Yesterday, my friend John sent me a message via Facebook Messenger. Included in that message was a link to a blog, titled, “Seashell Nell,” in which the author wrote a post titled, “Someone asked me what I wanted.” The author then proceeded to write a bunch of things that she wanted, in quite eloquent fashion. A lot of those things were spiritually related.
My list of things I want isn’t quite as eloquent. In fact, there is only one main thing I want out of life, and that is peace of mind. Those who have read past blog posts of mine know that I can be hard on myself and unforgiving of myself for past transgressions and mistakes that I have made. I am certain that is not the healthiest approach to life. I want and need to remind myself that I am doing the best I can each and every day. My quality of life is important to me from this point forward, and that doesn’t have to include material things. Rather, the quality of my relationships with family and friends needs to take top priority. I think good things will happen to me once those take shape.
The more I think about it, the more I realize I have to be as content with myself as I possibly can in order for me to move forward with my life. Of course, we all have to adapt to changing times and circumstances in order to survive. No one wants to see the world pass them by. However, being content with myself is easier said than done.
I readily admit that I am not very good when it comes to managing my money. Eating out seems to be a bad habit for me. Even though I am not independently wealthy to begin with, the temptation of eating out is often too great for me to resist. Between my Social Security disability and working at Lowe’s, it is a struggle to make it each month. However, I am not doing myself any favors. I feel like I am letting my parents down, and moreover, I feel like I am letting God down. After all, He calls us to be good stewards of what we have on this Earth, and I haven’t always done that. I also feel like I have let a lot of people down by not being in a better spot from a life standpoint. Since I am in my 40s, and a college graduate, I think I should be in a better spot than I am. However, I think I am in the majority of folks for which life hasn’t turned out like they had planned. After all that I have been through, I need to celebrate and take pride in the smaller victories that come with each day, and not be so hard on myself. By the same token, I need to recognize that there is still room for improvement.
For those of you who don’t know, I am a member of the Reflect retreat team, which conducts 1-2 retreats per year for midlife Catholic singles at St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt, MI, not too far from Lansing. I have been on the team for about 5-6 years. I am grateful for their unconditional friendship, acceptance, and support. I think they realize that I have my own unique gifts that I bring to the team. Just the same, I think there are times where I feel inadequate in their presence, and it isn’t because of anything they did wrong. It’s just that the majority of them have life experiences that I’ve never had: home ownership, having family lives of their own, going on vacations to places I’ve never been, etc. It’s totally illogical, yet that’s often how I feel.
I guess that goes to show you that while I think a lot of things have changed for the better for me since I moved back to metro Detroit back in May 2012, I still have to learn to love myself first and foremost. I have to be good to myself before I can be good to other people.