Wednesday, April 13, 2016

How heavy is my glass? How heavy is yours?

Today on Facebook, I saw a video about a twist on the water glass theory. The speaker's point was that the weight of the glass doesn't matter. It's all about how long you hold it. Like most people, there are a lot of glasses that I juggle daily, out of necessity. Some, I've been holding altogether too long. I think it's time to set them down.

For many, many years, I have been the absolute head of my household in every way. I'm the one people turn to with their problems, their worries, their hopes and their dreams. I love that they feel they can come to me. However, with this illness, I can no longer give them the quality of help they need and deserve. Plus, I have to be realistic. There will come a time when I won't be here. It's time for people to hold their own “glasses.”

Gradual transition is the name of my game these days. I'm not into dropping things into people's laps like hot rocks waiting to explode. I know what that feels like from the other side all too well. But I really have to let go of this role, this heavy “glass” of mine. If I don't, they won't have me around in any capacity. In other words, it's time for Mom to take care of herself now. And it's way past time for the little birdies to leave the nest.

Now, I know that I'm an enabler in some respects. Heck, maybe even in all respects. It's nobody's fault but my own that we are in this situation. I should have pushed them off the cliff to use their wings long ago. Albeit, gently. It's just that the heart, well, my heart anyway, has a hard time saying no to those I love. It's hard to watch them struggle when I have a solution. It's hard not to extend a hand when I should be respecting their struggles.

Know what I mean, jellybean?

And so, here is where I find myself. Happily, but somewhat unhealthily, surrounded by most of my descendants, all 9 of us, plus pets, squeezed into a space meant for 4 people at most. I love seeing them every day. I love helping them too. It's just that doing so is taking a heavy toll on my health and more importantly, on their independence.

I want to see them fly.

No, I want to see them soar! I want what every mother wants for their children and grand-children. I want to see them achieve success on their own. I want them to feel what it's like to attain their goals. They have to do that on their own or it will mean nothing to them.

And so, I have to put down a few glasses of water here and there for them to pick up. I'm not scared. I have faith in them. After all, they are MY kids and grand-kids. They're strong like me.

So, how heavy is my glass? How heavy is yours? Well, that's the whole point. Your glass and mine are just as heavy as we choose to make them.

Now, the speaker in this video, well, she was talking about stress, whereas, I'm talking about responsibilities. And some of you out there would be wise to stop holding onto your stressful water glasses for sure. But there also comes a time in middle age or so where the water glass you are holding is full of other people's responsibilities, like mine is.

Yesterday was an eye-opener for me in that respect. I spent the whole day cleaning, sometimes on hands and knees, scrubbing every little corner. Some of it was my mess, but honestly, as is the case most of the time, most of it was not. Then, once that was done, there was chauffeuring to do. As a result, I spent a good portion of the afternoon and evening worshiping the porcelain god because I'm just too sick to work that hard any more.

TMI? Probably, but it had to be said. Folks, my “glasses” are getting way too heavy. So, rather than making everyone miserable, I'm going to set a few down at a time until other people have the strength to pick up their own. It's not a resentment thing. It's not a lack of love. In fact, if anything, it's just the opposite.

I have a giving nature, but there comes a time when helping others actually hurts them. Hence the whole necessity for the word, “enabler.”

A friend of mine has had a plaque on her wall forever. It goes something like, “There are two things in life you can give your children. One is roots and the other is wings.” I should have taken that to heart a long time ago. So, while it may be overdue, I'm putting down my water glasses now.

Fly little birdies. You can do this!

No comments:

Post a Comment