A few months ago I pledged to give myself a break, and in turn all those around me. This is not my nature. I work hard, read a lot, and avail myself of new perspectives on a daily basis. This makes me opinionated and somewhat snobby. I don't suffer fools easily; it had become a real burden to be around other people.
So in pursuit of mental health, I pushed those thoughts away and tried to lighten up. And it worked.
First, I was able to breathe. Then I could smile; my face became relaxed. Strangers approach me now, and not only the ne'er-do-wells (as my father-in-law used to say.) I became popular with clients at work. They wrote me letters and posted positive things about me on message boards. All this served to improve my relationship with my boss. Nice.
I've become a tourist in my own city again. The subway crackhead who bumped me, then said "if I touch you it's OK to touch me back"? I just laughed. The recent heat wave? No problem. No one looks good in the summer.
My marriage is more peaceful. When I'd prefer silence and my husband is raging some political diatribe, I simply listen quietly. I don't engage, but I don't tune out either. Works for both of us.
However, some situations are more challenging. The woman at the gym who confessed to poisoning her own cat to avoid euthanasia costs? I still despise her. And really, I'm OK with that. But I don't become physically ill (as often) in her presence.
And there you have it. Who knows what wonderful things await me? Maybe I'll update my blog more often. Maybe I'll churn out a novel. Or maybe I can just continue to breathe.