Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What on my plate - It only matters to me

Did you ever here the adage I've got too much on my plate. I was thinking about this after a discussion I had with the owner yesterday. I took it one step further and said no one ever cares how much or even what is on my plate.

We all think that what is important to us should be important to someone else. We get frustrated when the people we love or think should love us do not give our ideas or wants the same priority as we do.

I have felt frustrated at work because I feel I am on my own with trying to make things happen. I have a vision and feel that time is of the essence and no one is really that interested in my vision.

This occurred to me when the owner was talking about how his wife has let the grand kids tear up the new porch he just built. The office he was sitting in is basically falling down around him. I had just finished cleaning the front room that he had totally trashed and spilt coffee every where. Bottom line, it is not on his plate.

This is where I have to make a decision. Can I accept things as they are, the people I work with remaining exactly as they are or I can move on and find a place where the vision I have for building a business is shared by others.

When I lived with the effects of active alcoholism it destroyed me because I kept waiting for the situation to change for the person I loved to wake up a do the right thing. I wanted someone to share my vision and work on the things I thought were important. Nothing was as important as the escape the alcohol gave him. My vision for our life together wasn't as important to him. I translated that into I wasn't that important to him and eventually I thought I wasn't important period.

So the dilemma of relationships alcoholic or not is how to live with the fact no one will every be passionate about all the same things I am. It goes back to pain caused by this expectation. I expect those closest to me to want me to be happy and see life the way I do. The same way dysfunction has made me care more about what you want than what I want and expecting the same in return. How crazy is that.

How do I find a balance with this notion? The fine line between selfishness and martyrdom. It is hard for me to disappoint others but the real issue is my own guilt when I do. Sometimes I don't know if I have even really disappointed anyone or is just my own assumption. Am I really that important? I have found mostly no. Everyone just goes on with their lives.

When I broke off from my commitments last August it was first time I picked me over the wants and needs or expectations of others. It took nearly a breakdown to get to that point. It felt so alien to me but so freeing. For the first time I could see how my pattern of just going along was making me feel I had no choices and breaking free showed me that it was a prison of my own making.

So we each have our own plates. If we are lucky we might find someone that likes some of the same foods but probably not all of them. Sometimes our tastes change and the foods we liked before have lost their appeal. Sometimes it is comforting to eat those childhood favorites but they never quite live up to the memory. We are in charge of our lives and make new choices every day to either keep things the same or try something new.

I can't take it personal when someone else doesn't share my vision, but I can choose to move on if that is what is best for me. It is a choice I can make again every day.


  1. IT sounds like we are in the exact same place, Grace. Your sharing was very eloquent. I understood absolutely everything you wrote about today. Thanks for writing this.

  2. I like that can detach from others and their drama or mess. I can take care of myself and be okay with that. I don't take things personally either. Every fight is not mine.