Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer of Selfishness.

I've been told pretty much my entire life that selfishness is a gross quality.

No one wants to be called selfish.  Call me mean.  Call me a bitch.  Call me a jerk.  Call me stupid (okay...don't call me stupid...) but don't call me selfish.

To be selfish is to be ultimately the worst friend, lover, mother, Christian, teacher, or whatever you can possibly be.

We want to be seen as giving and self-less at all times.  Humble.  Compassionate.  Etc.

The thing is, reading this post by The Organic Sister today gave me a bit of a new perspective on the selfishness ideal and what exactly that means for me, as a person.

I've had a lot of guilt about this summer.

Guilt over the things I'm doing for me.  There are three huge things.

Three doesn't sound like a lot, unless you're a theatre person, in which case you will understand exactly what three things means:  I'm directing a musical at the local community theatre, I'm acting in an off-broadway playwriting fesitval, and I'm working at my newly opened art studio, where I'm teaching two acting classes every week.  These activities run from June through August: the entire summer.

I have margined my life enough to go on our annual family camping trip, do something nice for my anniversary with the hubby, and to do a weekend with my parents in July, but that's it.  Otherwise, literally every evening on my calendar is booked solid for the next three months.

Okay - right now you're probably thinking - wow, you SHOULD feel guilty!

But here's the thing - these things I'm doing now are opportunities that aren't going to come a'knockin' every day, nay, every year - some may be once in a lifetime.  I spend all morning and afternoon with both of my kids every day of the week.

My husband honestly isn't all that interested in quality time.

So while I leave the door wracked with guilt every evening after hugging my kids and kissing my man, the only person really suffering is me.  I'm the one who is losing sleep worrying about spending enough time with my family. I'm the one thinking about how my husband is doing with cooking dinner and wondering if he gave my daughter the antibiotics for her ear infection while I should be painting.  It's me who's taking the hit - not them.  My husband is the most supportive man on the face of the planet (I don't think this is an exaggeration), and kind of likes it when I do my own thing - that way he doesn't have to feel badly about doing HIS own thing (quality time IS important to me).  My kids are well-adjusted, mature-for-their-ages, fun, intelligent, creative kids who get to play with me all day long and will for years to come (we're unschoolers).  Guilt doesn't help them.  It doesn't make up for anything.  It just makes me feel like crap.  And that's just stupidity.

So I'm ditching the guilt for the summer.  Please hold me to that. 

Tomorrow I'm at my studio from 9 - noon.  I'm teaching a preschool art class and I'm working on two paintings and a colored pencil drawing.  Three glorious hours to bask in creativity and color.  When I get home, I will be energized and ready to hang with the fam.  I'll be a better me - and isn't that better for everyone?


Anonymous said...

Missy, there is has got to be time for the self. if you spend your whole life on other people, you may not even get to being yourself. And this is something I've just discovered recently. Being there for others is important, but being a shell of a person to do it is no good.

Missy said...

Thanks so much, Dawn! It's so true!

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