Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Things Aren't So Simple

Following yesterday’s post, I thought I’d better let you all know that I’m feeling a lot better today. I still didn’t sleep well but for different reasons this time (medical reasons) and although I’m tired today, my mind feels more at ease.

What IS bugging me though is the fact that this simplicity lark that I’m so determined to keep hold of just seems to keep slipping away from me. This is why:

1. Keeping On Top Of Things
Although I’ve de-cluttered considerably there’s still a long way to go and I just don’t seem to be able to keep up with it. Because I tire really quickly, there always seems to be other stuff that needs doing and even the general day to day running of the house can become too much for me at times. When the floors need cleaning, the kitchen looks as if a war’s been fought in it, the washing basket’s overflowing and the window’s are so dirty I can hardly see out of them anymore, de-cluttering is the last thing I have time for. I do a little now and then (I de-cluttered the shelves and baskets underneath the coffee table at the weekend) but it’s never enough.

Maybe I’m just attacking things in the wrong way or something but if there’s one thing I regret it’s letting it get this way in the first place! Why oh why did I ever think I needed all this junk?

2. People
I’ve really tried hard to keep toxic people out of my path but it’s not always possible. Some people I just have to tolerate because of circumstances. I can’t go into what those circumstances are as I wouldn’t like anybody to recognise themselves, or even think they recognise themselves, but a couple of them are people I really don’t need or want in my life.

For some reason I tend to attract those who are down on their luck and that’s ok, but when they starting taking the Jimmy out of me, it’s not ok anymore. Far from it. I don’t hesitate to tell them about themselves, and have done on numerous occasions, but still they persist and there’s sod all I can do about it.

These people cause me unnecessary stress EVEN THOUGH they know that stress can make me seriously ill. Stress is not good when you’re trying to live a simple life.

3. People II
Because I tend to attract people who have had a less than easy life (and I guess that’s because like attracts like), a lot of my friends are struggling with personal problems. My problem is that I get too emotionally involved and again, that leads to stress.

And that IS my problem, not theirs. They haven’t asked me to get so involved, nor have they expected it of me, but it’s part of my nature I guess, and probably something I’m just going to have to live with.

I have learned to distance myself to a certain degree - I don’t get as involved as I once would have done - but even so, I notice that there are times when I need to put my own needs before theirs and that doesn’t always happen.

Is it really possible to live simply in a house that feels chaotic most of the time, and with friends whose problems I take onboard a little too often? Not to mention the ones who aren’t friends but who I have to endure but who suck me dry emotionally. Is it? Please tell me it is.

It's a new month - maybe I just need to 'regroup' and decide on a plan of action. I just have to figure out what that should be first.

Sharon J


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Jade of the Jungle said...

Sorry to hear that things aren't going as smoothly as you'd hoped, Sharon. I find that when there's a lot going on in my life I lose focus on lots of things and goals slip a bit (I am not even going to do a post about my progress on my Sept goals, frankly it's just embarassing!). Think the thing to do is realise that not everyone can stay focussed all the time and just roll with the punches. As for the toxic people, I know exactly what you mean, but I also think we learn something from everyone we meet (even if the lesson is to NOT be like that person!).

Chin up!

J x

Anonymous said...

I used to have a toxic friend. She was an emotional vampire, someone who, when she was upset, would ring me, tell me all her woes and have a good cry, put the phone down feeling better, and at the end of it, *I* would wind up feeling like hell. to make things worse, because of my deafness, my mom had to translate and mum would wind up feeling exactly the same way. It was that, coupled with the fact that after she came to stay for a weekend, i was actually *glad* to see the back of her that made me realise... she had to go.

Some might think me mean for this, because i didn't give her a chance to change, but in all honesty, she had such major problems, emotionally and mentally that being an emotional vampire was the least of it, and would've taken so much effort to change.. i simply didn't have the will or the spare energy to do it myself.

Since then i've been much more ruthless about getting rid of people who aren't good for me, and if i don't do it, my OH does. Its not easy, you do have to be ruthless about it, but its also necessary, for your own good, as you know.

the other kind of problem, where you worry about other people, is both harder and easier to deal with. The way i see it, the only thing you *can* do is to be a friend, offer a supportive ear, or sometimes more concrete help such as helping someone move house. Other than that, learning to let go of worries is much easier said than done. sometimes little rituals such as writing down your worries and burning the paper in a candle or something can help with the "letting go" part. I think sometimes as well asking yourself honestly at the end of the day: "have i done all i could reasonably do for that person, without taking over or helping them in such a way that may well be detrimental to their growth?" (reasonably being the key), then you have an answer and after that, train yourself to squish thoughts about that person unless they're positive.

good luck with it!


