Life Changes

aking1614 By aking1614, 18th Jun 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Relationships

Can we bring the people in our lives up to the standards we've set for ourselves? Is it fair to expect them to change because we have? This is a glimpse into some of the problems we face when we mature and grow while those we know and love seem content to stay stuck right where they are.

Aging and Maturing

As we grow older, we may find that we become more critical, more cynical and far less tolerant than we were as young adults. Things that used to be minor pet peeves when we were younger now drive us up the proverbial wall. What is it about getting older that changes our temperament? Why do things we used to brush aside as unimportant now weigh heavy on our minds?

I believe the answer is quite simple. As we age and grow into our own identity (who we are, so to speak), we develop character. I define character as a set of standards we have for ourselves – what we absolutely will or will not do and will or will not put up with. The more we strive to achieve those standards we have set (this is our integrity) the less we are willing to put up with people and/or situations that do not meet these standards.

Work Ethic

I’ll use marriage as an example, mine in particular. I married very young (age 22). I was still in the process of getting through college and already had a young daughter. School, marriage and motherhood were my focus, and rightly so. However, in focusing on being a student, wife and mother, I had little time to focus on myself. I had no idea really who I was or what type of person I wanted to become. After juggling all this and earning my degree, I started to develop an idea of my character. I am a woman with strong family values (a trait I’m sure I learned from my own mother) and an equally strong work ethic. Whatever task I am assigned, I will do everything in my power to get it done. I try to meet every commitment/obligation that I have. I practically have to be on my death bed before I will neglect my business or household responsibilities.

This has created the first source on conflict in my marriage. I have decided that my husband lacks my strong work ethic. He is looking for any excuse NOT to do what he should be doing. A headache, upset stomach or slight cough is good enough reason to call off work. A call from a friend to watch the game at his place is reason enough to immediately hop in his car and go, although he was in the middle of doing something around the house that he promised me he would get done. Don’t get me wrong, he has not suddenly become this person; he has been this way all along. It didn’t bother me so much when I was younger (and energetic enough to pick up the slack), but now I view it as irresponsible and inconsiderate behavior that I should not have to put up with from the person who is supposed to be my partner

Planning to Reach Our Goals

I‘ve also recognized that I am a goal-oriented person. I like to have a plan in place for the things I want to achieve. Even writing poetry on Triond is part of a greater vision of gathering enough well-received poems to compile a book in the near future. Having an idea of what you want in life is great, but if you don’t have a plan, a map to get there, what’s the point? Thus, another bone of contention is thrown into my relationship. It’s easy enough to say, “We should get a house”, “we should start saving”, “I want to get out of debt”, “we have to pay for our kids’ education” or even the newest idea to visit Spain (where he was born) someday. To which I answer, “Okay, show me your plan on how we are going to get this done.” I am usually met with a blank stare. I’m guessing that he never heard the saying, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. “

Developing Outside Interests

Finally, I realize that I want to do things outside of my nine-to-five that mean something to me or to someone else. One day in the not too distant future, our youngest child (now 17) will leave the nest. I will no longer have a reason to rush home to check on the status of homework, or give her a ride somewhere. I will be able to focus on doing things that mean something to me or things that I simply enjoy doing. I can write more, sing more, travel more (hopefully in conjunction with the writing and singing) or take up another hobby. The only thing my spouse seems interested in doing outside of work is sitting on his butt in front of the television. Occasioally, we'll catch dinner and a movie. I foresee this being a HUGE problem if we can’t find a common interest when we can no longer use our children as our main focus. If I decide to pursue any of this without him, I’m sure he will view it as neglect and/or abandonment. I mentioned in an earlier article, “Naysayers, Haters and Saboteurs”, that those who don’t want to do anything with their lives resent those of us who do.

My Dilemma

Therein lays the problem with my life change. I have grown into full knowledge of who I am and have set standards for myself and others who want to be a part of my life. I have built character and, in showing that character in all aspects of my life, developed my integrity. I fully expect those that become friends, business associates, etc. in the future will meet my standards as well as share common interests and goals. So how does one go back and tell someone who has been a part of your life for ages that they simply do not meet the standards you have finally set for yourself?


Character, Goals, Identity, Integrity, Responsibilility, Standards, Work Ethic

Meet the author

author avatar aking1614
I am an engineer by trade, but a poet and songstress at heart. I started writing occasional articles online about five years ago, but poetry is still my first love.

find me on twitter@ashanpoetry

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author avatar Jenny Heart
19th Jun 2010 (#)

A very thought provoking article.

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author avatar Retired
19th Jun 2010 (#)

This was a sensational, thought provoking article! I honestly feel the same way in my life and feel that I want more from it than I am actually getting now.As Your last question goes how do you tell him that, I am still trying to work that out while gritting my teeth at times wondering what, how and why.

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author avatar Snooky
20th Jun 2010 (#)

Life does change you. I used to worry about everyone else but me. that has now changed. I think your points are all reflected in many lives one ay or another. This is a well written personal and communicative page.

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