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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Declaration of Eccentricity

I always said that I want to be an eccentric old lady.  You know, the kind described in the poem, When I Am An Old Woman I Will Purple.  The kind that enjoys her life, speaks her mind and takes no nonsense.  The kind that people look at and think, "I'll bet she's lived a fascinating life."

But now, I've decided not to wait.  It's been a strange, interesting and challenging year, and I've learned a lot, about myself and others too.  And it's helped me to decide to start right now.  And so, I'm writing up my Declaration of Eccentricity.  I'll share a few of the basic bullet points.

I'm stealing back some time for myself.
It's not going to be easy, but I'm going to carve enough time to accomplish my goals--or at least work toward them.  All of them, mind, body and soul.  Not just the one that gets triaged to the top while the others get buried.  Adjustments will have to be made.  There will be whining.  But everyone will survive.

I'm wearing what I want.
No, I'm not going to wear red and purple--they really don't go, like the poem says.  But I am going to stop feeling guilty for hating dresses and heels.  I'm going for the comfort I like and I'm bringing my collection of geeky t-shirts out into the light.

I'm giving back.
I already do some volunteering, but I have some plans I'm excited about.  I'll share more as they come to fruition.

I'm calling bullshit.
No, I'm not going to be negative or obnoxious.  But I've heard quite a few stories, excuses and flat out lies lately.  And from now on I'm calling them.
'
I'm saying Goodbye
Goodbye to the false and negative people.  Goodbye to the takers and the people who only wish to belittle you or bring you down.  Instead, I'm gathering up all the open, lovely and supportive people in my life.  I'm pulling them close, taking delight in them and holding on for a great ride.

Maybe it sounds selfish when you lay it all out like this, but I hope it's more than that.  What I hope is to make life more joyful, both for myself and for those I care about.  What about you?  Do you want to be eccentric?  Do you have an idea on how you'd like to change your life for the better?  Share with us!  I'll chose one person who makes a relevant comment to win your choice of my back list.

51 comments:

  1. I don't think it sounds selfish at all. It is a wonderful idea. I really want to embrace the wearing what I want but I will have to wait until I quit the day job before I start living in pajama pants. I also want to give up makeup. And wouldn't it be lovely to be surrounded by only positive people?

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    1. I'm not going so far as living in pajama pants...although it sounds so tempting! :-) But ask Catherine about the Geek T-shirts. Wore my Calvin and Hobbes/Firefly mash up Tshirt on a writing date. Got some odd looks, but also a lady who tapped my shoulder, and asked..'Will you show my husband your shirt? It's adorable!"

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    2. I love your geek T-shirts. :) They show the world a bit of your personality. I think more people in the adult world should embrace their inner geek and let it fly for all the world to see.

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  2. Read EVEN more. Write EVEN more. And clean my closets and attic.

    I am two closets down, three to go. The attic is going to be the challenge.

    Why cleaning closets? It reminds me of the stuff I have that I never use, should never have bought, and keeps me from spending money I don't have.

    Stuff won't be weighing me down.

    Peace, Julie

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    1. It's so hard to declutter, but it feels so good when you're done, doesn't it?

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  3. Decluttering is SO on my list too, Julie! I already started a bit. Yep. There is whining. Nope, not listening! I feel the same, don't want all this stuff holding me down. Only the stuff that means something!

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  4. Love this! And ditto on the need to let go of physical stuff! Think I'll write my own list, thanks to your inspiration!

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    1. You're welcome! I was afraid everyone was going to think I'm going off my rocker! :-)

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  5. I got a chuckle from your post. Why? Because I did much the same thing at the start of this year. I cleaned house on who I talked with and hung around, both online and in person. Out went the negative people (still trying to work on ditching my mother lol) Out went the folks who couldn't manage to support what I do. In came a handful of lovely people who've enriched my life. I hope I do the same for them. I also decided I wouldn't care so much about what people thought of me. I embrace my rabid love of Disney, I write what I want, I wear what I enjoy. :-)

    What I still want to do: help more people in the writing world, get the upper hand on clutter, listen to more music, read more, free up more time :-) Bottom line: it's good to evolve. Have a great day!

