Patterning Your Life Around Other’s Opinions…

…is nothing more than slavery.

So, let’s say you’re having a conversation with someone you really care about; friend or lover… whomever. And that conversation is mostly one-sided (theirs). You’re mostly there as a verbal punching bag, not because you’re a douchebag but because that friend needs to vent. And during a lull, you toss out some glimmers of decent advice. Then, you get to the point where you’re having this conversation with somebody and you realize, Wow. They so do not get it. At that point in the conversation, you can either try to put things to rights or you can just sit and watch the train wreck.

Personally, I kind of prefer the train wreck scenario. It’s probably not the nicest thing one could do, but it sure is entertaining. Okay. Not just entertaining, though; it’s also nice to watch the train wreck because then you feel superior. And come on, let’s face it: who doesn’t like feeling superior? But, the responsible thing is to fix the misunderstanding… right?

Honestly, I’m beginning to suspect that ‘fixing’ it is really overrated. It means that you have to take more time out of your day to correct the misconception. While that may not take long, I’ve come to find that it can be a real endeavor to correct the misunderstanding somebody else has about what you said, what you believe, and the intent behind it. It can be hours, days, or weeks… if you’re lucky enough to get these people to listen. And you have to really wonder to yourself, is it worth the energy you might use to fix the train wreck?

That’s the whole point right there.

Is. It. Worth. The. Energy.

To be perfectly frank, I have to say that it isn’t. You may love the person and worry for their welfare. You might just want to wave your non-existent magic wand to fix the fuck ups that have caused this conversation to manifest in the first place. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be fixing a damn thing. And besides, how much energy do you want to put into this whole thing? How much time do you want to put into this? Love, friendship, and affection aside: do you have the spoons necessary to correct the mistake? Can you do this?

I’m at the point where the misunderstanding isn’t mine to fix. If someone thinks that you’re that big of an asshole and that you meant whatever misconception they’re throwing around, then the misunderstanding isn’t yours; it’s theirs. They took the message/advice and convoluted it for whatever reason. And on the heels of that, then was it ever really worth the conversation in the first place? Obviously, your affection for the person was misplaced because now they think you’re that asshole who would mean something that grotesque.

At that point, I’m pretty much of the mind that the correction isn’t yours to make. They decided that you were a big-time jerk and ran with it. You know what the intention behind your message was. So why expel the time and energy?

Again. You only have so many damn spoons.

The Spoon Metaphor.

There was an article that I read some time back, written about how a woman contends with being ill everyday. She used the metaphor of spoons for her case. Her stance was that we are all given so many spoons. In a healthy person, the number of spoons isn’t infinite but it is substantially more than a person with lupus (as the article writer was so afflicted) or fybromyalgia. And in similar vein, still more than people with mental disorders, such as manic-depression or bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. So, we go throughout our day with a certain number of spoons to do all the things we might need to do on a daily basis: get up, go to work, clean, comfort, write, eat, etc.

There are only so many spoons.

I’m one of those people who give 115% of myself to anyone who needs me. This is where most of my spoons end up going. A bunch go to TH and TS, as my closest family members and the ones who demand the most of my attention span and time. Another bunch goes to BFMA, for all the things she needs. This leaves me with a finite number, but I continue to pass them out to other people anyway: MLB, TN, HLB, MIL, family members from both sides, online friends, complete strangers… And I’m at the point, today at one in the afternoon, when I fucking realize that I’ve already used up my allotted spoons for the fucking day.

And you know what?

Fuck. That. Shit.

Out of all of this giving, I have three spoons handed to me everyday. That’s right; out of the hundreds or more that I give out on a daily basis, only three come back to me. Those would be the ones given to me by TS, and my two dogs. The two four-footed pains in the butt that everyone thinks I should put down and/or get rid of: they both give me a spoon a piece with their open and loving ability to love me unconditionally. They give me love and support and while I’m busy stuck in my head or a face full of tears, they still give back.

Call me fucking insane here, but that seems a little ridiculous. Two spoons from two dogs and a little one from TS.

A friend of mine will often ask me if I’ve given away too many spoons. She’s really good at reminding me that I need to keep some to myself because otherwise I’ll end up as I am now: sick, tired, angsty, bitchy, depressed. And it’s at this moment when another friend was rude and on the cusp of her own spoonless breakdown that I realized I just can’t fucking do this shit anymore. I can’t keep giving every aspect of myself away to everybody and end up where I’m currently: a dark, dank hole and not a single spoon to dig my way out or a helping hand in sight.

I try very hard not to be a selfish person. I will often feel guilty for buying myself books or pajama pants because that is money that could go to something for a friend, a lover, a dog, or my son. I try incredibly hard to be the voice of reason, the foundation block, the person who points out the good things, the strength, the all-knowing. I try very hard to be there for anyone who may need me. And it’s at this point where I asked for a bit of advice and got shat on instead that I flipped the fuck out.

I do not have anymore fucking spoons.

It’s time to be a little selfish and to stop getting wrapped up in what other people need of me.