Grow Ur Own said...

I think busy minded people find it virtually impossible to declutter - I know I do. New ideas, phases and fads require new little bits to go with them, but when we get to the point where we have learnt what we want to then its onto something else. However, all the bits and bobs from our latest little ventures are still in situ, and don't ask us to throw them away just yet...not only is that wasteful, but "you never know when you will need it."

Without turning your whole home into a walk in storage centre to keep all these things in, then the clutter is here to stay. Anyway who wants a "show home" where nothing is out of place, or none of your knick knacks can be seen? Thats not the home of an interesting, varied personality, but someone who has serious anal issues about where things need to live.
In your condition all major jobs like window washing etc will have to wait until you feel up to it. Don't want to sound brash, but keeping yourself in as best physical condition as possible should be your main goal - remember,
"Dust if you must, but there's not much time,
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead."

People are a different kettle of fish altogether...if only you could give the ones you have grown out of to the charity shop ;)

It is not easy, and sometimes impossible to cut people from your life who suck you dry both physically and emotionally, especially if they have been there for a long time. However, making sure that you cut down your contact time with them can really help. Always remember that people like that are not open minded or willing to take advise easily, so anything that you do to try and help will probably fall on deaf ears. Try and save yourself the stress, count to 10 and think "Is this person really going to listen to what I say?" If not, save your breath and use it to say something to someone who will. :)

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear that you were having a tough time, poor you! I'm glad that you are feeling better. I think your post is very wise (again!). I too try to keep toxic people out, it is the easiest way, but of course life being life sometimes you have to work with those people and/or sometimes they are family. I have stopped contact with a couple of family members who are very toxic but they were extended family.
Hope you are having a great day!

Sharon J said...

@ Jade. I know what you mean about losing focus. As I said, time to 'regroup' I guess. And yes, we do learn something from everybody we meet, I just don't always enjoy the lessons.

@ Kethry. Your vampire friend sounds dreadful but I've had similar friends so understand why you did what you did. I've been trying to spend less time with toxic people but it isn't always easy. I like your question - I'll try to remember that.

@ Grow Ur Own. I've no idea who you are but you're certainly very wise :) I've never wanted a sterile show home and don't like them either. It isn't the nick-knacks and bits and bobs that I need to de-clutter, it's the stuff that's dumped in drawers and cupboards and really isn't needed by anybody for anything. Never being able to find what I'm looking for drives me nuts! I know exactly what you mean by trying new things and then moving on though. That's me in a nutshell and my home definitely reflects that.

@ Frugal Trenches. I suppose I'm lucky in that I'm not forced to work with people who bring me down but I do have to suffer a few people I'd rather not have in my life. I put up with them because I need to stay close to others whose lives their involved in.

Jennifer said...

I'm an 'honesty is the best policy' kind of person. So I would email your friends (if you can't face telling them on the phone or in person) and say that you've been going through a bit of a difficult time energy wise and need to try to find a way to 'charge' yourself back up again. Tell them you care about them and their issues a great deal, sometimes perhaps too much, as other people's problems definitely affects your energy levels mentally and physically. As much as you would love to stay in touch, right now is just a bit of a titchy time so they will please have to bear with you for perhaps, until after Christmas, when you get better on your feet. But tell them by all means, you would love to hear any good news they have.

Sharon, by doing this you would be encouraging people to share 'happy' good moments with you that has happened in their lives, not the 'misery' part. This is turn should help them to focus on the better moments in their lives, albeit perhaps small at the moment. If they want to 'keep in touch' then they better make good things HAPPEN in their own lives first. This is a win/win situation, don't you think?

Good luck no matter what avenue you choose and do look after yourself. :D


Sharon J said...

@ Jennifer. I have been honest with people - they know I can't handle stress well and that it can make me seriously ill (and I do mean SERIOUSLY) but there are still some who either don't or won't understand the problem. They're the people I could really do with eliminating from my life but unfortunately, for reasons I can't go into here, I have to put up with them. Thankfully, most DO understand and don't burden me quite as much with their personal woes anymore, although obviously I'm not completely immune to people's problems and neither would I want to be. Their 'happy moments' make up for it :)