In a recent comment, Karen recommended a book, The Gift Of Imperfection by Dr. Brene (I don't know how to do that fancy accent thingy) Brown. Within a day or so, Dr. Brown's name popped up again. So this time I took notice and a little action. I found a TEDtalk she gave on YouTube (and I actually thought I'd put it as a favorite link, but I guess not) and found that her work really resonates with me right now. Especially her work on connections, vulnerability and shame. The word connection has also popped up several times as I look to setting my intentions for the coming year. I think I'm honing in on this. Check out the good doctor's website at wwww.brenebrown.com. I can't wait to get the book that Karen recommended. Actually, I can and will wait until after the holidays. I'll want to savor it.
Last night was our final Christmas outing before the actual holiday. We didn't end up going to the actual ICE exhibit, we just toured the fabulous hotel it was in, instead. Way to save $75 dollars. Even so, it was beautiful evening. We then went up and down Main Street in Grapevine, which is all decked out in Christmas cheer. It is beautiful. All in all, I think everyone, including myself, has enjoyed this activity. I don't feel bad about forgoing the ICE exhibit. There's always next year.
I do, however, need to check myself a bit. Dealing with the family dysfunction, including my own, is certainly difficult. It is also insidious. Cunning. Baffling. Just when I thought I was doing the right things, I had some more insight into it this morning. I'm in the midst of a relapse - well, perhaps more of a slip than a relapse. And the thing is, this feels so familiar to me that I didn't recognize it coming on. It is a slippery slope.
ETA: This is me slipping back into my The Duchess of Largesse role.
1. While I have enjoyed the holiday outings, if I dig really deep, I am still hoping for some change. I am not accepting. I am hoping that if I show them that a holiday can be fun without the gift orgy that maybe things will change. I am trying to control. I am still trying to change others. I need to detach a bit. The only thing I can change is me.
2. I am not allowing others to feel the full impact of the consequences of their actions - to perhaps see the true level of unhealthy behaviors that permeate the entire family. Because I feel guilty that my family would have no place to go on Christmas as the rest of the family is in the midst of a multi-month blow-up, that has played a (small) part in my Christmas plans. By trying to mitigate, I am trying to control. This one is minor and it's turning out okay, but I need to always remember and realize - she/they are choosing to stay in their addictions/illnesses -my mother with her compulsive spending/resulting money issues/hoarding and my sister in her (and mine) codependent/X-anon relationships. They could, in fact, choose to host a holiday party of their own and invite me. People have parties all the time. People invite other people into their homes. But I am up in this, trying to make sure that no one feels bad. Change comes at the rate of pain.
3. When told of her plans to buy a small freezer to take over to the other house, I offered an opinion that it didn't make sense, financial or otherwise, they didn't have the space, that it wouldn't be at all useful to have a freezer ten miles away. Are these things true? Yes, I believe they are. Is it my place to say something? I don't think so. No one asked for my opinion.
4. I have to get really real and honest with myself over the kitchen repairs. I still don't have any satisfaction from the insurance company, but I am going to go ahead and go with the very reputable firm and get this finished. It's been four months and getting out from under it is worth something to me in financial and emotional terms. What I've also realized (again) and (again) and (again) is that I need to let go of any notion that a "new kitchen" will change anything. It will not. The new kitchen will soon look like the old one. I cannot fix this problem with new Formica. I need to get real and deep with my thoughts and motivations. I need to better manage my expectations on this one.
Detaching, with love, is a fine line for me to walk. And I will slip from time to time. Slipping back into old patterns and old behaviors. Showing love and compassion without fixing and enabling and then resenting it is a new skill that I am slowly learning. Keeping that balance by first doing no harm.
Day Seventeen Tasks
Plan your entertainment. Plan your free time. Work on those relationship lists. Work on them with your partner. Share your lists. Listen and encourage them to make lists and compare.
Write everything down. Daily.
1. Take a bath or shower. Wear cologne, perfume, deodorant, floss and brush your teeth. Shave. Do nails, eyebrows, ears.
2. Bed made. Sheets washed. You deserve clean bedding.
3. Continue your daily list non productive activities.
4. Take photos every day. Look how people light up when you give them copies for their desks or mantels.
5. Friend List
6. Continue the thank you notes as needed.
Continue to print copies and put in a folder.
7. Continue writing down and memorizing the names of new people.
8. Keep your house in order.
9. Continue keeping receipts. It makes you acutely aware of where your money goes.
10. Continue finding ways to like everyone.
Again, it makes no difference to them. Only to you.
11. Put $1.25 in cash in a glass on your bedstand.
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Acknowledge your true motivations.