Yup, that's right. My New Year's Resolutions are all about ME. (Duh. I guess I can't make goals for other people...as much as I might like to!)
In all seriousness, though, I am finally learning/realizing/admitting that it is time to put ME first.
That may sound obvious and trite to some of you, but to me, it's not really all that simple. When I think about the concept of actually putting myself first, the following emotions/words flit through my mind:
I have always been a person who tries to be there for others, puts the needs of others before my own, etc. This year has been no different.
At one point, I was trying to be there for SEVERAL people, who were all coming to me for emotional support, financial help (in one case), etc. They all seemed to be in need at the same time, too. It would have been different if these things had been spread out a little bit.
It got to a point that I realized EVERY DAY, I was devoting HOURS to writing Facebook messages, e-mails, and letters to these people. I realized I basically had no time to myself. I'd get home from work, I'd do a little housework, then I'd spend hours communicating with these people, who all seemed to be needing me at the same time. Of course, my "work" of trying to be there for these people bled over into the weekends as well.
I even remember thinking, "Gee, I guess I know why I don't go on Sparkpeople anymore. I have NO TIME for it after all of my writing to these other people gets done!"
This went on for MONTHS.
Not to mention I've had my own share of problems during these months as well...issues that the people I was trying to help did not seem particularly interested in, besides a perfunctory, "I'm sorry to hear that. Now, back to my problem/issue..."
I was becoming emotionally exhausted, mentally fried...just plain tired. I finally came to the conclusion I just had to get off this train, so to speak.
First of all, I cannot fix other people or their problems. Sure, I can try to be supportive and let them know I care, but I cannot solve everything for them. I can still care about them, but I don't need to make it my mission to make them feel better or to improve their lives for them.
This realization has been a powerful one for me. I've made some small changes, wherein I am basically not investing as much time and energy into trying to solve other people's problems. I no longer spend HOURS EVERY DAY communicating with these individuals via letters, e-mail, and Facebook.
It's a mindset, too. I no longer find myself obsessing on other people's problems, trying to help them to figure out solutions, etc. I've found in at least the people/situations I'm dealing with, sometimes people are not ready for solutions. They need to admire the problems a little bit longer, I guess.
So, I'm really attempting to change this aspect of myself, this habit of always putting other people's needs first. I've made great strides in the past couple months. Those "needy individuals" do not receive as much of my time and energy. I think it's safe to say I'm still a good friend/sister to them, but it's no longer ruling my life.
I'm also standing up for myself more, making decisions based on what *I* want, not what other people want. A case in point...coming up on my winter break, I had numerous potential get-togethers that threatened to consume all of my days off. Normally, I go along, go with the flow, go where I feel obligated to go so I don't hurt other people's feelings, etc.
This year, I declined some invitations. I knew I was burned out from work, just so exhausted and stressed and again, tired of always doing what other people want instead of what *I* want. So, as trivial as this may seem, I took charge. I declined some invitations. I made sure I got to spend the majority of my break doing what *I* want.
And now, to come full circle, I'm ready to put ME first when it comes to eating right, exercising, etc. I no longer have HOURS of my time consumed with trying to counsel other people--I can devote that time to tracking my food, exercising, etc.
I am realizing that I *have* to put myself first. Who else will? And if I'm not in a good place, physically or emotionally, I can't be as good of a friend/sister/wife/teacher anyway. It may sound selfish (at least to someone who's used to others always being put first). However, if I am taking better care of myself and making my own health and well being the top priority, I will be better equipped to be helpful and supportive to others as well.
So, in a nutshell, my resolution is to put myself first--maybe not ALL the time (not sure how realistic that would be in the course of normal human interactions), but certainly more than I have been. This means also making time for ME to exercise, taking time to make healthy meals for ME (and hubby), and taking the time for ME to benefit from all the resources and friendships on Sparkpeople.
So...welcome, 2014. The year of ME!!!!
I really hope this doesn't come across as too selfish. I mean, it's not like I'm going to push baby strollers out into traffic so there's more room for me on the sidewalk. I'm hoping to find just the right amount of selfishness to keep myself happy and sane!