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    1. Hi Sandra! I'm so glad to hear from someone who has already figuratively cleaned house. I hope this year has been lighter and happier for you! Can you give us any hints? Did you hit any pitfalls?

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    2. lol Not really any pitfalls, just a whole lot less stress and drama. I never really knew how stressed I was when I had those people in my life, or how they'd drag me down so much. It got to the point I'd avoid phone calls and pretend I wasn't home. Ugh. Anyway, this year has been much more pleasant :-)

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    3. I've been feeling the same weight-off-my-shoulders sort of feeling ever since my move. It's amazing what a few changes can do in your life.

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  6. Oh, Deb. I can so relate to this blog today. I've just done a bunch of removing myself from the lives of people who leave me feeling crazy. A phone call last night just reaffirmed that decision, even though I moved across about 6 states to accomplish it.

    I've done a bit of the opposite in terms of wearing what I want to wear. I've decided that I'm worth spending a little money on, if I find clothes that look better and feel better. So I've started spending more on my wardrobe, and buying actual dresses to wear. :)

    So I don't think it sounds selfish at all to do these things for yourself. One thing I learned many years ago, and which I'm finally starting to embrace within my own life, is that you can't really help or take care of anyone else if you don't take care of yourself. So go for it. Do what you need to do for yourself, and don't feel bad about it.

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    1. Your move was so brave, it was inspiring! I'm so glad that you feel happier and lighter!

      And don't worry, I don't equate comfy with sloppy! If I ever find a dress I actually could feel comfortable in, I'd buy it in every color. :-) But also, I don't think good jeans and a t-shirt looks sloppy, so, maybe it's all a matter of taste! :-)

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    2. Absolutely! I'm buying better quality jeans and t-shirts now, too...it's all about quality and comfort. :)

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  7. Oh Deb - you should see my collection of Snoopy shirts! We can wear our geek shirts together some time :-) Just this past week, I decided I wanted to 'give back' a little to my local community. I contacted the chairperson of the English department of the high school and offered to come speak about the publishing industry. Anytime anyone finds out what I do, they always have so many questions, so I thought it would be a good way to foster both the importance of reading as well as encourage anyone who loves to write.

    Yeah...crickets. LOL - so much for that idea! But I'll come up with something else soon. Maybe reading at the retirement home?

    Anyway, great post! I am a firm believer in avoiding the negative in life and embracing the positive :)

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    1. Erin,
      I can't believe the chairperson didn't take you up on your offer. Reading at the retirement home sounds like a great idea. I meet lots of people who love to read, but their eyesight has gone. Plus, it's more personal to have someone reading to them than listening to an audio book.

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    2. I love the idea - its the looong distance to the nearest one that is less than ideal. Still, once every 2 weeks, maybe when I am already out for grocery shopping, should be doable. Must go research!

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    3. They are nuts not to have you in to speak, Erin. Kids need to learn about all kinds of different paths and options. But don't worry, there are so many worthy charities and places to help make a difference out there! I know you'll find one that fits.

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  8. Deb,
    I think you must stand up for yourself if you want to have a good quality of life. No one else is going to do it on our behalf. That isn't selfish, IMO. A decision I made a few years ago is not to allow others to bring me down. I want to be happy and grateful for the life I've been given. That doesn't mean I never get sad or angry. I just no longer believe how other people feel is my responsibility. If they want to stew or pout and not talk about what's wrong, more power to them. I hope they enjoy their own company, because I have other fun things to do. :)

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  9. Those are some hard lessons to learn, Sam, but I'm glad I'm finally embracing them. I have to work so hard not to believe the doubters and naysayers, I think it will be easier to not hear them!

