The Pandemic Has Taught Me I Can't Make Everyone Happy
Like everyone else, I hate this damn pandemic. It has messed up so many things for so many people. And it is really tough. I miss leaving my house without having to worry about whether or not this one decision will change the course of my life and my family’s life forever. I hate having to worry whether or not I remembered my mask, and I miss human face-to-face contact. I hate the division. Not just with strangers, but with family and friends. I hate all the conflicting information. I miss the power of a simple smile.
We’ve been really fortunate in a lot of ways during all of this though, and I try my best to focus on the good things. Some days are easier than others, for sure. I’m just out here trying to do the best I can. My husband still has his job, my kids are healthy, my family is healthy, my husband and I have gotten to spend more time together, and we’ve been able to find ways to entertain ourselves around here. Plus, we all like each other in this house, so that’s great too!
Anyway, I’m a recovering people pleaser, and up until the pandemic, I felt like I had made a lot of progress. And maybe I had, but what the pandemic has done is revealed a lot of unpleasant people-pleasing habits I so badly wanted to believe had been resolved. I really just want everyone to be happy all the time, and I never want to be the cause of anyone’s pain. Even if it causes me pain. I know this isn’t realistic or a sustainable way to live. Even with the best intentions, we can hurt people we care about.
I’ve always been the girl that tries to see all sides, and as an empath, I absorb a lot of shit that doesn’t belong to me. Sometimes it’s really hard for me to decipher which shit is mine and which shit is someone else’s. I’m a work in progress ;) But because of all the mess that happens within me so often, I’ve had to learn how to emotionally process it all and somehow come out of it with something that makes sense. Even more importantly, I’ve had to learn how to put myself first sometimes. Good grief, even typing that last sentence made my palms sweaty!
Putting myself first when it’s appropriate can be really difficult because that can upset others sometimes, and as we covered above, I have a real hard time with that. The pandemic, however, has forced me to stand up for myself, and to be okay with the fact that it might upset someone. I’ve had to say no to things that normally, I would’ve done, even if I didn’t want to. I’ve had to wear a mask around people I care about that don’t share the same views on the subject, and there’s no way to hide from it. I’ve had to learn to protect my energy.
Having to isolate myself with my husband and kids has given me the time to think without a lot of outside influences so I can sort out the tangled mess in my head. It’s given me the ability to set boundaries and stand up for myself. It’s shown me that who I am is ok, even if it makes other people uncomfortable. That’s their issue. Not mine. And I’m learning to be ok with it. I can’t make everyone happy. No one can.
So, while I really hate this damn pandemic, it is teaching me a lot of lessons. It’s giving me more time with my kids (even though I never imagined I would be their virtual school facilitator). It’s showing me things that are hard to look at, but so important for growth. It is forcing me to slow down and appreciate all of the things that are right in front of me. And that, my friends, ain't too bad.