Calamity Jennye

Monday, July 25, 2011

Selfish Sufficiency

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking about selfishness and self sufficiency. I think there are a lot of ways that these two things are completely different but I think there is an area of overlap as well.
You know when you make concentric circles in the way that they overlap with an oval shape in the middle. There's always some way that these circles remind me of butterflies.
Anyway, I think the overlap between selfish and self sufficient is sort of big like those concentric circles.
It's not a line you can step over and go "oops...I didn't mean to do that, I'll just hop back over to the other side".
Instead I think there is a wasteland. You step over and say "hmm...this seems a bit different, it seems so similar to where I was before. I can see the line, my boundary, over there. But something seems different in this space, there's all these nice people here with me."
And then you spend some time wandering around. Mostly in circles because that's what the lines encourage you to do inside a circle...then you reach your boundary, turn around and realize..."Hmm, that closest boundary over there is a different color. What is this place where I've been spending all my time?"

Meanwhile your friends are screaming "Selfishness!! You've been spending all your time at the entrance of the circle to selfishness (bitch)!" That last part is hopefully under their breath.

I feel like I'm in that circle danger zone...There have been so many times lately when I have been unable to be self sufficient, times when I have been so far beyond grateful for the help of my friends and family. But I'm beginning to feel like it's gone too far. I'm beginning to feel myself wandering.

I want to get back to self sufficiency, some healthy form of communal support. I really think community needs support, we all need each other to truly thrive. But I don't know right this minute how to find a healthy balance. I feel like my need for help has become a need to accept help too easily. And while the wasteland amongst those circles seems vast the lines between them is so fine...

So my resolution for right now? To say "no" more often and pay more attention to everyone around me. Mostly to how I can be there for those around me. To write more thank you's, to take some meals to people, to...I don't know, really keep my eyes open for things that are not about me.

I just have to end these positive, happy resolutions with a story that underscores my life:
I've been thinking about this all day, the selfishness issue (so yes, I've been thinking about me all day). How to be less selfish, ways I can start turning down help. Then tonight I went to my mother-in-laws for dinner and my car ran out of gas in her driveway 7 miles from town. The details are too much to tell but the first chance we really had to get gas was at the end of dinner just as Esme had a full on melt down. My M-I-L's partner graciously said, I will go get you need to get her home. I sat there once again feeling helpless. Knowing I had to accept her help but feeling this should have been the perfect opportunity to assert my self-sufficiency.
Just one more Calamity...I'm beginning to worry I may have to change my blog title...

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