Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Take responsibility

Mom said to me, "You can't have the same expectations for everyone else that you have for yourself." Good advice.

Mom said to me, "Everyone isn't as capable as you are, so don't try to measure them by your abilities." Makes sense.

Mom said to me, "You never know who is watching you to see what's OK for you to do so they will do the same things." Wow. That piled on a goodly amount of responsibility to my young shoulders. Being the type of person I am (does birth order have anything to do with it?) I took those words VERY seriously. Yep. I'm the first born and feel like I'm responsible for everyone.

Mom said to me, "You can't carry the whole world on your shoulders." Um, that sounded like a contradiction to all of the above to a firstborn child who was growing up in a challenging world during the 50s and 60s.

Then when I grew up and had some years on me I asked some questions.

Mom said to me, "Why do you ask so many questions? Can't you just accept that some things are?

There has always been a driving need to know things, I guess. I stopped asking so many questions. I became more introverted, more observant, collecting data from Experience, which Mom said was the best teacher. Rather than ask questions, I dug and dug, and watched and listened and read and learned the answers.

Mom said to me, "When you do it yourself you remember it longer."

Mom also said to me, "If you want it done right, do it yourself because nobody else is going to do it the way you want it done."

As adults, Mom and I have talked numerous times about some of the Mom-isms I remember and how I interpreted them, often not in the ways that she meant them.

"I didn't know that's how you took that! That wasn't what I meant! You never know how a child will interpret something that you say."

But I must be a responsible individual because these days my mother says to me, "I don't know what I'd do without you."

My mother says to me, "You are the best daughter anyone could ask for."

My mother says to me, "I love you very much."

But maybe I take TOO much responsibility, jumping into the frey when someone I care about is in over their heads. I've been interpreting that as 'teamwork.' What about my own responsibilities? Do I shirk them to one side while I take care of someone else's business? But do they do the same for me? Are my priorities correct? Can you be TOO responsible?

Perhaps it's time for me to focus on my own responsibilities--like writing and my house--and let everyone else around me do the same. Where does one draw the line? Oh, this isn't art class? Artists don't draw straight lines? There are curves in art and curves in life? How does one get and stay focused? How does this apply to writing? Conflict. Observation. Emotion. Focus...

No comments: