December 3, 2015

10 Things I Don't Do Anymore

I used to complete one load of laundry at a time. From sort to wash and dry, to fold and put away. I didn't start another one unless I fully intended to finish it.

And then I discovered how easy it is to let clean clothes sit in the basket. Until tomorrow. Or the next day. Or even until I need the basket again. Because sometimes, someone needs some clean clothes, but then shit happens and they don't get put away.

It's called prioritizing! There are more important things, you know?

The other day I was eyeing two baskets of clean clothes in my and Hubs' closet. One his, the other mine.

I thought, I should get that stuff put away. I even started to do it.

But then I dropped the shirt I was about to hang up and thought, you know what? Screw this. I don't need to do it right now.

And it got me thinking about other things that have probably changed about me in recent months and years. Most of them good, I think. Some maybe not so.

Such as...

1. I purposely avoid breaking news stories. I don't want to participate in the early speculation reporters like to do these days. I'd rather wait until the events have fully unfolded and the facts known. This is way different than how I used to consume news. I think it makes me a more thoughtful person.

2. Speaking of thoughtful, 99% of the time, I think before I speak. When I was younger, this was not a skill I possessed.

3. I don't worry too much about what people are thinking of me. I mean, still a little, but really not much. The reasons are that I've learned that people aren't thinking about (and judging) me as much as I thought they were. But also, as long as I know I'm being a decent person, if I have done something I'm unaware of, the ball is in the other person's court. What I mean is, that person needs to talk to me, or they need to let it go. I have to do the same thing. People make me feel things all the time. But I choose to let a ton go unless I've tried but can't. Then the issue needs to be talked about.

Basically, I've come to believe that we should all assume we're liked, loved, cared for, and no one is mad at us unless we're expressly told otherwise. Furthermore, I no longer beg anyone to pay attention to me.

4. For the most part, I don't feel put out anymore when one of my kids seeks out my attention. It must be the difference between parenting little kids vs. big kids. My daughter is 15 and my son is going on 10. They are interesting and entertaining people now. I still get a little annoyed when my son asks me to make him a PB&J because I know he's perfectly capable of doing it himself. Sometimes I say no, but other times I will because I know he likes the way I do it.

I'm not censoring much for my kids anymore either. Even though it does make me cringe a little, I'm allowing Camryn to use swear words (in moderation, no F-bombs) and I let AJ watch some rated R movies, depending on why they're rated R. I've never wanted to shelter my kids from adult stuff completely. I don't think that's actually fair to them.

5. I used to be a practicing Anglican Catholic (Episcopal). I chose, as an adult, to get baptized and confirmed into the Anglican Province of Christ the King. Mark and I had a nuptial mass and we had both our kids baptized. Even before I chose that particular religion, I believed in God and the baby Jesus. I just did. And even though we haven't been to church since AJ was a baby, I still do believe. However, my beliefs have changed. The only good I really see in church anymore is the fellowship. I believe much more in what Jesus actually tried to teach, than what has become of Christianity.

6. I am firmly a "bleeding heart liberal". I used to sit on the political fence, wanting to give everyone a fair shake, Republicans and Democrats alike. But anymore, all I can see is asshole Republicans being racist and sexist and uncaring towards the needy. I don't even want to hear their crap. If you know of a nice Republican who doesn't want to ban abortion or gay marriage and believes everyone deserves health care, you let me know.

7. I started scrapbooking while I was pregnant with AJ. I went back in time and made Camryn a little baby book, made AJ one, made a family book, and started bigger books for my kids. Then I lost interest. I took up knitting, and later crocheting. Making things with yarn is so much less complicated than scrapbooking. You don't need a huge table or a ton of storage space (at least not in my case). I have a yarn basket and a bag for hooks and needles.

I still have some scrapbooking supplies and actual printed photos in a box and space in books, so I feel like I should at least finish those. Honestly, though, it probably won't happen for awhile.

8. I no longer think I'm not allowed to relax. For the longest time, I could not just sit and chill in my own home. Take a nap? Not unless I was in the first trimester of a pregnancy. And I only had two babies! This relaxation-challenged mindset stems partially from my mother who, while I lived with her from 12-19, was constantly on the go. She wouldn't go to a movie unless the weather was crappy, and there was always somewhere to explore.

When I became a SAHM, I felt like I had to be as productive as possible all the time because if I wasn't then I'd just be seen as lazy, right? Stupid societal pressures. We should all be allowed to freaking relax! Shit will always need doing. Seriously, As soon as you run the dishwasher, someone will use a dish. It never ends. It's OK, though. It's all good, dude. Chill.

9. I can no longer go completely barefoot at home in the winter. My toes get cold now! Like, really cold. Nobody seems to understand why this bothers me so much. Whatever. :-P

10. Last, something I do now that I didn't used to much: cooking. Up until Mark started having too many medical problems to count and his body began betraying him, he was the cook in our family. For the past year now, I've been doing 99% of the cooking, and lately, 100%. For awhile I complained about it a lot. I've never much enjoyed it, seeing it as merely another thing I had to do because people get hungry. But I feel that changing. I find myself thinking about what I could make for dinner more often than not, and actually looking forward to doing it. I still consult Mark on taste and technique (he supervises), but he's taught me a lot over the years that I'm putting into practice now. I don't have much of a choice, do I?

Have you ever stopped to think about all the ways in which your thoughts/feelings/actions change over the years?

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