Day 21

Day 21 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.

I didn’t understand the rules. With every family I lived with there was a different set of rules. I was used to rules – my mother’s home was one of the strictest, cleanest and OCD producing environments known to man.  Even the magazines on the coffee table where placed strategically and equi-distance from one another. But this was not the case in every house I visited.

In one house I frustrated my siblings because I didn’t get my hair out of the drain catch in the shower. I hadn’t noticed the drain catch. I also frustrated them because I would study in the sun room with the door closed. I didn’t know this made them feel left out and feeling like I didn’t want to interact. I was just trying to find a place where I could get my homework done. In another family I didn’t understand the episcopal church AT ALL. It was so very different from my charismatic hoppin’ church home.  Where one family ate at a counter another ate in the living room. Still another ate in a formal dining room. And in my husbands family nobody warned me that they are all lip kissers!!  What is normative and acceptable in one family is certainly not in another and it takes a while to learn the “rules.”

Life now is filled with new rules. I have decided that instead of trying to fit other people’s rules and expectations into my life that I would make my own house rules.  For instance, I will talk about mental illness/depression/anxiety openly and on the world-wide web. I can regulate my caffeine so it doesn’t produce more anxiety. I will freak out or curl up in a ball when I need to. I can turn down social invitations just because the setting is too crowded and I may not enjoy it – or because it is too late in the day for me to get enough sleep to accommodate my sleep meds. It’s my house. I’ll make my own doggone rules.