Learning to be Comfortable Just Being…Me!

Dear Reader:

If I am being completely honest with myself…I, sometimes, think I did more with less where I was… at the busiest time in my life… than I do now with an abundance of time. Yet…I still wouldn’t go back to those crazy days for any amount of money.

When, as a single parent, I was teaching, parenting, working side jobs on weekends, and going full measure until I hit the wall each week…I was accomplishing, upon reflection, a lot of giving back services to the community…through my children’s after school activities, my involvement in several educational out-reach programs including volunteering for storytelling sessions.

I didn’t have the luxury of reflection time back then…about anything…I was in action mode accompanied by ‘survival’ mode.

And my daily life defining  ‘me just being me’ demanded endless hours of working, driving the kids from A to B and then back again, meetings, workshops, community involvement….today it is all just a blur.

The young me would have laughed at the notion of finding quiet time for myself …it was an unknown enigma…not found in my life. And if, on those rare occasions, I did have some time to myself…it was spent unconscious. Being able to take a nap was the highest pinnacle of my greatest desire. I craved sleep for many years.

And now that I can sleep in…I find myself popping up…walking in the garden early in the morning, reading, or simply sitting and thinking about life and the day evolving before me. *Though…the pandemic quarantine has added naps to my days…such a luxury…sometimes I wake up with a start and look around to see if I got “busted”..but since it is just me…I didn’t…so, instead, I SMILE!

Yet…something important deep within me, has changed. I feel comfortable in my skin now for the first time in my life. I have nothing left to prove to anyone…I really have finally gotten to the “Just as I am” stage of life…and I am loving it…no more excuses or apologies.

Sometimes I do allow a tiny twinge of guilt to enter my being ..pointing out that I could pace my energy… with doing some community volunteer work (pre-covid)…but since this is true confession time…Like Scarlett O’ Hara declaring she would never go hungry again…I swore off “meetings” when I retired from teaching.

Teachers have so many meetings on top of meetings that they soon all run together…if you aren’t teaching, you are meeting. I don’t mind helping anybody out for a good occasion ….just tell me what you want me to do and I will do it…but don’t get me involved in on-going meetings to put on something.

My meeting days are over…except, of course, meeting God and that is one meeting I don’t mind lasting a lifetime. 🙂

So until tomorrow….To me…feeling comfortable, at last, in my own skin, takes precedence over the need for anyone else’s validation. Whew! It was a long time coming. Congrats old gal! 🙂

 

“Today is my favorite day.” Winnie the Pooh

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”

 

Slowly….the pumpkins are coming out….Actually this one fell on my head when I opened the hall closet and was jumping up and down trying to reach a flower vase. Ouch! I think it was trying to tell me it’s time to decorate for Fall.

 

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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