I was on a plane to Hawaii with 8 glorious hours ahead of pure “me time.” Time to listen to my favorite podcasts, read the two books I brought along and journal if I felt up to it. I usually don’t look forward to long plane rides but for a woman with a husband, two kids, a dog, a house and a job, 8 hours of time for myself is hard to come by and not to be wasted!
As I cozied into my seat, I was already excitedly contemplating what to do first: start book #1, start book #2, listen to podcasts?
And then I looked up…
and, as if in slow motion, I could see the worst was about to happen.
The same man who approached me to chit chat as we were waiting to board the plane was coming down the aisle getting closer and closer to my row. I could hear my inner voice saying, “please no, please no, please no, not the seat next to me, please no, please no, please no,” but my inner begging didn’t do the trick. Sure as #$@! he had the assigned seat right next to me. And there I was, cursing the situation inside my head and at the same time displaying a welcoming, friendly smile on my face.
Hmmm…This is who I am. I am nice. And so for the next 10 hours (2 extra hours on the plane before we even took off – thanks to mechanical difficulties!), I listened to this man’s tales of his life, I smiled and laughed at most of his jokes, I chatted a small amount (he did most of the talking) and with that I gave a large portion of my “me time” away.
I left the flight really frustrated and proceeded to complain to anyone who would listen about the annoying man I had to sit next to on my flight. It was him, he was annoying and that’s why I was frustrated.
When it kept nagging at me over the next day I slowly came to realize that it wasn’t really the man I was annoyed with. I was annoyed with myself for not setting a boundary with this stranger and keeping the plane time for myself. In this case I really needed and wanted that “me time” and I was annoyed that I gave it away even when my inner voice was clearly and loudly yelling “no!”.
I started to notice and think about other times in my life when I chose niceness at my own expense. I wasn’t liking what I was noticing. And that is what kick started this blog…
I have no doubt I will always be warm, kind and generous to the people around me. This blog is about learning to give myself the same consideration.
I want to spend time this year, here in this blog exploring what that would look like. What would it be like to redefine niceness to include a very important person in the mix – Me!
My friend’s husband claims that nice is a negative emotion. I am starting to think he might be on to something. I am noticing that niceness, when it comes at my expense, does carry negative weight.
That’s what this blog will be about, let’s see where it takes me!