You Care Too Much.
Raise your coffee, tea, or (hey, I don’t judge) vodka if you’ve heard that a time or two before. I’ve heard that phrase more times than I can remember, and I’m realizing maybe some of these people are right! I may care TOO much. I think when it comes to certain things/people you can never care too much, well, that is as long as it doesn’t become too smothering. 🙂 I’ve learned that I care deeply for so many people, things, and hopes that at times it is overwhelming. I care about my looks, my blog, if I offend someone, and if the house is clean. I have become SO PC that at times I annoy myself. But I only do it because I care about others’ feelings.
My kids are not allowed to have peanut butter & jelly sandwiches in their school lunches. That’s not a school policy that’s my policy, because I read a blog post that a Dad Blogger wrote about kids with peanut allergies. In his post he asked parents to reconsider sending their children to school with peanut-anything, because his child’s life depending on it. That very day, I stopped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and any snacks with peanuts. I told the kids they would thank me later, but really I think they’re still a little upset they cannot have a good ol’ juicy PB&J at lunch like their friends. When we’re rushing in the morning and I have to whip something together quick, I miss a good ol’ PB&J, but I care, so I resist.
I care so much for people that I know and that I don’t know, that I cry. I have literally cried in a store for another person. I have held back the overwhelming urge to hug a stranger who I felt sincerely needed a hug. I have hugged a woman I had only met once before because I knew she needed a hug. I let her vent to me for 40 minutes outside in the Pacific Northwest cold, because I cared. I know us moms have to get things off our chests, so I listened and then I hugged. I listen, because I care. I care so much! <- That wasn’t sarcasm, which I’m also really good at. 🙂 I genuinely care.
It’s obvious I care about my kids, my husband, my family, and friends. That’s a no brainer, right? We all do. But sometimes, that caring for everyone gets heavy. Caring for others becomes a heavy load that you stack on top of all your other cares; some cares are heavier than others. As a parent I care about T O N S: am I doing right by my kids, am I doing good enough, did I show them the right way, did this move here screw them up, would it be better to move closer to family, if we move closer to family can we afford it, but what if they don’t like where we move next. Did I send them with enough food to school, did I read the freakin’ label for traces of peanuts, will someone say anything about my son taking a pink water bottle to school, will he react… I care.
Monday, I learned I care too much. I was in a fender bender, I was hit while taking a turn at a stop sign. The lady behind me was checking for traffic to her left and ended up hitting me from behind. All of sudden the sound came back, it wasn’t as loud as last time, but I heard it and it triggered something in me. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the lady’s teenaged daughter (or at least I think she was her daughter) staring back at me with a widemouthed expression. I pulled my car to the side of the road to evaluate the damage, when I got out and the first thing I did was held my chest, because I felt it, you know it. I looked over at the lady’s car checked to make sure her passenger, her daughter(?), was okay. She was, my car was scratched up, her car seemed fine, I think her license plate did all the damage to my car.
The lady: Oh, I’m sorry I scared you.
Me: Yeah, I just wasn’t ready for that. I’m just glad y’all are okay.
I’m glad y’all are okay. She hit me.
Her: I really didn’t feel anything.
Remember I said I saw her daughter’s widemouthed expression…. I gather they may have felt something.
Me: This is my new car.
She hands me her business card.
Her: I don’t think this is worth filing a claim.
When I got back into my car there were cars zooming past us. I was afraid to pull out into the street fearing someone would hit me again. I started to pull away thinking that lady seemed nice, she seemed around my age, with a daughter (I assumed) around my eldest daughter’s age. I wondered should I do anything with her information, should I spare her the expense, it isn’t too bad. Then I thought, “DEAN this is your new car, you deserve something nice, it’s okay for people to right their wrongs and it’s okay for you to ask for them to do so.” I began to let the emotions of it all hit me, I just got in another accident and it woke up something inside me, and I felt and heard all the noises of that night in Indiana and that time when a Home Depot delivery truck driver dropped a box and ran out in the middle of the highway and I swerved into the median to avoid him. Thankfully, this time wasn’t like those, it wasn’t as traumatic or big as those other times. I was thankful the kids weren’t there in the car with me, because I wouldn’t want those feelings to awake inside them, the ones they had too on that cold Indiana night (because I care). I’m sure things would have played out differently if they were in the car. #MamaBear
When I truly processed it all afterwards, “You care too much,” hit me. Because, again, when I got home, I thought about leaving my car as is, and just living life and being thankful for that. I also thought, I don’t know this woman’s circumstance, perhaps this would be a hardship to help fix my car. I certainly do not have money to throw at fixing a bumper. This wouldn’t be the first time someone hit a vehicle of mine and I let it go. But I’m not letting it go this time. I have to keep caring, but I have to also care for ME.
Yes, I’m Dean, and I’m a carer, I’ll care until my last day, and then some. But, I’m going to start caring more about ME, because caring about everyone else and the world is only going to send me back into a tizzy. I’m pretty much done with tizzy-ing. You should be too! If you raised your coffee, tea, or vodka with me, let’s cheers to caring more for US. We can keep caring, but not let those cares take over OUR wants and needs. We’re already pretty darn awesome caring people, but let’s care more about what we want for ourselves for a change.
If we’re constantly caring about everything and everyone we’re not caring enough about us or the moment in front of us. Also, caring too much about everything has another name… anxiety.
Here are five things we need to remember when we’re caring too much about everything else but ourselves….
- We cannot change everyone.
- The kids are alright, you’re doing your best.
- You cannot change the world, but you can be a ray of sunshine in this world.
- Who cares what they think about your fill in the blank, because honestly does it really matter? You love you and I do too!
- Ain’t nobody got time for that! Sometimes when you care and you think other people care too, you’re wrong. The truth is everyone else has their own cares, so they don’t have time to worry about you and your fill in the blank.
Twirl, girl, twirl! 🙂
Let’s aim to be more like Leo 🙂
You may also like this post, which I just reread and thought I’m doing better at saying YES to myself. 🙂
© 2016, Dean @Mrs. AOK, A Work In Progress. All rights reserved.