Monday, May 18, 2015

On retraining myself, and others

This is long, but it addresses some of you. Therefore, this is why it's not only posted on my blogs, but on Facebook as well. If the shoe fits, wear it. If it doesn't, don't worry about it. Savvy?:

Ever feel like you're shouting into the void and nobody is hearing you? Of, if they are hearing you, they aren't listening? I feel that way much of the time. Not with every person, but with most.

Until I lose my shit, hardly anybody takes me seriously or listens, and that's a big pet peeve of mine. It's unnecessary to become a volcano and erupt. Much easier to listen, understand, and try to do something about things BEFORE the lava flows, right?

I don't like to erupt. It's not pretty, trust me. You've seen me upset on here, but you've NEVER seen me erupt (well, save for maybe a few of you). It's not healthy for anybody involved, including me, and it leaves wounds and scars afterward. But alas, I AM human and I can only take so much.

If you need or want things from me, I ask that you be respectful and considerate of me in return -- that goes for family, friends, FB acquaintances, and strangers. That includes impositions on my time, energy, and attention. Because, just like yours, it's precious. It's more precious than money, in fact. I put the value on my time and attention, and from here on, it's gonna be high.

Unless you put me on retainer 24/7, I'll respond when it's convenient for me (this applies to personal communication, not professional communication). Your emergency is not automatically my emergency, either. Not my circus, not my monkeys. Tired of putting myself in crisis mode over other people's crises.

Also, my immediate family comes first -- always. Everybody else stands in line. And on down the get the drift. Believe me, I have more than enough to juggle here on the home front. Husband and children first, then comes my career. Everything else is a lower priority than those two things. It has to be that way.

For most of my life, I've allowed others to eat up my time, energy, and attention because I felt I needed to always please them or I needed to bow to their whims. No longer, so get used to it. I'm 50 and I have no idea how much time I'll be on this plane of existence. I no longer have time to say yes to everything or try and bend myself to the whims or wishes of others.

It's time for me now. It's time for my dreams, my goals, my ambitions. And, considering the time I've spent giving to others, sacrificing for others, and putting myself at risk to shield others from problems, I think I damn well deserve to draw some boundaries. If I were a man, I wouldn't have to ask or beg for this. I'd do it, and I'd do it without emotion.

As a woman, society has raised me to think that I need to ask, beg, or justify time for myself. Well, I won't do it. I'm taking it. People can either like and understand it or not. That's not my issue, it's theirs. Men typically don't have to explain such things, but women are selfish if they're not there for everybody all the time or waiting in the wings to nurture, support, or encourage everybody else on the fucking planet.

Yes, I do care about all of you. But friends and family, it's time for me. I'm going to train myself to stop chasing after people, to stop trying to please everybody every single minute of the day, and to stop doing things that others can (and should) do for themselves. I've said this before and gotten off track, so this is a reaffirmation of what I MUST do in order to maintain whatever sanity I have left. This is a reminder for both me and all of you.

There's more, but you can fill in the blanks. If not, Google is your friend. Speaking of which, I will no longer do research for anybody, either. If you're hooked up to the Internet, you can use the same method I do: type in Google, enter your inquiry into the search box, etc. My time is as precious as yours, after all. Or, find experts and ask them. There's a website for that as well.

If you have a book manuscript, I do not have time to read it. Are you kidding? With editing and reading for pleasure, when do I have time to read other manuscripts? Same with short stories. I cannot tell you if it's good enough to be published. That's up to an agent, editor, or publisher. So submit it and you'll find out. That's what I had to do (and still have to do). 

Also, don't ask to give me an idea so I can write a book and split the royalties with you. Really? Ideas are a dime a dozen, and I have more in my head than I could EVER put on paper. When you ask a writer that, you're asking THEM to do all the work so you can reap the benefits of the results. Not cool. The answer is no. Write it yourself or pay a ghostwriter (and they aren't cheap).

I'm not being harsh; I'm being upfront about things. If you want feedback, a critique of your work, and one-on-one attention, I have writing and editing courses for $20 to $25 per week. I'm a cheap date, too! And if you don't think I'm worth $20 a week, I don't have time to discuss this with you anymore. Because, you see, I am worth that -- and a lot more.

I'm tired of devaluing myself for others. After 18 years as a professional in the publishing industry, I sure as hell hope you think my time is worth that small amount. You'd spend a lot more on one dinner and I'll give you more value for that price. I support my family with my work, and the utility company doesn't take IOUs (I wish they did!) So please, don't put me in an uncomfortable position by asking me to things without payment or an equal barter in return.

In general, it's my belief that people do not truly care about events or situations unless they're directly affected. That's true for me at times as well, because I'm human. I have a ton of flaws myself, believe me.

Contrary to popular belief, I'm much more critical of myself that anybody else. I've gotten better over the years, but I still struggle with self-loathing in many ways. It's hard to love oneself, but it's become clear that if I don't learn that, I'm destined to destroy myself. I'm loving myself by redrawing boundaries and reasserting them to me, and to all of you.

Anyway, enough with that. Having spoken my piece, the matter is resolved. Now, let's see what trouble I can get into for the rest of the day *evil laugh*