Unlike many people, I never make New Year’s resolutions. To me, they are a waste of time and rarely successful. Instead, I set goals and make assessments about my life all year-long. I find this to be far more successful than deciding to make some huge life-changing activity because it happens to be the beginning of a new year.

I believe the theme for 2011 is going to be about self-care. I will continue to examine ways in which I care take others and not myself. I have been a chronic caretaker almost my entire life. It started when I was 7 and was my mother’s ‘rock of Gibraltar.’[1] I looked after my 5-year-old sister and dodged the attacks of my 14-year-old brother.

As my life progressed, I always seemed to attract damaged people who needed help. I think, in hindsight, it gave me a mission and the satisfaction of helping other people. As my counselor has pointed out, I was a caretaker with my family, most of my jobs have been caretaking and I have done it in my personal life as well.

Many years ago I learned to stop maintaining friendships that were one-sided. I have had several of these over the years. One example was a friend I had in Calgary. Her son was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. I phoned her everyday for 18 months. I cooked for her, Deb mowed her lawn and some of my other friends stepped up to entertain him with Star Wars toys. I did this because I knew she needed support. She would often lament about the friends who never called after her son died. What broke that friendship for me was when my dad was dying of leukemia she never called me once. She knew he was dying and she could not even pick up of the phone and say anything to me. For a friendship to work, there must be input from both sides. If that is not going on, we will not be friends for long. If I start to see that the relationship is all about me caretaking then it is not a friendship in my opinion.

My family is another major area where I care take. I have already cut my sister off. I really have nothing to say to her. She is extremely immature and full of negativity and I don’t need it. My mother is also very negative and seems like to make me feel bad about myself. I am not fooling myself into believing that her words will not have an effect on me. I know they will. After all, we all want our mothers to love us and support us. I know I am not going to get that from her. I need to accept that fact and try not to need anything from her – much easier said than done, sadly.

I look forward to enjoying life with my partner. I cherish the special time I spend with the dogs. I love those moments when you have a real connection that touches your soul. I love cuddle time and I love the feeling I get when we are all snuggled in bed together. These are all things that energize me and make me feel cared for and valued.

Even though it takes a lot of energy and thought, I am going to continue to blog daily during 2011. I find it cathartic. I also enjoy having an outlet for stuff I want to say. This year will be an interesting one politically her in BC as we will see 2 new leaders installed in both of the main political parties. It should be a lot of fun for a political junkie like me!


[1] That is how she identified me when she divorced my adoptive father. Hands down the best thing she ever did.



One thought on “My New Year Philosophy

  1. My mother didn’t speak to me for three years because she took a mistake I made personally. When she died approximately ten years later, I turned her into a martyr. It took ten years and my brother going through an intense therapy program to remember her as she was instead of who I made her out to be.

    Kudos to you. We need to remove EVERYTHING from our lives that does not bring us peace, love, and joy. Even if it is the most difficult thing we ever do. Even if it is family and they will be lost without us.

    I asked my ex to leave knowing he would pick up drinking again and probably end up killing himself. It took me over a year to do it. I moved back in with him because of it. It took a LOT but I do not feel guilty. He is the protagonist in his life and HE needs to live it.

    As we are the protagonist in our lives. We need to figure out how to do what is best for us, not others. I encourage you… I support you… I will do any and everything I can to help you.


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