Growing up my Mom would often tell Janet and I that something that we didn’t want to go to might not be as a bad as we think. Often she was right. Granted there were things that turned out as bad and sometimes worse. Growing up we were taught if we committed to something we had to follow through. When we were in our early twenties Dad told us that if we were a volunteer we could quit if we wanted to. A friend of mine once told me to look at it as leaving something that didn’t work for me instead of “quitting”.
There was a time in my life that it seemed like every time I tried to do the right thing it didn’t turn out well. Often it actually ended up biting me in the butt. I came to realize that it wasn’t just doing the right thing but figuring out what that meant to ME. Because doing the right thing often has consequences for someone else. Which brings to mind another cliche that my Mom used…if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. There are times when each of us has to stand up for ourselves. There is a way to be honest with someone without hurting their feelings. People who are bullies will never hear it. I was made to apologize to a family member even though I wasn’t sorry. Did he accept it…of course not. the greatest compliment my Dad ever gave me was when he told my brother that I can fight my own battles. It meant he could trust me to do it on my own. That I knew when to battle and when to back away.
When I was looking for a place to live I had so many people tell me that I didn’t need a 2 bedroom, I should stay in the same neighbourhood etc. I quickly tuned them out because this was MY place and therefore MY decision. The best thing I was ever told at a bereavement support group was that we shouldn’t SHOULD on people. You should do this or you should do that. It’s very freeing