During the last month or so, I've been cleaning house.
Not literally cleaning house. That would just be silly. I mean cleaning my "personal" house.
Okay, now that makes me sound like I should be on penicillin.
I've taken a hard look at my life and the people I have surrounding me and I've decided you're either in this whole thing with me...or you're out.
I know this doesn't sound like a monumental task, but for me it is. Me...the person who always needed to be liked. Who always felt like she needed to justify every decision she's making (just in case you don't agree). Who always, up until now, felt so unsure of herself.
Brace yourself. There's a new Chick in town.
I've always been that person who will bend over backwards for anyone and not really think about what she's getting in return. Generous? Yes, maybe. Pushover? Oh, definitely. But I've come to a decision.
I just don't have the bleeping time.
I don't know if it's because 2013 was so bad that I've decided - truly decided - to make 2014 a great one, if it comes with age, or if it comes with experience...but I'm a greater, better person than I was a few months ago. The person I've always been is completely loyal and would stick with you no matter what.
The person I am now is somewhat the same... but expects you not to take advantage of that for your own personal gain.
Okay...now I sound bitter. I'm not. I promise. I talk about this a little in my book...about how I wasn't sure if, after my husband died, I'd want to reconnect with every person I'd lost contact with because I know now how short time really is....
Or if I'd want to spend my time with people who matter.
I want all of that bad stuff out. OUT. That energy spent on being annoyed with people who annoy me (yes, I need to get my thesaurus out and stop using the word "annoy")...it's WASTED. It's energy I don't have to spend. It's like investing in a house and knowing you will never see your money again.
What's funny about it is that it's actually pretty easy. I've always thought I needed to justify my decisions and explain myself. And you know what? I don't. If I can look at myself in the mirror every morning and be comfortable with who I am, I don't need anyone else to validate that. I can say "no" and not explain why. I can gently back away from people who suck the very life out of me. I can live my own damn life...and I don't have to explain any of it to anyone (unless it's the cops. In which case, it's possible that I'll freak out so bad that they'll pin the Kennedy assassination on me).
And that means that I have the energy and the mental capacity to accept the good things that come my way instead of focusing on all of the crap that doesn't do me any good.
I've recently been given a gift.
The mother of one of my husband's childhood friends emailed me last week and told me that she had Googled his family name and my book came up. So she thought she'd contact me.
In the last week, I have been treated to stories about my husband that I never knew, insights that I have come to covet...and I now have a friend that I never knew I was missing, but suddenly can't wait to hear from.
It's like a whole new world has opened up for me. I've laughed, cried, and started a new chapter of my life with him - which is weird because it's all stuff from a past that started before I knew him. I knew him as an adult, but this has allowed me to know him as a child, as a young man, and as the person he grew into and I was fortunate enough to meet.
The craziest thing about it is that she came into my life...
...just at the moment I was making room for her.