OPINION

 

“A bad childhood is no excuse for being a bad adult. When you’re unhappy with yourself then change something.”

 

It is always easy to justify our own behavior or that of others. If we think about something long enough it’s simple enough to work the logistics out.

I’ve done it.

I’m confident most reading this have done it.

It is what it is.

When a person’s behavior starts causing me issues is when I get a bit prickly.

I can’t stand one particular excuse some make for the cruddy behavior of others, “Well, that’s the way they are.”

Okay.

So, because of that I have to rearrange myself or make accommodations for someone else simply because that’s the way they are?

That was an excuse often used by my ex for his horrific behavior and I got so used to it I began to accept it not just for him, but for others, too.

I’ve made so many concessions for other people and how they ‘are’ I lost myself along the way.

The other often used excuse for bad behavior is a cruddy childhood.

Speaking from experience, I get it, but you know what?

I quit being a child a long time ago and I had to make a decision whether or not I was going to make excuses all the time or step up and become the adult I needed to be.

Fortunately, I had my grandparents.

Not long after Nick passed I sat Kid 1 down and told her she was not ever going to use her brother’s death as an excuse to be a screw up.

She could have easily used him to do poorly in school, get mixed up with drugs and/or alcohol or any number of other activities, but she didn’t.

I told her it would be disrespectful to his memory and she would also be doing herself a disservice.

She excelled at school.

She’s a college graduate.

She’s got a wonderful marriage to an equally wonderful husband.

She’s a fantastic mother.

I couldn’t have handpicked a more perfect daughter for myself.

And, her childhood was beyond less-than-ideal.

I am tired, both literally and figuratively, of making concessions for other people based upon (fill in the blank).

I’ve done it so long, which is my own fault, people expect it now.

I’m worn out mentally, physically, emotionally.

I want to be that person, for a change, who expects everyone else to pick up the slack in every area of my life.

I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb wondering, “Well, who in the heck is going to clean up this mess?”

Because, that’s how I AM.

I’m wired to pick up after people in every aspect.

I’m wired to do the best job I can.

Even if I wanted to do something halfway, which I have tried, there’s something inside of me that won’t let me.

When I make a mistake in the paper it gnaws at me endlessly.

If I didn’t care about what I’m doing, something that slowly appears to be happening, I wouldn’t be doing it.

My best girl, Kim, is exactly like this.

She and I have spent hours on the phone talking about this.

We’ve both surmised we’re just at the age where putting ourselves first once in awhile wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Five or 10 years ago the mere thought of putting myself first would have sent my anxiety into overdrive.

I certainly have my own issues I need to work on and in no way am I insinuating I don’t.

There’s no doubt in my mind I bug the heck out of some.

I need a lot of reassurance from friends that I didn’t do something to make them mad or if I haven’t heard from them in a few days, I need to know they still like me.

When something is bothering me I tend to shut down. I don’t want to talk to anyone about it. I want to be left alone.

I do anything and everything to avoid conflict which doesn’t help me at all.

I am sensitive (I’ve worked pretty hard on this one and am a lot better).

The list, in my head, is endless.

At a certain point in all of our lives we all have to grow up.

Like taxes and death, there is no pass for anyone.

That’s just the way it is.