I started writing a single post on responsibility in June. Three months and twelve posts later I felt I finally finished the first step of writing about the responsibilities I have to myself and the journey I must take. Why did it take so long and why the focus on me? That was because, now being single after nearly forty years as a wife and mother, it was a huge awakening to realise that not only should I take responsibility for myself, but finally I could. All those years of putting responsibilities to others ahead of myself were gone. It had taken nearly two years for me to reach that point – of finally (guilt-free) to think of myself. However, once that door was open, the ideas flowed on and on – hence the twelve posts.
Nevertheless, much of my responsibilities to myself are still thoughts on paper, ready to be actioned when my goals have been set. Responsibilities to others on the other hand continue to surface and occasionally (well often actually) take precedence. These responsibilities are not to be forgotten along my journey. I decided to list them as a reminder to myself to be grateful for them, knowing that in having them I am a worthwhile needed person and I am not really ever alone. Those in italics are moments that have happened while I have been focussing on my own self in my writing. They are all part of my real world.
I have family and responsibilities as a grandmother, mother, daughter, sister and aunt.
My second grand-daughter was born 3 months ago and I enjoyed the happy occasion and have had regular visits to help out. I have visited my daughter, mother and siblings interstate. I visited and supported my daughter a second time after a sudden death of a friend. Currently I am playing mother, cook, and chauffeur to my third son who had knee surgery a week ago.
I have friends who have remained close to me throughout my life and its ups and downs.
During my visit to my mother I spent some time with my best friend who had been recovering from an operation and helped her choose the pattern for her new lounge suite.
I am responsible for the continued survival of the business, its clients and staff.
That is my daily life and I try my best to be a fair leader.
4. Community and Society
I am responsible as a member of society to contribute to community and humanity and to speak out for truth, justice and the environment.
I have been contributing to online discussions on peace and social justice issues
I voted at the federal election on Saturday. Yes, I know, I know I do not have a choice as voting is compulsory in Australia. However, I did have a choice. I could choose between the candidates and the order I placed them, and by doing so contribute to either Tweedle-dee or Tweedle-dum becoming Prime Minister of Australia (or not).
What a contribution I have made!!
I am responsible to my children and myself and to everyone above to keep sane during the continuing process to end the financial settlement between my ex-husband and myself as soon, as fair and as amicably as possible.
For some bizarre reason deep-seated in my brain I continue to be the one to keep striving forward on this settlement, the administrative burden of which continues on a weekly basis. When is is over, I will be able to apply more of my energy to points 1-4 above.
I have thought through on all my needs and all my responsibilities. Now is the time to set myself some goals.
This has been the fourteenth in a series of posts on ‘My Responsibilities’.
2. My own needs
3. My basic needs
4. My health – diet
5. My health – exercise
6. My Home
7. My finances # 1 Sinking
8. My finances # 2 Survive
9. My finances # 3 Priorities
10. My finances # 4 Freedom
11. My joy
12. My contentment
13. My journey. Poem Ithaca.
14. My responsibilities to others
Image courtesy of [Smarned]: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
To vote in Australia is mandatory? It isn’t here, it should be!
Yes compulsory. It can have its drawbacks sometimes 🙂 However, I do agree that it more truly reflects what all the people believe, rather than people being disenfranchised because it was raining on the day of the elections.
I hope you continue to do for yourself. Spoil yourself just a tad, it’ll do you good.
Thanks for the reminder. yes, i will try 🙂
This is so well-written, Elizabeth, and I have every confidence in the world that you will both set and reach your goals. I am a firm believer that you learn lessons when you are ready to do so, and the important thing is that once you know better, you do better, as poet Maya Angelou says. You are getting better and better:)
Thanks for your encouragement. you inspire me to get there 🙂
You are more than welcome, and the feeling is quite mutual!
You are more than welcome, and the feeling is quite mutual!
Interesting post Elizabeth! This has got me thinking. The things you list as responsibilities are all elements we would normally feel responsible to. What I wonder is … Is responsibility a choice or an obligation?
That is one of my largest griefs, the lost innocence of childhood in learning those values I had thought as being simple obligations, are not. They are choices. So while you and I do them just because we do, look around you….. others do not have that same integrity. Everything it seems is a choice, even those things that seem to us as natural as breathing.
I agree–almost everything we do, say, and especially everything we think or believe, is our choice. I find this sometimes overwhelming to comprehend, but at the center of this truth lies the essence of freedom.
Thank you for this perspective…. especially the insight on thinking and believing. You are correct that that is the essence of freedom.
