I do not generally write personal pieces for Her Magazine. For the most part, I try to associate my writings with my profession and give advice or insight within a social work context. But this past month, during the Jewish New Year, I was feeling somewhat nostalgic and more emotional than usual having been surrounded by friends and loved ones.
In a good way. Not in a sad way. Not in a way which makes my stomach turn.
I feel a sense of peace.
Let me begin by stating that in general I know that I am a very sensitive person. This is definitely a double-edged sword. I feel deeply, regardless of the emotion. I hurt easily. But I also love deeply. And will do just about anything for the people that I love.
I am also pretty self-aware. I know what my shortcomings are but I also know my strengths. Those who know me well know and understand my vulnerable side. I do not expose it easily. And not everyone sees it. I am very particular about that.
But with me, what you see is what you get. I am pretty transparent, that is for sure. You know if I am upset or angry. I will express it to you. But similarly, you know if you are important to me. My actions will convey that as well.
Each year around the Jewish New Year, I’d like to say that I take inventory of my life. I do this privately. I assess what I have accomplished over the course of the year. I look at how I have behaved toward my peers and family. When necessary, I am self-critical about my ability as a mother, wife and friend but I also recognize, and praise myself when I know I have done right by my husband and children, for instance.
Since turning 40 almost 4 years ago, I have come to realize that I am no longer prepared to make room in my life or in my head, for the people who drain everything out of me. I am not interested in having my emotional energy wasted on just anybody or anything.
I have also come to realize that I want to surround myself with people who appreciate me, and my quirky sense of humour and my straightforward nature. Not with people who merely ‘tolerate’ me because they feel they have to, or because optically it looks better to others. What is the point? Who benefits?
And what a freeing feeling and realization this has been.
The burden of pettiness has been lifted.
I wish I had this epiphany 20 years ago. Wouldn’t life have been so much simpler if I had?
As blessed as I know that I am, my husband and I both still feel like we are in a constant state of being overwhelmed and we admittedly do not always appreciate what we have.
We have three children. Three very delightful, active girls. All fabulous personalities in their own right. Three different schools. Three different stages of life. Three different carpools. Unlimited extra curricular activities that I have trouble keeping straight.
We are both professionals and have careers that we have not only both worked exceptionally hard for, but which take up a lot of our time and concentration.
We have little family support here in Toronto, so the stresses of every day life weigh exclusively on us.
Even with all of this, stress and all, what I do know for certain is that in spite of the immense pressures during the day to ‘get it all done’, and the incessant girl drama that exists during every waking hour of my life, when push comes to shove, I would not change a thing. (Ok so a good night sleep every now and then to rejuvenate wouldn’t hurt.)
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