Relationships

Appreciation

We all want it. Sometimes, if not most of the time, we do things just to be appreciated, to be noticed, to be acknowledged.

I remember complaining to my parents how they always notice when I do something wrong but never notice it when I do these things right. Putting my used clothes in the laundry basket after I bathe, for example, I forget them in the bathroom when I’m rushing (I used to be always late, which in itself is another issue). Or bringing my clean clothes to my room after they were ironed, which I forget because I don’t always do it. I get lectured every time I forget to do these little things. Sometimes I forget doing them even after they already reminded me to because they tell me while I’m in the middle of doing something else. The frustrating part was that failure of doing these little things pile up and are carried over the next time I’m lectured again. But when it comes to doing these things right, I get nothing. No acknowledgement, no notice, no appreciation, no cancellation of previous instance of neglect. I put my clothes in the laundry, I get nothing. I remember to bring my clothes to my room without reminder, I get nothing. I am not rushing and am not late, I get nothing. But the next time I failed to do these things again, I’m sure it’ll be noticed, and I will be lectured for it and for all the times it happened in the past.

I asked myself. Why is it so easy for them to be mad at me for forgetting but never notice when I accomplish them? What is so hard about acknowledging, when lecturing is easy? Lecturing takes more time and energy, as compared to saying, “I noticed you did this. Good job,” or, “I see, you did that. Nice.”

But I was expecting to get something that I myself don’t give. I complain about not being appreciated when I myself don’t let other people know that I appreciate them or the things they do for me.

When I was going to school, my mom would wake me up 15 minutes earlier and I would complain for not getting those precious sleeping minutes. I never thanked her for waking me up so I can get ready before the school service arrived. I didn’t even consider then that she was only doing that because she knows how hard it is to get me out of bed. She always made sure breakfast is ready before she wakes me up. I complain for the lost 15 minutes of sleep when my mom got up at least 30 minutes before me so she can prepare meal.

I never organize my things. I put them where ever there’s space. The things is, I remember where I put them and the only times I lose them is when someone else put it away or organize them. My father would always lecture me whenever I look for my things, and in my head I blame him because he’s the one putting my things in other places without my knowledge. What I fail to do is appreciate him for tidying and cleaning my room. Sometimes, my table gets so cluttered with my things that I use my laptop on my bed instead. Then, when my father comes, he clears it up and I’m able to use it again. I don’t think I ever thanked him for that, but I was able to complain about not finding my things when I need them because he put it away.

Now I ask myself, why is it that I complain too much, when there are so many things worth appreciating? What can I do about this? Then, I tell myself this:

(1) Appreciate others more, and let them hear in words that they are appreciated.
(2) Appreciate yourself more. Sometimes, it’s all you need. If you do, you won’t need others to do it for you.

Have a great day! 🙂

Family, Relationships

Gift: Parents

My parents are the greatest gift I have ever received. We can never choose our parents, decide whose egg cell and sperm cell should we come from, or which family we would want to be born into, which is why I really feel blessed to have been born in mine.

I’m an only child to two strict and conservative but very loving, understanding, caring, and ever supportive parents. All these and more, they gave me in the right amounts. They don’t give me every little thing that I want, but made sure I get everything that I need. They give reasons and explain in detail why they would not give me the things that I wanted but couldn’t have. They don’t always give me ‘yes’ as an answer but always made sure I understand why they give ‘no’. They never forced me to do things I didn’t want and taught me to decide for myself early on. And though they didn’t always let me go out with friends or sleep over at their house, I never felt bad about it, I felt protected and secured. The best part was that I didn’t just have two great parents, I have two great friends as well. I could tell them anything and everything.

We can never choose our parents, but I’m really lucky and blessed with mine. I wish I could make them feel blessed to have me as their daughter as well.

Relationships, Romantic

On Clinginess

I’m one clingy person. If I love you, I’d spend time with you. I may not always be available, but I will find time. For me, my time is the most precious gift I can give the people I love. That’s why I feel most loved by people who choose to spend their time with me. So if I love you and I know you love me, I will expect you to give your time to me. No, expect is an understatement… I will demand it! I don’t need much, I know everyone is busy. At least a little is enough, from time to time. But if my expectation is not met, I’d get really frustrated and somehow feel unloved. Not healthy, I know. Too much of anything is bad. But I thought, I was not demanding much, I thought my expectations are reasonable.

Anyway, my boyfriend and I both have work on weekdays, so we rarely see each other on weekdays. So, to make up for that, we spend our weekends together. We’re like that for more than a year now, I don’t know how to spend my weekend (or Saturdays, at least) on my own anymore. Unfortunately for me, he goes to company outings every six months.

Imagine how frustrated I always become whenever that happens. Sometimes, I want to stop him from going. But I never did, because I know that’s selfish. My parents have a great social life and they usually go out with their friends on weekends. And sometimes, it’s just not that easy to go out with (my) friends because they also have things going on with their lives. There are even instances that we plan out a simple dinner so we can catch up on each other, only to find out eventually that most of us can’t make it because of school stuff or work. So, I’d spend those weekends at home, switching back and forth between doing random stuff, and hating on my boyfriend’s company for taking him away from me on a weekend.

This weekend was one of those weekends. Oddly enough though, I didn’t feel frustrated anymore. I was even excited, for myself. I found it weird that I felt that way, but it was refreshing. And I wondered, what was different? I wasn’t happy because I was away from my boyfriend on our supposed day together. But I was happy I’d get to spend some time for myself, with myself.

I enrolled for a couple of class at Coursera. I was really inspired to take more classes after I took Learning How to Learn class. This past week, I spent some of my break times watching videos and answering quizzes. I really enjoyed learning new things, and I want to learn more. So, when my boyfriend told me they are having another outing, I was sad for a while but got over it really soon and got excited instead.

I still think I’m clingy, but I think I have reduced my level of clinginess to somewhat healthy level now. I don’t always plan, so when I do, I wan’t those plans to happen. And when they don’t I get really frustrated and sad. I’ve been so busy entertaining those negative feelings I waste my precious time being unhappy, when I can use the time to do things that make me happy instead.

This makes me wonder. Maybe I felt that a lot was going on in other people’s lives, and nothing really as exciting was going on with mine. I partitioned my time so I can give enough for my loved ones, I didn’t notice I don’t spend some of it on myself anymore.

I used to enjoy my alone time, doing random things to express myself. I used to draw, paint, write, sing, dance, play the guitar, learn a piano piece. It used to be okay for me to stroll around a mall, eat at a fast food chain or window shop (for books, toys, art materials or pets) alone. I didn’t notice I never do these anymore, well, except for singing, I can always sing whenever, where ever, while doing something else.

Anyway, these activities are where I get my own supply of approval, validation, sense of accomplishment, and a lot of other things that make me feel good about myself. So when I thought I don’t have time for these anymore, I kind of relied on other people to provide them for me. Maybe that’s why I became clingier than I ever was, and if this continues, it might become unhealthy for me and for the people I have relationship with anymore.

How about you? Are you clingy? Do you know someone who’s clingy? How much clinginess is just right for you to make you feel loved? How much of it is too much?