I did it! All by myself. I put up the Christmas lights.
I of course am laughing at myself that this simple act has me doing a happy dance inside, but I also know that this is something for me to wiggle like a puppy about. For I have let myself fall into a kind of learned helplessness when it comes to doing something new.
I know why this is, and I have recognized its existence for several years now. But it is a crippling behavior pattern I had become comfortable with. Growing up with six brothers and critical parents meant I, when ever possible, looked to the men in my life to do any task I could talk them into. And I have kind brothers who will still take care of me if I would ask them.
It continued into my marriage, not because my husband thought me incapable, but because he liked to take care of everything for me. He liked to feel needed, so I let him. And it was a behavior pattern I was used to, so I went along with the flow.
Then when my marriage imploded, and I was alone with my children, I was away from home more than I was there, working at a desk all day, and my very capable children took care of me when I was home. I am forever thankful that they did because the grief and darkness that I was swallowed up in would have drowned us all if they had not stepped up.
Well it is time for this madness to stop! I am capable. I may struggle, but my family is just going to have to step back and let me, because it is ridiculous, and actually very boring, for me to wait around for others to do things I can do for myself. It is time for this bad behavior pattern to get the boot.
So today, I got out the ladder and put the Christmas lights up all by myself (insert fist pump here) Yes it did take me way longer than it should have because I for sure and certain did not want to fall off that ladder. Not only would it hurt, lots, but it would have reinforced the opinion that was floating around that I shouldn’t be doing anything.
I love my kids, I know they mean well, and it is their love that has them wanting to keep me in my cocoon, but it is time for them to give me some space, and let me grow.
I am laughing again, because I know how hard it is going to be for them, if they are anything like me. I had a really hard time not wanting to keep them in a cocoon for the rest of their lives too. Hehehe, this is going to be fun.