Sunday Night Check-In: No More Crumbs

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A week or so ago, a friend of mine told me about an eye-opening conversation that she had with her gay boyfriend. She had told him about a guy who kept promising he was going to call her for a date but it would be months before he ever did. She still was willing to go out with him if he called because he seemed like a nice guy. But, after talking to her friend about it last week, she became very aware of her tendency to accept crumbs from men in relationships. I high-fived her and said that I did the same thing in the past but we should not accept crumbs anymore.

This weekend I found myself in that very painful, hungry place beneath a table where I was once again getting crumbs. The problem is that I’m used to subsisting on crumbs. I don’t even realize how hungry I am until I’m hurting so bad that I can’t stand it. I am trained to just wait and beg for more rather than moving on to one of the many tables where I can feast like everyone else. Somehow it seems less scary to take crumbs consistently than it does to take the risk that there are other feasts that are open to me. And, yet I know they exist. I’ve feasted plenty.

Wildflowers at City Park

Saturday I found myself in Goodwood Hardware – this really cool hardware store that has lots of kitchen and cooking supplies. I was looking at some kitchen utensils and picked up one that was curious to me. “What is this?”, I asked myself and then read the label. It was a crumb scraper, and immediately I remembered sitting in a white linen restaurant in Montreal where the waiter used a crumb scraper to clear the table of the buttery crumbs from the croissant I had just consumed. I had never seen one before, and it felt really nice to have someone clear the crumbs from my space so that I could continue eating. He put the crumbs in his hand or a napkin or something and threw them away. My friend’s words echoed in my brain. In hindsight, I should have bought the tool as a reminder that the crumbs are for the garbage … not as part of the main course.

It was a beautiful weekend. The weather was gorgeous. I had breakfast with my parents at the Cajun Village on Saturday, and I continued my yoga practice. I have 3 days left of the 30-Day Yoga Challenge, and it looks like I’m going to make it. This morning I did a practice that focused on the transitions between poses, and I noticed how much stronger I’ve gotten. I hardly stumbled at all making the complicated transitions. I felt tired by the end of the practice but not exhausted. I’m still a little mad at myself for early on pushing too far with my hamstrings. I’m still feeling it. Now, I’m being more respectful of my hamstrings by keeping a bend in my knee and only stretching as far as is comfortable. I suppose it’s a way of taking care of myself. It would be a good lesson to bring into my life. Don’t overdo; push my edge if I want to, but stop expecting so much of myself.

I had a great coffee date with a girlfriend this morning. We talked about our histories with Mother’s Day since neither of us have children, and we discussed some great ideas for using LinkedIn and social media. We are in the same field, and it was fun to talk about my career on a Sunday in a way that was inspiring. We also talked about moving energy, and I mentioned that one of the reasons I did the yoga challenge was to try to just keep some energy moving. When there is movement, there will eventually be progress. We completed the Artists’ Way together, and we are missing each other now that it is done. We parted with a promise to set up more coffee dates so we can stay in touch. At this table this morning, I was definitely invited to the feast.

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I drove out to City Park in NOLA this afternoon and met a friend to walk Ashok and enjoy the gorgeous afternoon. For a few minutes, I was way too hot, and July flashed into my mind like a reminder that hell is yet to come. Luckily, we went under a shade tree, and it felt much more comfortable and cooler. I packed a picnic lunch of Mediterranean chicken dip, fresh strawberries, Trader Joe’s trail mix, sunflower bread, and cracked pepper goat cheese. It was delicious and light, and I enjoyed every bite. I can certainly be responsible for my own feast if necessary, and I need to remember that. In fact, in setting my own table, I can choose exactly what I like, in the amounts that I desire and in the highest quality I can find.

Overall, the weekend was good. I learned a lot about myself, and I was reminded of my tendency – just like my friend’s – to accept crumbs in relationships. My awareness helped me to pull out of it more quickly and remember how to satisfy my own hunger for love and attention. I don’t have to accept crumbs from a table where someone – or something – has already consumed the feast. It’s ultimately a choice I can make, and I’m making it once again. NO MORE CRUMBS.

10 thoughts on “Sunday Night Check-In: No More Crumbs

  1. Good for you for realizing you were settling for crumbs early on and not dragging it out until it got really painful. I know I went through a series of relationships in my twenties, and I would talk them over with my therapist at the time. The first one took me several months to finally let go of, the second one took me a month or so of work, the third one was just one session of talking things out. She teased me that pretty soon I could just call her and say “not a good one, huh?” and that would be enough. Kind of like a drive-thru window of professional advice ๐Ÿ™‚

    It looks like you had a great weekend, connecting with people, taking care of yourself, enjoying Ashok and the beautiful weather – hope you’re energized for the week!

    • Yeah, that seems to be the case with getting better. I still go there, but now I just don’t visit very long. This time it was a relative dishing up crumbs. It’s where I learned the behavior.

  2. Oh amen sister about the crumbs! And funny to realize this is indeed learned behavior…and probably at some point it served a purpose for me or I wouldn’t keep doing it.

    I recently realized that a relationship had stopped working (a business relationship) and that it was harming me. After much thought (and rumination!), I let the relationship go. I have been hoping for a handshake or a well-wish from the person.

    Your description of accepting crumbs…and being used to accepting crumbs…is apropo in this case. And I appreciate having another metaphor that helps me let go completely and move through this ending.

    • So glad you took care of yourself. It took me forever to be in enough healthy relationships that I even understood what one looked like. Funny… While you were typing this, I was referring a friend to your studio.

  3. Oh, that would be a whole ‘nuther layer of stuff to work through, with a relative. I’m working on not visiting long, either, with some of my family issues…

  4. Hey–what do you think about crumbs in relationships with girlfriends??? I struggle with this all the time and even ended a friendship….. Many of my girlfriends have husbands/boyfriends and I get what is left of their time…if anything. I have told myself to take what I can get because we’ve had a long friendship. Hmmmm…..

    • I actually think crumbs are not acceptable in any kind of relationship. That being said, I do have people in my life that put me low on the totem pole. It’s ok as long as I don’t try making more of it. I just let them drive the effort, and I don’t put myself in situations where I start getting that icky feeling in my gut. And sometimes my friends with less time give me full attention when we are together, and the ones that are available only provide crumbs because they only care about themselves. It’s such a balancing act. I guess I try to trust my gut. If the relationships starts making me feel bad, sad, jealous, hurt or angry, it’s time to have a talk or end it. Love you!

  5. Oh yes, trust your gut feeling…Always. I have been aware of the magic of following my intuition, but only actually practicing it consistently recently. Oh what a difference!

    And, thanks, Sharon for the referral. So thoughtful of you.

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