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    1. We should borrow a trick from my daughter who screams every time her brother tries to speak when he begins criticizing her. It cracks me up!

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  10. Hi Deb,
    I too, have a list, though I have been calling it my bucket list. I have divided mine up into 3 parts. Things I want done before next April (I turn 60 !! OMG), things I want to do or places I want to see that are not on a time frame, and things I want but know I'll never get (call it a wish list).
    Uncluttering has started, we are having gigantic garage sale here this weekend. I must have been ready to do this, not like the feeble attempts I've made before, because things have been dug up that I haven't seen in ten years. Of course some things will come back in if I don't sell them, but the rest goes to good will.
    Sometimes, no matter how much we might wish, it's not possible to be rid of some of the people in our lives who can make it unpleasant. In stead of being miserable, I have just learned to deal, and not let it drive me to be a crazy woman. Take your joy from others, my beautiful granddaughter for one, and make the best of what can't be changed.
    Something you may have heard from a thousand others, I'm going to finish the novel I never really started. LOL. If for no one's satisfaction than my own, I have to try, because for certain everyone else around here thinks I'm talking through my hat. Did you always have support for what you're doing, or did you have to prove yourself first. I can tell by the look on my husband's face he thinks that I'm being ridiculous to even think I'm capable of it.
    My health has been poor the past few years, including cancer and several surgeries and I've learned that time can't be stopped and if you want something, you have to go for it.
    I haven't worn a dress for years, and if you don't like my Mickey Mouse t-shirts, tough. I'm not worried that in what I call "Old lady Chic" my daughter deems me a candidate for a show called What not to Wear. And I'm not coloring my hair either.
    So I guess what I'm saying is, go for it, you're NOT being selfish.
    There comes a time when you need to look after yourself for a change.
    hugs, Deb

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    1. Hi Deb!
      Yes, I just have to learn not to let them make me crazy! That"s it exactly.

      Oh, you go on the novel writing! I did have support when I started, mostly because I found critique partners and writing friends. My dh also, who nodded and said he thought I could do it. Most other people just thought I was one of the millions who say the same thing and never do anything about it.

      And I do believe I have a Micky Mouste t-shirt too!

      Thanks for sharing!

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  11. What a great blog post, Deb! I love your declarations, especially about clothes. For me, this means, wearing more things that sparkle and glitter. heh. I'm a nerd who loves shiny things. :)

    I'm a big believer in boundaries. So, I still have to have some people in my life that are Negative Nellies and Neils (snort), there are in it on *my* terms.

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    1. I love your sparkles, Marquita! And yes, boundaries is a good term for it. Especially for those you cannot totally cut out. Luckily most of my 'permanent' people are pretty supportive.

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    2. Marquita - Do NOT wear sparkles through the TSA line. You have been warned. :)

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  12. Deb,
    Great post! Unfortunately, if I get any more eccentric, my hubs will probably have me committed. As for the negative people, I agree with Samantha--ditch them! Or at the very least, stay away as much as possible. Life if so much easier without other people's insecurities.

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  13. Grinning--that's why we love you Andris! You are very definition of gloriously, inspiringly eccentric!

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  14. But you're not ditching snarky people, right, Deb? I would cry if you ditched me. :)

    I love your list. It's awesome! I'm a big believer in being comfortable with who you are. Good luck with the whining.

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  15. No, snarkalicious, I'm never ditching you! :-)

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    1. OMG! Snarkalicious! I'm commandeering this word! It is now mine! Mwahahaha! (That's my evil laugh. Don't be a hater. ;})

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  16. Me too, Deb Marlowe. I want to do all those things on your list.

    People love their BS, so I may just call them in my head. Can you imagine the chaos it would cause if you called the BS on twitter?

    I wish I could wash my hands of the soul suckers, but unfortunately some of them are bound by the familial chains. Setting boundaries as we speak.

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  17. I'm LOL about people loving their BS! Ah, so true. Good luck with the boundaries!

