When you say yes to others, make sure you aren’t saying no to yourself. – Paulo Coelho Once upon a time, I said yes to just about everything. It wasn’t the enthusiastic “yes!” of an adventurous person facing …
“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.” – Mahatma Gandhi I used to do anything to avoid a fight – back down, shut up, laugh awkwardly, tiptoe around, leave the room, go for a drive, …
I was a junky kind of person for a long time. I was also unhappy with my lot in life, unfulfilled in my romantic relationship, and out of shape. My home was as cluttered and dusty on the outside as I felt on the inside.
These things are not necessarily true for all cluttered people, but there was a definite link for me. My grandmother was a hoarder and a very unhappy and unhealthy woman, and I wondered if it could be genetic. It wasn’t until she told me I reminded her so much of herself as a young woman that I was scared straight.
Seven years ago I was living in suburban Boston, Massachusetts with my husband and wondering how we were going to make it work. We were both traveling too much for our jobs, and our time together was almost nonexistent. When we were home, we were overwhelmed with the task of taking care of a suburban house while living a mobile lifestyle. It was exhausting, and we were on the brink of personal and professional exhaustion.
Something had to give.
When it comes to change, people are more apt to do it for others than for themselves. It was no different for me when I morphed myself to be the “right” kind of friend, the “cool” girlfriend, or the “most dependable” employee. In each of those instances other people really liked me, but I didn’t like me very much.
A friend’s snarky attitude made me less happy to be her confidant, even though I forced myself to patiently listen to her rants. I realized too late that the “cool” girlfriend meant the one who never disagreed with her boyfriend or made requests of her own. And the companies that adored my dependability easily forgot those countless overtime hours when it came time to promote or give raises.