Friday, February 29, 2008
Drain My Blood
I used to agree to a lot of things I didn't want to do, provided they were far enough in the future that I could fool myself into thinking my feelings would change by then, that I'd be struck by a sudden burst of energy or that I would want to sit through a children's piano recital, that I would in effect become a different person. I'd say, That sounds like fun, and it wouldn't, but I didn't' know how to say no. The day would come all too quickly and there I'd be, stuck in hell with no stop, drop, and roll available, and I would think, I'll never do this again, only to get suckered into it again and all too soon. But much has changed over the last few years and my new rule is that I don't agree to things that I wouldn't want to do tomorrow. If I could do the activity tomorrow, would I still say yes? More often than not, the answer is no. And so I try to go with that plan now.
Many of us are taught to be airline stewardesses for everyone (to steal from an Anne Lamott lecture I heard years ago), making sure everybody has what they need to be comfortable. Are you okay, are you fine, do you need me to drain my blood for you to feel better? That sort of thing. I'm all for generosity and compassion; it's the thing that keeps the world from being a hellish place. But if you can't say no and can't take care of yourself, you deplete yourself of these very qualities, of your ability to give out of desire and love instead of duty. That's not to say that sacrifice doesn't have its place. It does. But as for the long flights, I think people have a duty to take good care of themselves. If you want to give them the whole can, that's fine. But most people waste it, leaving you with even more of a mess in the long run.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"The most powerful tool most of us possess is our own voice." Joyce Maynard
Drinking music suggestion: Mind, Body, and Soul Joss Stone
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Leap Year!