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  18. I'm saving up money and working as hard as I can, because I am determined to own my own place and be able to visit the UK. Owning my own place will probably take a while, but ideally the UK visit will happen next year. I've cut off contact with the naysayers who told me both dreams won't happen.

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    1. Good for you, Sara! I wish you the best with both of your goals. I think you'll love the UK. It's a fabulous place to visit!

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  19. Great list! I love the caveat "There will be whining..." I think "eccentric" is a marvelous goal to have. In the end that means unabashedly being yourself. Also, I have my own version of geek t-shirts: one says "Eschew Obfuscation" and another says "You had me at merlot."

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    1. You're right, Jennifer. I do want to unabashedly be myself, even when the Eldest tells me my decor doesn't match--I tell him it matches me!

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  20. What a great post! I think that as we get older we come to the realization that it's not selfish or wrong to put ourselves first. I've realized that the only person who really, truly has my best interests at heart is... me! So, I made the resolution to take care of me first (within reason) and not let the opinions/expectations of others bring me down. So when I do nice/good things for me, I think it spills out into my life, making it easier to interact/do things for friends, family and community. I'm happier and less stressed :)

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    1. Hi Erin! That's a hard realization, isn't it? I think that's why I try so hard to make the people I care about happy--I don't want them to think they are alone caring about their best interests!

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  21. Hi Deb!

    You don't sound eccentric at all in fact you sound amazingly brilliant! Your post made me sit back for a moment, take a deep breathe and make the commitment to finally make some "quiet time" for myself.

    I'm hear on my 10 minute break at work and what you said made me realize the reason I've been so "cranky" of late is my life is too full of action!. From working at work and working at home along with my husband crazy schedule I haven't any real "down time".

    I've decided it's not a want but a necessity and didn't realize until now how much I had missed it. I remembered back to when our sons were toddlers and I worked at night how my "quiet" time was between 11:00 pm - midnight. I would take the time to just six, relax and do something calming like reading or knitting. No one to feed, to one needing attention, no one needing help getting on goulashes or a winter jacket because of the weather, no husband telling me the woes of his day and thinking I'll come up with a solution. Just mind numbing peace and quiet. No demands. No arguing. No TV, no radio, no phone ringing. Peace and quiet. No demands. No questions. No cooking. No cleaning.

    Ah, BLISS! I feel rejuvenated and peacefully relaxed already!

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  22. Hi Jeanne!

    I'm so glad I could help you even a little. I love your stories about your family. You've spent your life making things good for them. Your turn now!

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  23. Deb -

    I think the toughest job in the world is being a parent. Even as they are growing up and having families of their own and shouldering responsibilities of their own they are still your child, that babe you held in your arms in the middle of the night, rocking and singing to and loving with your whole heart.

    I can still remember telling my sons when they were toddlers that NO was a one word answer and I got to make the decisions because I was their Mom and "bigger than them". It didn't take long before the "bigger" was accurate but only if I stood on the stairs (a step higher ever year) and looked down at them and would say "NO" (which is a one word sentence) or "because I said so"(if I wanted to ramble on).

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  24. I definitely want to be eccentric and I think as soon as I stop working and retire I'll really get on that. Right now I work for the City and I like my job too much to be totally honest in my remarks at work. :D I do make it a point not to listen to people's complaints and griping, I don't have time for that negative stuff. I try to look at life as positively as I can and enjoy my life and my health while I can.

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  25. Yes, there is a place for discretion, even for eccentrics!

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  26. Good ideas. I think saying goodbye is great.

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  27. I don't think any of those sound eccentric at all . Good for you!
    I'd like to be true to myself & the people I care about too & not have to bow to peer pressure. If that makes me eccentric I'm fine with that.

    thumbelinda03@yahoo.com

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  28. Just trying to be a nice person even i know that we can't always please everyone

    eli_y83@yahoo.com

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