Author Topic: Too Selfish?  (Read 2893 times)

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Offline Lillycache

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Too Selfish?
« on: August 26, 2014, 08:07:00 AM »
We all have strived to love ourselves... and to make a life for ourselves with interests and friends that love us... in order to deal with the hurt and disappointments dealt to us by our ACs and/or their spouses.   We have been told to give up our expectations, or to at least realize that no one is obligated to meet them.. and move on.   So..  Some of us have.

My question..  Sometimes I wonder if I am becoming too selfish.. or self absorbed.  I find myself thinking only about ME.. and what will make me happy.   I sometimes don't give my son or my grandkids a thought for weeks.  I seem to be all about me now and frequently, my husband.  I worry about this.  It doesn't feel right to me... but what is the alternative?  Going back to weeping and gnashing my teeth over the unfairness of things?   Not sure I'm making myself clear, but these are just some thoughts I have had of late.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Too Selfish?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2014, 09:39:41 AM »
L - I get you loud and clear. I think it might be possible to go to the opposite extreme and become self-absorbed for a while. When we have dependent childrem, everything we give is self-less. For the most part that's how the young of every specie survives. Where we seem to get stuck is in getting we have completed a job well done. For many of us our self-image is deeply tied to our parenting and our expectations stemming from there. Asa result, some of us hand our lifetime report cards over to our adult children and suggest they keep them and grade us in hindsight. Or they create those report cards on their own, possibly to explain their own shortcomings. That way maturing isn't required.

We all leave home an unfinished product...like unfinished furniture. It takes work to achieve a deep tone and  lovely patina. We were children but are no longer. Within us, we still carry the child. We were students. Within us we are still learning. We were parents. Within us there will always be that sense of protectiveness. After that we may flop around a while trying on and discarding 'what's next'. The blueprint of life seems to blur. All I can say from my age of 87 is we have to learn to be patient with ourselves in the process. The best is yet to come.
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Lillycache

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Re: Too Selfish?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2014, 10:06:46 AM »
Yes.. this is a confusing time... and transition.   All my life I have been taught to give.. to not take... to not think highly of myself lest I be egotistical and selfish.   That training comes in handy when you have children.  They take and take.. and we give gladly.  It feels right.  If feels like what we were trained for.   Then.. suddenly we are told to knock it off and get a life of our own.  Make ourselves happy.   It's like learning a whole new way of existing.  We try a little bit... and that feels good.. so we go a little bit farther.   Then we worry we are going too far.  I think perhaps overcompensation is normal, until we get used to the concept of thinking about ourselves.  I think I'm at the overcompensation stage right now looking for equilibrium.  I was just wondering if anyone else had these feelings.

Offline Lillycache

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Re: Too Selfish?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2014, 10:10:56 AM »
OR.... on the otherhand.. perhaps my training in selflessness was so good...  I'm feeling a tad guilty.  My mother wouldn't have approved come to think of it.  We all can still hear our mothers voices in our heads.  lol!!

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Too Selfish?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2014, 10:42:30 AM »
I bet my mother...born in the 1800s, of course...would say, "Atta'girl!" in retrospect :-))))
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Lillycache

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Re: Too Selfish?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2014, 11:10:00 AM »
That's funny....  now my Grandmother would..  she was born in 1905..  She always treated herself very well, and would approve of my transition.    My mother, her daughter born in 1925 was the opposite.   Very traditional and long suffering. 

Offline Pooh

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Re: Too Selfish?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2014, 11:30:47 AM »
I agree with Luise that yes, you could take it to the extreme the opposite direction.  But, I think it's a balancing act of things.   Are you sure you are totally becoming about your happiness, or are you finding happiness when you are doing things that you are enjoying?  I love taking pictures, so I volunteered to take some of my friends engagement pictures the other day.  I did it for a couple of reasons.  I knew that didn't have tons of money to spend, and because I find happiness in taking pictures.  I also would like to turn my hobby into a business at some point.  So it was good practice for me.  Was it selfish of me to volunteer so I could have fun taking pictures and get experience?  Well, yeah...kind of.  But they also got free pictures out of it, plus they loved them and it made me feel even happier knowing I had done something nice for them that they were thrilled about.

