Is It Really All About Us?

“Mine!”

“Give it to me!”

“My turn!”

“Watch me!”

Children, it’s all about them. At what age did we grow out of it? When do we learn that we are not the center of the universe? I suppose some people never learn that lesson.

I’ve worked with small children for a number of years. It is quite a marvel to watch them grow “into themselves”. They learn to share and be polite to others. (At least, most learn these things.) They don’t actually catch on to taking turns until they are close to two and a half.

As a child, I was selfish and spoiled. Being the youngest of six children, I was catered to quite a bit. And then suddenly, I was the only one left at home. You probably think that is when I really became spoiled, but not true. I might have taken center focus, but my parents were surely not suckers! I was told if I was being unreasonable, which I am sure was quite often.

I got married and learned the art of negotiation. Still, I struggled to make it all about me. I don’t think it was until I had my first child that I realized I’d give my life without hesitation to give him life. It then became all about the children.

We became a family of givers. We volunteered within our community. We taught our children responsibility and compassion.

Our children grew up. We now find we have lots of time on our hands, but we seem to volunteer less and less. While we still do for others, we take time for us, meaning each other and ourselves. I think we’ve earned this “right” and deserve this opportunity. Yet still, at times I feel guilty. I spend my days nurturing others and wish I could still nurture my children, but alas they have grown independent. My job is done. As gratifying as that is, it is sad none the less.

I’ve always been a person with many creative hobbies that give me an outlet of self-expression. Writing is one of them. It has always been mostly about me…exploring my thoughts and more recently my spirituality. And now I wonder, am I making it all about me. It’s a two fold answer for me. When I am examining my spirituality, it is not just all about me. It involves something much bigger and greater than me, and it involves everyone I touch to an extent. And then again, I sometimes wonder if it is all just selfishness on my part. In my process, I’m trying to find connections to the mundane. As I often point out, I’m attempting to find the extraordinary in ordinary moments. I’m becoming appreciative of my blessings.

As I listen to the rain spit and splatter on the roof and I see it fall from a cloudy colorless sky onto the needles of the tall pines in my yard, I can’t help but feel the wet freshness wash across my soul. I am both soothed and renewed. I wonder how many others smiled with the grass today as the rain encouraged us to grow. No, I don’t think there is anything selfish about nature…it’s here for all of us. We can play in it or ponder over it. The choice is ours. So, while we grown ups might not be the center of the universe, maybe the universe is the center of us.

48 thoughts on “Is It Really All About Us?

  1. Oh, what a wonderfully enlightening post, Suzi!

    And I so know what you mean about it ‘being about us.’ I too get that way sometimes. I think it’s natural to go through periods of self-involvement, such as you mentioned when it comes to our creative outlets and spiritual investigations. However, no man is island because even those things involve others.

    Like you, I’m at a point in my life where “I’m attempting to find the extraordinary in ordinary moments. I’m becoming appreciative of my blessings.”

    I’m also feeling the desire to get back into the volunteer work I use to do a few years ago. I feel it’s time for me to ‘put in’ to this world, and not just take. So, this post really confirmed that feeling.

    “So, while we grown ups might not be the center of the universe, maybe the universe is the center of us.”

    Beautifully expressed!

    Thanks for sharing this today, dear lady! Much appreciated.

    Have a terrific Thursday…..X

  2. It can be hard to reach a balance in life. I think you have hit the nail on the head with this post. We do try and keep that nurturing part of us alive long after our children leave the nest. Please never feel you are being “selfish” with your writing and your other artistic endeavors. You are a gifted person and you share so much with so many because you are who you are. I never read a post of yours without feeling better about my human condition.

    • You go. I hope you have a wonderful time. I’m considering starting something and I’m trying to figure out how much time I should devote and what other things to cut back on…ughhhh!

  3. I think if we don’t make time to have it be “all about me”, if we don’t nurture ourselves, we would not be able to make time for others and nurture them, at least not without resentment. I also believe we get to the age and time of life where we deserve more of the “all about me” thing – as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else.

