I feel like a cranky old granny today. “All you kids get off my lawn!” As I rattle my cane and glare balefully.

The weekend was busy. Fortunately, a huge personal disappointment isn’t throwing me into the slough of despond; I think I’ve reached the point where I’m actively expecting to be treated well. And when that doesn’t happen, I’m cutting my losses sooner. I used to think that if you just loved someone hard enough, everything else would work out. Now I’m slowly learning that loving someone does not have to mean sacrificing every last bit of myself only to have them disdain me in the end for being too easy.

So. This weekend there was much glee, because the couch arrived. I didn’t get a couch before now because, well, there was a lot of cleaning-up I had to do after people and seriously, I did not have time to even THINK of cleaning a couch. Now that the living space has calmed down immensely and I’m picking up after just two reasonable children instead of several over-18 children (oh, don’t even get me started on man-boys!) I felt like I could have something nice. So…I got something nice. And I spent a half-hour with a ratchet putting the sofa arms on.

It was the first time in my life I had actually used a ratchet. I felt quite, quite manly.

Yesterday was a gorgeous day, but I didn’t mow the lawn. I probably should have, but it was my friend Monk’s birthday. So there was a new recipe tried for dinner, much laughing and talking, and a generally great time was had by all. Plus, Monk got to crash on the new sofa instead of the laundry pile or the air mattress I used to drag out for him to sleep on.

Sometimes it is just the little things.

The most helpful part of the weekend was reading Jennifer Crusie’s most awesome essay on protecting the work. I realized that I’ve let a lot of Life Stuff impinge on my working in the last six months. Granted, they’re the sort of life stressors, both positive and negative, that can really throw anyone for a loop. But now it’s time to buckle down and really remind myself that people who don’t value me are people I can do without, and people I don’t need to drain myself to take care of.

This is a huge realization for me. I’ve spent a lot of my life taking care of people, and it’s liberating to narrow the field to the people who I WANT to take care of instead of anyone in perceived pain I wander across. Healthier? Yes. Sometimes exhausting because I feel the pull of old bad habits? Oh, hell yes.

Which is why I think I might print out Ms. Crusie’s excellent essay and read it every day for a while. If I have to be a cranky old woman to protect my work…

…well then, I guess I’ll have to buy a cane.

See you tomorrow, dear Readers.

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