So I got a two-fer.  I got to be happy and I got to make someone else happy.  I took my husband to a brew fest this weekend.  I hate beer.  He loves beer.  I wanted to hear the band that was playing :)  So I did something I wanted and gave him something he enjoyed as well.  If I told him that we were only going to do things that made me happy, and flit on him and what he wanted to do, then I'd be selfish.  Combining things that make me happy with things that make other people happy gives me my balance.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline shiny

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Re: Too Selfish?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2014, 03:45:49 PM »
Lilly, so totally get this ...

When we were raising our brood, at times it was hard making ends meet. I would gladly do without personal things so they could have. Didn't give it a second thought -- it was as normal as breathing.

Have continued giving to AC up to the present time, too. But slowly scaling back and focusing on myself more.
Example: Didn't hear from AC for Mother's Day so I bought myself a nice bracelet, ha!
Somewhat guilty about that, cause it's not my nature. Should I take it back?

Guess it's all about balance... hmmm, something to think on.
When we carry it to the extreme and think only of ourselves, it's almost like trying to medicate the pain, hoping it will get better. But it remains.
It's like putting a bandaid on a wound that hasn't been cleaned, ya know?

Offline Lillycache

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Re: Too Selfish?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2014, 05:25:35 PM »
It was the same for me... always making sure the kids had what they needed... and sometimes wanted.   NOW?  I don't deny myself much.   New car (of course I needed one)...  massages..... facials.... pedicures.. just to change the color.. lol!!   Ipad... IPod nano..  I'm getting a brand now "smile" this fall..  The nice pretty teeth I always wanted.. maybe a little face fixer upper.. Haven't decided.  BUT there's  no end to the presents..  Of course I have more money to spend now.. So I'm enjoying.   BUT... I do feel guilty.. I wonder why.. I'm not doing anything wrong.  It just feels funny making myself my focus instead of others.   I hope I don't sound horrible.  This is new territory for me.

Offline shiny

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Re: Too Selfish?
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2014, 05:57:42 PM »
Lilly,  don't be too hard on yourself ... just the fact that you're sensitive to the issue is a good sign.
I think you will know when/how to restrain yourself, if need be.

Sometimes, though not always, when we're older and kids are gone, there is more disposable income. So if you are blessed in that way, it's okay, IMO, to get some things you couldn't afford earlier in life.

At age fifty, I got braces on my crooked teeth. Wore for three years, and voila! nice smile!
Have NO guilt or regrets about that. Would do it again.
But I had to get mine done after all the ACs had theirs fixed, and finished college, and have weddings, ya know?

Just thinking here:
Set a limit on how much to spend on yourself -- so it won't get out of hand.
Give some to others with needs in community or charity.
Save some for GCs education if you can't give to them now.

Okay, off to look at myself in the magnifying mirror. I need a face fixer-up too!


Offline cynthiakayaks

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Re: Too Selfish?
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2014, 01:22:12 PM »
Good topic!
My adult son gives me the cold shoulder as far as having any kind of relationship.
I know his financial situation is very poor.
My income, however, along with my new finance has never been higher.
Even though my son hates me, I still feel guilty every time I spend money on clothes, trips, electronics, etc.
I know that he desperately needs things but unless he asks...
I like the idea of putting money away for him someday...

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Too Selfish?
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2014, 02:19:56 PM »
I learned many decades ago that when my sons did ask...it was up to me to respect them by establishing a repayment plan that honored them as adults. If they had a solid reason for renegotiating terms, that was addressed but if they defaulted, that was the last loan. There were also gifts that were clearly defined but never excessive. It worked and they chose to raise my grandchildren that way who are now choosing to raise my great grandchildren that way. Not easy!
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher