No More False Apologies
I'm done with false apologies. I don't mean the apologies that are nothing more than thinly veiled commentaries on other people's shortcomings. As in, "I'm sorry that you can't handle...." , or "I'm sorry that you don't want to....when all I'm trying to do is help you." No, not those kind. And for sure there are many things I probably should apologize for that I don't. But again, that's not my focus here. I'm talking about the things I should quit apologizing for so that I may be more truthful about who I am. In fact, maybe I should just call them the lies that they really are.
Here's what I mean. This weekend I did something really out of character for me -- or actually something that is completely my character, I just never do it. I got away for 24 hours ALL BY MYSELF. Just me. Not even my dog. I've craved this type of retreat for a long time and it's been FIVE long years since I've done it. When I need a little quiet space with just myself, my default mode usually says "I Can't!" The kids need.... or The kids have....going on. Or I still need to.... But I was so close to drowning in the day-to-day, that I knew I had to take care of my soul for a little while.
So what's the big deal with that? Here's a little secret, as mothers, wives and women in general, there is great pressure to sacrifice every last bit of time, energy and sanity we have. And then accept it as status quo. So where's the apology? Where's the lie? First, I commit a lie of omission. I won't tell anybody except those that must know or if I get cornered and have to 'fess up. Then, I begin the explanation. I have to explain myself by recounting the gazillion things that have been stressing me out. And "I'm sorry I'm bailing out on life for 24 hrs. I'm sorry I'm being selfish. I'm sorry I'm weird." Why? Why do I feel the need to explain myself or apologize that I just need to unplug for a mere 24 hours? Besides that, it's a lie. I'm not sorry for any of those things. I don't even believe that I'm selfish or weird. I have just learned that it's something I need in my life.
Since it's freeing to quit apologizing for time away, here are a few more things I'm not sorry for:
- caring about my hair, nails and clothes...shallow? maybe, but I don't care
- not reading non-fiction
- being a realist
- listening to my own voice
This is not an exhaustive list, just a few things I've identified that I'm willing to own. A good friend once told me that becoming self-aware was a big responsibility. And I've written mine out in a blog. That's because I need accountability.