and there.  I finally finished a new scarf, and I'm pretty happy with it.  It's an easy pattern that looks complicated. 

Another thing I need to continue to focus on/ do better at is issues with my health.  I have gotten much better at taking my medications for my blood pressure and my depression/anxiety.  Of course, saying that I remember that I am OUT of both and I need to pick up my refills at the pharmacy.  So I'm clearly not perfect at it.  I was doing well though.  I have no good reason for non-compliance with that.  It is evident very quickly when I don't have them.  I'd make a joke about just being lazy, but I know it's no joke.  I have spent over a decade looking at medical records of people who have had a stroke, and most of them have hypertension.  So I know it's not a joke.  Apparently I'm just THAT stupid. 

Ok, so tomorrow morning I will pick up my prescriptions.  I'm sure the headache I will wake up with will be my reminder.  Ugh.  Dying from a stroke is not the ironic way I want to go out.  I would much prefer to trip over my dog and get stabbed in the throat by the spoonful of peanut butter I was eating. My goal in death is for a few people to start giggling at my funeral because I went out in such a ridiculous way.  That way, the flash mob won't seem so weird. 


New Year, same me.

I don't know if I ever did New Years Resolutions.  I have set goals for myself in the past, but if I ever made any resolutions, I'm sure that I, like everyone else, ditched the idea when it got hard.

It's 2019 and while 2018 started out pretty good for me personally, the last half was a struggle financially.  I've been working at home since I got laid off almost 2 years ago and doing well for myself, all things considered, but the second half of the year I worked some side gigs.  Delivering for Amazon Flex and Doordash.

Both are decent side gigs, but Flex didn't offer me quite as much flexibility as I wanted.  I'm not going to get into it but lets just say that it wasn't something I LOVED to do.  Doordash I very much enjoy.  It's low stress and as long as you are willing to put in the time, you can do well with it.  I couldn't do that as my only job, because I'm an adult with adult sized expenses, but it is enough to make up for what was lacking.

I hate going into the new year focusing on money, but my financial health is the biggest issue in my life right now.  Hopefully soon I will be back to just working at home, and setting the side gigs aside or at least just to a few days a week to pay off some credit card debt.  Being out of the house is hard on the family who have come to love and rely on me being available all the time.  I am not sure how I feel about that, but it is what it is. 

So going into this new year, my focus is on finding a work life balance.  I understand that without the work, I won't be able to afford to do balance anything, so I know that one feeds the other.  I want to get back to spending time with my dog and my family.  Likely in THAT order, but Bella just wants so little from me in comparison and is almost always a joy- where the kids are at that age where most of the time when they approach me it's because they want something- usually food.   

I'd like to be able to meet with my friends for lunch again.  I'd like to be able to take Bella back to the dog park and give her time to play with other dogs.  I'd like to go back to relaxing at night, after making a meal I had the time to make. 

I'm going to work on a plan to capture this balance.  Which will include one day off every week, likely a Thursday.  I need to plan my days so that I have some time for household chores as well as maybe some time for me to unwind and engage in my hobbies.  I have picked my crochet hooks up again and I'd like to make time for that, even if it's just a little time each day, or every other day.  I also need to learn to maximize my work time.  Working early in the morning or later at night provides more uninterrupted time in which I can get the most done. 

Hopefully in a few days I will have something written down so I can use it as a guide.  I have worked almost non stop for the past 5 months, and while I don't regret doing what I had to do, I realize it's no way to live my life long-term.  Even if the amount of time I can carve out for social activities and hobbies is small, I think it will do me more good than harm.  Perhaps it will change my mood, and all that "sending positive stuff in the universe" is supposed to be good for me.  We'll see.

Happy New Year!