You are an example to me even though our situations are different.
And you to me Julie. Keep on keeping on. 🙂
Love this post! And like Diana — am surprised by compulsory voting!
I like how you’ve defined what each responsibility in each area of your life represents. Nice.
Thanks. In many ways they are things that I just do, however, thought I should balance things off before I became too ‘me me me’ orientated. 🙂
Oh yes! I’m filled with admiration at how competently you are making your choices. My sympathy over the business – I was in a similar position, except we were fighting over it, and I was poised to throw everything into that battle – then bad health stepped in and I lost. A really bad deal. It felt like a stab in the back, but with hindsight I see it was a godsend – I now realise what matters and what is truly valuable, and it has nothing to do with possessions or power.
I was finding reminders of ‘us’ in the business painful. That is why I decided I did not want to keep the business, albeit that selling it will take some time. I am yearning now for my new life as me alone completely separate from what was. The business is one responsibility that is dragging me down and I am looking forward to letting it go.
You are correct that what happened to you was probably a godsend as you would have been in a much better position to live your own life free of the past.
Thanks for comment. I always appreciate your perspective.
My ex bought me out at a rock-bottom price and is letting others do the work while he rakes in the profits, doing the minimum. I was feeling very resentful, especially that his new wife is reaping what I sowed and it was NOT doing me any good, so I gave myself a big shake and began counting my blessings. I can genuinely say that it no longer bothers me and I am content with my lot.
that resonates with me and one of the reasons for my epiphany 6 months ago and the decision to let the business go is due in part to a change in attitude on my part of wanting different things from life now
Elizabeth, I hadn’t realized until this post that you continue to work on settlement after two years. That is such a drain on energy and yet over the course of several months, you explored the idea of what responsibility to yourself looks like. Bravo on such forward movement with yourself. I’m certain there are back-steps but looking at all you juggle, personally, professionally and yes, to your adult-children, it’s a cause for celebration to note that in your own world, you matter a great deal to yourself.
Changing the Way People Divorce
Thanks for your encouragement to me. Yes, it has been a drain of energy. The long time-frame has in part been due to the complexities of our affairs, involving a business and commercial property and much debt. We are almost there. As you commented elsewhere, there is a need to keep focussed on moving this forward, so the transition phase will end and there can be some sense of closure. Thanks again.
I always like the way you organize your thoughts and actions. It inspires me to try harder and work at being organized, too! These are definitely a diverse list of responsibilities. I like to follow your personal life and encourage you to keep doing what you are doing, it will all work out in the end. You have that inner self confidence, I believe in you!
Thanks so much for your confidence in me and your encouragement. I really appreciate it.
You have a real gift for breaking things down – looking at the elements of a situation. I bet your goal setting process is equally as thoughtful. Great post!
Thanks for your comment. I am not sure whether my ‘breaking things down’ is a gist or a curse sometimes. 🙂
However, it is certainly therapeutic. Meaning it keeps me sane to know a solution can be found…. to everything.
Hello. I wrote a post recently that did not appear in the reader. This has happened to me before. I went into wordpress support forums and found a thread where you had that same problem a few months ago. Did you ever get a response as to why that sometimes happens?
Yes – I ended up finding that the date and time of publication was earlier than the actual time in my edit screen. I had written most of my post on my iPad and later done final edits on my laptop. The publication time was the time I saved the draft on my iPad – so I changed it to a time a few minutes into the future and it popped up in the reader at the new time.
It would’ve been wonderful to have had someone like you on my “team” when I was falling apart in my divorce “recovery”!
Thanks for your comment. I understand why you put “recovery” in quotation marks. There is definitely much falling down before the picking up begins. I do not think people who have not been there would understand. I do not know how far down the track you are and I do hope that you are feeling content and at one with yourself now. I know that some days I feel I will be able to fly again and some days ‘keep on keeping on’ is the best I can do.
Good luck with your goal setting. I love how you lay things out and think them through – it’s inspiring. You seem very level headed Elizabeth.
You know, I still can hardly get over that you were wife & mother for 40 years. That’s a huge chunk of time. You’re doing amazing – I really do admire you.
Yes, forty years. Three years before marriage and nearly 37 years of marriage. The years seem to slip away. The difficulty for me now at my age is to integrate the memories of those years into my future without the accompanying pain of the circumstances of the separation…….. now that is a challenge for me.
Thanks so much for your encouragement. I really so appreciate it. 🙂
This is an inspirational post. You write beautifully
Thank you so much for your kind comments. I really appreciate them. Thank you for being positive about my writing.