We all want to matter!
We all want to know that someone cares.
We all want to know that our efforts are not in vane.
It hurts when you are just an after thought,
Even when all you do is care for others!
How can this be?
How can the ones you care for be so cruel?
How can the ones you place ahead of yourself not return that same amount of consideration?
It’s a tough pill to swallow, I know, but there it is, plain as day — you don’t matter as much as you thought you did (shrug).
Oh, but you DO!
See, it’s not that you don’t matter, it’s just that those who have come to rely on you so diligently, always expect you to be there, rain or shine, no matter what. Life with you there seems so automatic, so right, so easy, that they’ve just come to expect your presence as normal. But, the minute you change the routine, and stop being so present, so available, so accessible, it is without a doubt that your dependents will take notice.
The following are a few easy tips and tricks to boost your importance to the ones who matter: kids, spouse, boss, colleagues, friends and even clients.
Take some time off
Not only will this time away help recharge your batteries and renew focus when you return, but it will also give your dependents a chance to miss you. Nothing screams I MISS YOU more than when the ones who rely on you everyday to ensure smooth sailing on the open seas, feel absolutely lost without you.
Your time away can take any form you want, the following are just a few examples to get you started:
An evening out:
If you’re a single parent this can be especially beneficial since you don’t really get much time off. You are the soul bread-winner and must also be both parents in one. Finances might also be limited, so this may not be a splurge you can afford often but for the sake of self-preservation it can be definitely worth it. Have a sitter come over while you go out and really try to enjoy your time away guilt-free. The kids can survive one evening without you, promise! If you are part of a couple, then the other parent can certainly be trusted to handle the kids solo for one evening. Even if you are just a couple without kids but feel you need time apart and you can benefit from an evening out, then by all means do it. You’ll be so happy you did!
A day off:
If an evening out is not what you had in mind, perhaps because it doesn’t seem to be enough time to really unwind, then a day off might better suit your needs. Schedule it well in advance so you have time to include all the things you want to do, and for goodness sake please don’t spend this day off running errands! The purpose of the exercise is to unwind, so please do something fun or relaxing, okay?
If a night out or day off sound great but what you really want is to get away completely then a vacation is more your cup of tea. The amount of time away is entirely up to you, but do stay within budget and do have fun. Sometimes a change in scenery is just what you need to put things in perspective upon your return so relish this time away — you deserve it!
If you would love a week or two off but your budget won’t allow you to leave the state or country, then a stay-cation it is! If you have kids then sending them off to the grandparents, or to camp for the duration of your stay-cation would be ideal. If those options aren’t viable and you would prefer to leave just to escape the house for a few days, then you can go to a local Bed and Breakfast for a long weekend while the kids stay with the second parent, friend, grandparent etc. If no kids, and you are quite comfortable relaxing at home and doing tourist-like activities for a few days then that’s fine too. Whatever your choosing, the goal is to separate yourself from your surroundings or from the ones who rely on you daily and just relax. The trick though (for all the examples mentioned), is to not stay away too long, since inevitably they (your dependents) will learn how to do things without you — it’s just human nature to adapt.
During your time off (described above), whether it be a fun vacation, stay-cation or if it’s just a day away from the kids, try to spend a few hours absolutely alone. This quiet time will allow you to find your center — the place deep inside that speaks to you! What is it saying? Do you need more sleep? Have you been wanting to read a good book? Are you still interested in seeing that movie or play? Are you long overdue for a bit of pampering? Or are you in need of a bit of spiritual renewal — some alone time with God? Just be still and listen. What ever your need, it will reveal itself so you may act upon it. It may even be wise to schedule a Time Alone day off to help you plan your ideal vacation.
The trick is to plan your alone time wisely. Don’t spend so much time in the thinking phase that there isn’t enough time left to actually do what you’ve decided. The last thing you need is to feel rushed since the purpose of this exercise it to de-stress and recharge. If you need a day to think/plan, that’s fine, as long as you implement the plans you took such valuable time to create.