  4. This reminds me of my post about laziness- how some people might think it is wrong to be lazy- but I feel it is healthy. Selflessness all the time will eventually kill you because there are too many takers out there who will take all you have. selfish time is necessary for the soul- to restore your energy- to grow as a person and caretaker. It’s about balance (my word for the year) and priorities. You need to be balanced in that it’s not all about you, but a little bit is about you. And priorities come naturally to you I bet- if others can’t do for themselves their needs must be taken care of first (babies, invalids, etc..) but there still needs to be time for you too

  5. A lot of people don’t realize that things like reading and writing and learning are definitely self centered. They can only make YOUR life better. If it happens to make someone else’s life better by watching you, bonus. 🙂

    • Let the housework wait . . . you’ll be in good company:

      “If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.” ~ Isaac Asimov

      “Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” ~ Gloria Steinem

      • I just love how you counter with just the perfect quotes….did you know I am a quote person?! Not that I memorize them, but I am always looking them up because I just love the clever things other people say!!!!

      • Me too!

        I post tons of quotes on my blog because they are so much easier for me to find when I need them. All I have to do is remember the author or a few key words.

  6. I think you’ve done great growing, nuturing, and changing. Life unfolds. We just ride momentum.

    I feel like that this weekend. I am looking soooo forward to it. The little girls will be at their mom’s (so there is guilt that I am looking forward to being kid-free!). No matter. I am going to ENJOY me time. 🙂 (and doggie, and Sydney, and Jason) HA.

  7. Lovely musing.

    Even when I was on my own – for years – it never felt especially “about me.” It was about accomplishing or learning or being giving in my friendships. And with marriage and children, as is the case for most women, it wasn’t “about me” either. There was a brief “about us” – very brief, and then “about the kids” which is pretty much how it’s been for, um… nearly 2 decades.

    I can’t imagine what it will be like when that is done – or at least, done, full time. I think I’d like some “about me” – but I’d rather have a bit of that, and a nice mix of about us – with friends, a loved one, and community.

    • I am enjoying this time, though missing being needed, and feeling guilty for taking time for just me. Not feeling guilty about the “us” part with the hubby though because I think we both need and deserve it.

  8. Interesting point and LOVED your last line: “So, while we grown ups might not be the center of the universe, maybe the universe is the center of us.”

    Life is about being true to WHO we are ~ we can’t all be Mother Teresa . . . that was HER job.

    I concluded my post, What The World Really Needs, with the following quote:

    Don’t worry about what the world wants from you, worry about what makes you come more alive. Because what the world really needs are people who are more alive. ~ Lawrence Le Shan

    I think that’s true.

    We should all give back . . . but maybe the way you should give back is through your wonderful words?

    • How sweet of you to say that…I still can’t see my words as giving back…though lifting someone up or helping in some way is what I’d like to do with my words.

    • Well, I hate to be “argumentative” but that is what you are doing! 🙂

      You are using the gift of your words to lift others up and remind them to see the world as it is ~ in all its beauty and splendor.

      Right on! Write on!

    • Maybe you don’t see the “worth” of your words to others because you are having so much fun.

      But that intersection of passion and service is where we have the most to offer.

  9. I imagine it would be hard to transition from the all-consuming children at home to just being you and your hubby. I’m glad you are enjoying the time together, but I don’t think you should feel guilty at all for taking time for yourself.

    And I agree with Nancy, you ARE giving back. I love your words because your insights are exactly how I want to view the world. When my children are grown, I will remember that Suzicate had some struggles adjusting, but she found other things to enjoy – so maybe I can to 🙂

    • Thank you. Enjoy your children…they grow up so quickly. I think the key is not only not losing your identity but realizing our roles change, and it’s all still good.

  10. I really enjoyed this post suzicate.There’s fine line between selfishness and nurturing the self. As mothers, caregivers, we don’t always take time for ourselves. I totally believe in giving of ourselves to others, I’ve volunteered all my life, but sometimes we all need a little “me” time. Sometimes we just need to ” listen to the rain spit and splatter on the roof and see it fall from a cloudy colorless sky.”

  11. Sometimes I also have a problem with it being “all about me.” But like you, once I got married and had Nathan, I realized that life simply does not work that way. Marriage is all about compromise! Now Nathan is almost two years old, and I am trying to teach him that the world doesn’t revolve around him and he can’t have everything his way. It’s a slow process lol!

  12. Insightful post. I think as we work on ourselves individually and cultivate our awareness of the world, we realize the details and intricacies of the world around us. Truly, as you say it ” maybe the universe is the center of us.”

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