I have some element of OCD. And maybe more than the normal share of empathy. And that combination can lead to me feeling guilty for the smallest thing. A lot of the time that can be a good thing. But there are other times that it can get me in trouble. And I am not sure which one of these I am in at the moment. But I do know one thing, it wasn’t until recently that I rediscovered the joy of getting stuff, so I am making plans to explore that further.
I have been at a family gathering for my family in quite a while. I did not attend any of the holiday gatherings for my side of the family. And I got an invitation to another gathering at the end of the month that I will not be able to attend.
In all of those cases I had a prior engagement. Two of them were wrestling tournaments or other kid activities. One of them was just a regular monthly event. It is not like I got the invitation to the event and said I just did not want to go. Or that the reason I did not attend was anything personal, I just had plans.
But, because of my nature, I feel bad. I feel like some members of my family might feel that I am avoiding them. And I have a hard time not obsessing about that. So for that, I apologize to all those people I have not seen. It is not personal, I do like to see you and spend time together. If you read this I want you to understand that.
I cannot help but feeling that this is like when my attendance at our every other week gaming group gradually stopped. And now I cannot get back together with that group. Now of course this is family, so it isn’t exactly the same. But I worry that my continued absence from gatherings will make people think I do not care. Which is far from it.
But I have priorities in my life. My immediate family is the first priority. And that means I will place attendance of wrestling tournaments, Scout gatherings etc. first. And for the first time in quite a while I have also increased my priority for my events and well being. Which means that I will go to a D&D game instead of a family birthday party. These are just my priorities, in order to keep myself sane and happy.
Speaking of keeping myself happy. These last couple of weeks we had ordered some stuff online. Stuff for me (iPad, iPad case), Xmas presents, spending of Xmas money. And it is an odd, mixed bag, but I enjoy getting that stuff in the mail. Sure it can be a little frustrating watching something get shipped from China, and have no idea how long it will take to get here. But the getting of the thing, unwrapping it, using it, is really kind of cool. While I did purge a lot of stuff over New Years, clearly I still have a lot of stuff. So it is not like I need the stuff (except the iPad case, I did need that. Isn’t that amazing? a few years ago that market niche did not exist, and now we have watched it grow from nothing.) But it is still cool to order stuff and then get home and open it. So I have decided to lift some personal restrictions and let myself order the occasional small thing, just for the thrill of getting it. It may be things for the house, or the family. But I think it is healthy to let myself go a little, eating cannot continue to be my only outlet for rewards and spending.
This is what it comes to this year. I am focusing on joy, my own joy, enjoying others joy, and encouraging joy. And if the source of that joy is watching my kids at their events. Or playing a game with friends. Or getting the occasional small trinket. That is okay. And I just need to keep that niggling voice in my head that is telling me I am upsetting other people to a low roar.