This can be incorporated into your time off (vacation, stay-cation, evening out or day off).This activity should involve something you haven’t done in a long time or have never done but always wanted to do. It can be anything but here are a few suggestions:Visit a dear friend; go on an outing; have a picnic; see a play; enjoy some wine (if it’s not something you get to do); pick/buy yourself flowers; have a manicure-pedicure, facial, massage, hair cut, gourmet chocolate or whatever treats that excite you – – Anything you haven’t done in a long time that would make you feel special! Something that is sure to put a smile on your face. The trick is to be mindful of your budget. Don’t spend money on something extravagant that would put you in enormous debt. This will only bring additional stress down the road. Be wise, be frugal, be creative, and think outside the box!
Accept compliments gracefully
Now that you’ve rested, done something fun and have a smiling glow on your face, your entire aura just beams! You are bound to receive a compliment or two and you need to be prepared. Have you ever been given a compliment and you just shrug it off with a dismissive response like, “Oh, no, little old me?” or “Oh stop, you’re just saying that to be nice!”
Are you the type that can’t even recognize a compliment when given one because you’re surrounded by ‘takers’ and no/hardly any givers of compliments? Well it’s time to take yourself out of that environment for a while just to regroup. Spend some time in the company of those who care for you and are genuinely interested in your well being (especially if you haven’t seen them in a while ). They will be excited to hear of your alone time and fun activities and most importantly, will be lavishing you with compliments. Accept them, soak them up, be graceful, be appreciative, be humble. This will not only boost your spirit but allow you to feel cared for, which I’m sure would be a nice change of pace. The trick is to not get caught by someone who gives a compliment just before bombarding you with criticism. Even though constructive criticism is good, for the purpose of this exercise such an person should be avoided.
Make a list of your accomplishments
You’ve set goals all your life (I hope) . If you were to make a list of all your accomplishments to date what would that list look like? Even those things you never set out to accomplish but achieved anyway, yep, those too!
Now that it’s written in black and white, how do you feel? I’m sure it’s a pretty awesome list! Now reach round and give yourself a huge pat on the back, yes you’re pretty AMAZING if you say so yourself!
The trick is to not get too swell-headed – – No one likes an obnoxious braggart. The purpose of this exercise is to lift your spirits and establish self-worth, not turn you into a narcissist, self-centered, know-it-all!! ^_^ (just kidding)
What are people saying about you ?
Companies do customer surveys and employee evaluations all the time to gauge their success. But as an individual how do you get such feedback to see how much you are valued, appreciated or loved?
A girl told a story once, about going home, hiding in a closet, waiting for her boyfriend to get home, then staying there for a long time to see how long it took him to inquire of her whereabouts to family and friends. She needed to know how much he cared!
Yikes!! That was an extreme, somewhat bizarre scenario, but there are more subtle ways to get feedback that won’t freak people out!
Family members don’t always tell you directly how much they cherish you, but they may tell someone else in the family and that someone may tell someone else. What is the grapevine saying? What little notes do loved ones write in your birthday cards? (If you save such things perhaps it’s time to retrieve them). If someone were to write your eulogy what would they say? (A little morbid, yes, but you get the point).If you have a blog, what would your audience say about your little time off or treats to yourself? Do you surround yourself with positive, encouraging people? (If you don’t it’s probably time to re-evaluate your friends).
These are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling on this very important exercise in finding validation. You may be inspired to try other methods of your own. If so, please feel free to share your findings, it would be a pleasure to hear from you. In the mean time, enjoy the journey! ^_^
This post was inspired by a fellow blogger and friend Marisa (https://mrsmariposa2014.wordpress.com/). Thanks for always being a source of encouragement and a woman of Christ as we journey along in this crazy life we’ve been given. Hugs!!
Contents written: April 18 2015 | Edited: May 18 2015 | Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises