List the things that felt important five or ten years ago but are unimportant now:
- Work. As in employment. It used to bother me quite a bit that I was not working “in my field.” Every so often, I’d put a new resume’ and portfolio together, and go on a career search. Meanwhile, it was important to be recognized as a good employee in whatever job I was working at. Though I continue to be an excellent worker, I neither need or expect to be noticed as such. I am no longer looking for something better. I go to my job; I work hard; I support myself. That’s enough.
- Relationships. I was married, then divorced. Over the years, and with long gaps in-between, I’ve been involved in a few serious relationships. Though I’ve been alone for much of my adult life, I used to think being alone was just a break from the norm, and that having a partner was the thing to strive for. That no longer seems necessary or possible. I have gotten more set in my ways over the years. I’ve also gotten more stubborn and cranky. Not to mention flabby and wrinkly. I don’t think I could adjust to having another person in my life, even on the rare chance that there would be someone interested in me making the effort. Ten years ago, I would not have been okay with that. Now, it feels just fine.
- Getting along. For most of my life, it has been important that people “like” me. I would go to great lengths to make others understand my motivations. I’d over-explain things. I smiled all the time. Now, not so much. Of course, it would be nice if everyone saw me for the wonderful human being I think that I am…but I don’t work so hard to ensure it. I am myself, and am unwilling to compromise on that, in order to be looked on more favorably by anyone. I’m a good person, even though I have strong opinions. I’m a hard worker. I always try to be nice. I still smile all the time. People can accept me as I am, and like me or not. I’m okay.