I can't go into detail, but this graphic I saw on Facebook this morning sums up some stuff I've been thinking about lately.
I've always considered myself to be a forgiving person who gives people the benefit of the doubt wherever possible and is willing to keep giving infinitely even when not much is coming back my direction. I have always felt like this is one of my best qualities.
I don't know if it's that I'm getting older, or that now I have the duty of protecting someone else's heart in addition to my own, or what. But I've started to lose my willingness to be in one-way relationships. (Obviously I'm not speaking of romantic relationships, as I am still quite happily married, thank you very much!)
I mean friends and acquaintances and coworkers and even relatives in some cases. I just feel like I've reached a point in my life where I don't want to devote any more time and energy to people who give nothing back or, worse, actually TAKE even more than I give.
Don't get me wrong, I don't ask much. Basic courtesy is about as much as I ever expect; anything beyond that is a welcome bonus. Like communication, for instance. If I leave you a voice mail or send you a text or a Facebook message or a carrier pigeon or whatever, please find the time to respond in some way when it's convenient for you to do so. It doesn't have to be right away and it doesn't have to be a big long response. But know that if you ignore me for weeks or months on end, you're on my list. If you're unpredictable in a way that messes with my heart or that of my kid, you're on my list.
What list, you ask?
Well, the list works a lot like a list on my TiVo box. When I delete a show, it goes into the deleted shows folder. It doesn't go away completely; it's recoverable from there. But it doesn't take up any active space. If it becomes active again, it comes right back as if nothing happened. And if it stays there for a long period of time, it eventually falls out of that list into the abyss, never able to be restored. Just gone.
I've had to put a couple people in the deleted folder lately. I hate doing it. I really, really hope they find their way back into the active folder. But I'm starting to lose hope.
Is this bad? Would it be better for me (and/or my kid) to keep trying indefinitely and to just be the bigger person all the time even if it is never reciprocated? Does this mean I am turning heartless? I wonder about that. I don't want to be a cold person. What would my Aunt Betty say about this?