I pretty much just do what I want on a daily basis. Peter is in work and I'm home alone, dog parks, lunch or coffee with friends, a bike ride or just stay in. I do the cleaning, food shopping and plan our evenings and weekends, whether we're going out, staying in and what we're going to do. Outside of this, I discuss with my husband my travel plans to visit family and friends to the UK, with the bulk of my trips covering the summer period, as leaving the house when it's nearly 50c is quite a challenge. Peter's work trips take priority and sometimes it means we can go 3-4 months without physically seeing each other. We also book my trips around family events, sadly sometimes this also includes family ill health and funerals.
Although I was due to fly to the UK last week, I ended up returning a week earlier for my ex SIL's funeral, my Uncle is also very ill in hospital after a fall and a heart attack, my father died suddenly last year and I've been in poor health since last June and have been seeing an oncologist who wants to run bone marrow tests once she's sorted out an iron deficiency. However when I'm in the UK all of a sudden I have to adapt my fairly solitary life to accommodating others and it's a big change for me, I can't be away for several months and then just slot back in. My life moves in a different way, living as an expat and whilst I realise other people's lives are different to mine, they have little understanding of how hard it is for me to come home and just fit back in without a few hiccups.
Since last summer, there's been so much going on, that I've actually come to realise that while I don't take life for granted, I do sometimes take life too seriously and I worry too much about events that are out of my control. By control I don't mean I want or need to be in control or have to know everything that is going on, I mean things happen around me that I have had no influence on that have a direct effect on my emotional well being, such as other people's ill health and the loss of loved ones.
I feel sometimes that I'm the one taken for granted, that I'm always available, that I'll always help out. Yet when I say I need help, I'll often hear people say 'no one knows how to help you' I think I'm fairly good at saying 'I need....' or 'I'd like....' but it falls on death ears.
There's a lot of stuff I've been able to let go of since my father died, I've realised life is too precious to spend it being wound up over the silly stuff. However the 'silly stuff' still needs to be dealt with, people and things still need to be dealt with, I'm just handling them differently. You want my help from now on, you ask for it, but it doesn't always mean I'll be able to help, want to help, or have the time to help. I've started saying 'No' without explanation or without feeling like I need to offer one either.
I'm not going to allow myself to be taken for granted anymore, I'm not going to allow other people to project their issues onto me, I'm not going to let other people make me feel guilty for saying No anymore.
So if it's not important to you to get a card to me for my birthday, then I'll follow your lead and assume you won't mind if I don't send you one either. If I'm always calling and messaging you and you never initiate the contact even just to say 'thanks for the flowers or gift' that I send at considerable expense, then I won't send you anything anymore and you just won't hear from me, because when was the last time you gave me a gift for me to contact you to say thanks?
I'm not changing who I am, I'm just going to stop adapting to everyone else's needs and I'm going to look after my needs instead. I('m wasting my time telling people how I feel, so I'll just start treating them the same way instead and I'll stop letting people take me for granted.