Effort, because it isn't a resolution.
My effort the last few years has been toward finding a balanced way to integrate the Me into my decisions.
Which may seem strange, since I'm pretty good at expressing myself most of the time.
But having learned young that what I want doesn't matter at all, having only learned at adulthood what it means to even register that one wants something, then that it is possible to have what one wants, and working on developing that... well, it's kind of spotty in execution.
I still believe in being openly of service to others. The problem is that I tend to swing wildly between 'let's all do what everyone else wants and then we'll be happy and that's what I want' to 'what about me, everyone has to do what I want, or at least let me do what I want, RIGHT NOW'. It's all you you you you you ME ME ME you you you you ME ME ME.
Which is confusing at best, and a real mangle at worst.
I neglect my own needs until/unless they're screaming, essentially, and once they're screaming, I can't hear anything else.
So, this year, working on bringing in my needs intentionally at the lower level, rather than leaving them in the dirt until it's way past a problem.
Kind of painful case in point - talking it out with epeepunk, he said, 'If I knew what you liked, it would be easier for me to be sure that it was included'... we've been married 15+ years, and I haven't managed to make clear what I like. And it isn't male cluelessness, there. He's intentional about gathering that kind of information. He knows what the kids like (at least the older two, who have developed into their preferences). He just doesn't know what I like. Some things, definitely, but many things, no.
And often enough, I don't, either. Which would be the point, underneath the point.
Having grown up not knowing what I want, not being allowed to need (partly a gap in parenting, partly situational due to random - even if short - bouts of poverty, partly other people dealing with severe personal needs, partly my own utter unwillingness to communicate anything important to my parents, partly a lack of ownership of my own things so a lack of willingness to desire that which will only be taken away if it interferes with someone else's issues, and probably about five other layers of encumbering issue)... anyway, having grown up not allowed or able to need, or want, I ended up having a hard time reading myself on what I like.
Stuff that has been discovered in adulthood (like, oh, COFFEE) is obvious. And some things aren't hard to put a finger on in general - I like chocolate (dark), and I need to write (not even like, there, it's more of a compulsive disorder or a fundamental drive like breathing).
But on the daily 'incorporate my self into the flow of life' level, what is it that I like? What do I enjoy, so that it can be included? At the plain physical level, life basics, instead of just eating whatever cookies were bought because other people like them, what ones should we get because I like them?
Weird that I should have to think hard about what kind of cookies I actually like. I immediately go back to cookies I liked when I was a kid, but ... I don't like those as an adult (mm, the waxy-frosting-dipped animal crackers with the sprinkles... :shudder: ). Kind of sad that I'm not sure, even on thinking about it.
Yesterday was another example - we went to Longwood Gardens. Mr B was, er, SEVEN. Very very seven. Plus very middle-child-everyone-else-gets-to-be-special-but-me (hmm, I think that's part of my issue, too, me being second-to-last), and rather out of sorts. I tried to get onto his side of the line and handle it understanding where he was, but it ended up being a bad job every time. It felt like I'd move to his side of the line, and then he'd move the line. If I allowed one thing, he needed another different thing, and was equally upset about that. If I wasn't positive that he wasn't TRYING to be unhappy, I'd have thought he was inventing needs that were guaranteed to go unfulfilled just so he could end the day miserable.
Faced with that, I suppose it isn't entirely unreasonable to just want to have my own joy at the beauty, unsullied...
So, there I was you you you you ME ME ME you you you you ME ME ME ing all over. Which meant that I was giving room, then yanking up chains short, then giving more leeway, then putting my foot down, then getting down at their level and talking, then standing there saying NO without listening, then...
Modeling, they call that. Yeah. SO not the things I want to model.
And exactly what my mom modeled, a lot. It's all about you, wait, it's all about me. She never learned to integrate the two, either. And not that I expect life to be a perfect amalgam of needs, smoothly blended so that everything is a silvered stream of beauty and grace. But I do think it shouldn't show up like doors slamming in everyone's faces randomly, which is kind of how I express it.
So, that's what I'm working on, this year. Figuring it out (what DO I want, really? What do I actually enjoy? What do I need?), and blending that in - gently, and more continuously, so it doesn't get so urgent from constant ignoring that it comes out so entire and absolute on everyone else's heads.
Meanwhile, I'm glad the kids are headed back to school today. It will give me some space to think through the process.