Sometimes we make decisions before we are ready. And sometimes, we need to reverse those decisions for our own well-being, even if it means disappointing someone else. It’s true that we have to put our own oxygen mask on first. I recently experienced a few decision reversals, and I must admit I am happier for it.
I don’t regret making the initial decisions and I don’t regret changing my mind.
I’ve been going through a pretty rough—no, dark—patch in life, where it felt like I was being hit from pretty much every angle. Work was beyond overwhelming and unfulfilling—in fact, it’s been downright stressful and life sucking. My kids both got injured at the same time, and the prospect of that added stress on top of an already overworked schedule felt impossible. My health and energy have been declining, spiraling into deep introversion.
So, when all this shit hit my literally life fan, I had to draw dome hard lines to help restore balance while I struggled to heal and come back up to the surface. And I am not sorry for backing out of my promises.
I changed my mind about having a puppy—and I’m not sorry.
I was all in when I got Murphy. He’s the smartest, sweetest pup, and being honest, I thought he was my answer to a very lonely existence. I wanted to feel and give love, and I’ve heard that having a pet is heart-opening, full of affection, and joyful.
But it wasn’t for me. It was more work. More responsibility. And judge all you like, but do so after being a single mother of 14 years trying to manage everything possible in life with very little support—and only from immediate family members and close friends, many of whom are across the country. It was too much. The joy I sought was crushed under the weight of incessant caregiving and I found myself breaking down and crying daily.
So imagine my surprise when I cried even harder the day I gave him up to my sister, who graciously flew out to come get him. I had him for only a few weeks, but my heart broke, and giving him up started this dark emotional spiral. But I did the best thing for everyone. I needed peace. My kids loved him, but hated the shared responsibility an vocalized it constantly. My house has been restored to normal, and we are better suited as a family without a pet, free to come and go without worry.
And Murphy? No puppy has ever been more adored than by being the companion of a precocious little boy whose heart also needed mending after the tragic loss of another family pet. So, no, while my heart hurt in every way to rehome him with my sister, it was the best possible gift for everyone involved.
I finally cut off a person I once deeply cared about—and I’m not sorry.
Those who know me and my situation know this break was a year overdue. But I needed to do things in my own time and in my own way. I held onto a false hope, as I always try to see the best in people until the bitter end. Promising that I will hang in there while letting them continue to treat me however they want because I “know” the “good” will resurface one day.
Well, it took me a while (and several rounds of therapy) to finally remember: that’s bullshit and I deserve better. A dear friend once reminded me “when people show you who they are, listen.” I was only listening to who he showed me when we first met. I wasn’t listening the remaining 14 months of him showing me someone else. And so the cycle repeated until I was ready to break it. Each love and relationship is unique with a path it has to follow until its forever or its end.
But we all get to these places in our own time. And it was less about him changing and more about me being ready to shut that door, when I finally reached the point where didn’t care if he changed or not; the door was never opening again. And while I wish this person nothing but love and happiness, I do not want them poisoning my space with empty promises and words any longer. I’m not sorry I waited this long, and I’m not sorry it’s finally over. Time took care of what it needed to, when I needed it to.
I told a friend no after saying yes—and I’m not sorry.
This decision was a bit harder. I’m a people pleaser, and letting people down creates an enormous sense of guilt within me. Normally, I’d just push through on my promises, to the detriment of all else. But in this instance, I barely had time to myself and I had to choose self-care—especially with everything else going on.
I am always happy to provide my resources when I can, but sometimes, the “gift” of my services is not worth the energy I have to put forth. And I won’t be made to feel bad because my time is precious, and while money was offered for my professional assistance, it was at a “friend discount,” the amount of time it would have taken me to complete this project was not worth sacrificing the little personal time I had after the end of long work weeks and every day family demands…before the injuries that set me back even more.
Someone once told me if it’s a choice between disappointing yourself or disappointing someone else, disappoint them. It hurt to disappoint someone else, and when I told them I couldn’t do it, it was the worst feeling in the world and I feared they would hate me. But I don’t regret changing my mind—I instantly felt relief, like something major was taken off my plate and I could breathe just a little bit easier.
Since these decision changes, other areas in life have been undergoing serious re-evaluation, from career paths and book dreams to social media presence and dating to health care and socialization. But one thing I won’t apologize for anymore is making decisions in the moment that best suit my life and are aligned with who I am, where I’m going, and what’s happening around me.
Time to put my oxygen mask on first—and then, I can serve the world and those I love better.
Can you relate the struggle of disappointing others, or the trepidation of backing out of certain experiences to put your own well-being—physically and mentally—first? Drop a comment and share your thoughts with me!