Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

My Not A Resolution For 2019: Respect

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett

Hey, I managed to type that title without messing up the year! Score one for me, particularly since I was just looking at an envelope with a 2018 postmark. I'll take the small victories.

I dislike making resolutions for a number of reasons, but the top one is that most fundamental changes that people make don't depend on the turning of a calendar. If you can make resolutions and get them to stick, more power to you. The first time I even hiccup after making a resolution I tend to beat myself up, which brings me to the Not A Resolution for 2019:


Respect, in my mind, is at the root of so many problems. Not just personally, but in America, in particular. I'm going to be skirting on the political with this, but bear with me. Just look at the comment section of your local newspaper or on social media. Someone has an opinion, and the attackers pile on. There's very little respect for differing viewpoints, and I have to wonder if that's rooted in a lack of self-respect. People attack others to feel better about themselves.

Respect isn't just lip (or keyboard) service. If an employer respects an employee, shouldn't they pay that person a wage that covers at least the basics? A minimum wage can't cover the rent in many areas now. Yes, I know all of the arguments. Why, prices will go up! People should get a better job! Or a second job! Are there no poorhouses? I have to think that people who feel disrespected have trouble respecting themselves. It's a downward spiral that's tough to break free from. I know this first-hand.

And this is where my Not A Resolution comes in. I've dealt with a lack of respect for several years. Respect for my time, respect for my talents. There are people who seem to think that since I (or someone like me) works from home, that they won't mind taking on this big volunteer job at the last minute because someone else has something important to do, or just doesn't feel like doing the task. I find myself avoiding some social situations because I know someone is going to try to push something on me, or demand to know why I haven't done that thing they pushed off on me. There are people who think that thing that I'm selling for barely more than the cost of materials is too expensive. I've lowered my prices to make more sales, and it's getting me nowhere. There are people who think it's perfectly fine to pay five bucks - a month down the road - for a day of work. 

None of this pays the bills. All of it wears me down. Why should I respect myself if no one else will respect me?

Let's make no mistake that I bear the fair share of the burden for this situation because I've allowed it to happen. I've taken on things when I shouldn't have for several reasons. Sometimes I hope it will raise my profile. It rarely does, at least not in a helpful way. Sometimes it just makes the "sucker" target on my back larger. And yep, I want people to like me. I'll spare you the angsty childhood stories, but suffice to say that this has always been an issue. So maybe I just need to learn to like myself.

Here are the things I'm going to be doing this year:

  • Learning to say no, and how to do it with respect for others.
  • Taking more care with how I interact with other people.
  • Valuing myself more. This may mean raising my prices. It's certainly going to mean putting myself first a little more often. This isn't being selfish. It's what's now called self-care. I put off doing things just for me, like taking a break or going for a walk because I've let myself get talked into doing things I shouldn't even be doing. And then when it comes to doing the things I need to do, I shoehorn them in or drop them entirely because there just aren't enough hours in the day. I'm stressed all the time because of this, and that cannot continue.
  • Buy more things from indie artists and writers. I've already started down that road, but I intend to keep on it. But hey, I have to earn some money so I can buy some things!
  • Step back a bit from social media. Not only is it a time sink, but it's not good for me. I need to get some different perspective. 

So, that's my Not a Resolution for 2019. 

Filed under: Life            


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