To Keep from Being Overwhelmed by the Tribe

Yesterday went amazingly smoothly. Cooking a lot of different dishes, in a small kitchen, so they’re all ready at the same time is a feat. Because I cleaned as I went along, there were few dishes left after we ate. I made the call to have the big meal at lunch, so I could then relax and enjoy the rest of the day.

Yes, I actually took a day off.

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

Rudyard Kipling interview (June 1935), reprinted in the Kipling Society journal Vol. XXXIV. No. 162 (June, 1967) 

We have so many leftovers that we don’t need to go grocery shopping today. This was by design. Even though I am working today, I want a quiet weekend. We’re staying in. I’ve got a fake fire going on the television. Christmas music is playing. There are candles after dark. When we take breaks, we watch Christmas movies.

Overwhelmed by the Tribe

We’re certainly not the only happy to spend Thanksgiving in isolation. For as many people lamenting the loss of family get-togethers, there are others who always feel overwhelmed by the tribe. Not everyone has a good relationship with their blood relatives.

At the same time, I’m struggling to figure out where I fit within my publishing niche. I’m becoming increasingly comfortable with the notion that I don’t. Although I worry about how not being active in the “community” will impact business, I need to do what’s best for me. Several conversations I’ve watch over the past week have made me irritable. People drive me up a tree.

“Go along to get along” also isn’t something I’m willing to do. I did it for too many years in the corporate world, and it wrecked my health. My physical, mental, and emotional well-being are still screwed up from ethical compromises. These people aren’t my peers, and I don’t say that in an elitist way. We have different goals, and different experiences of things. I can’t make myself miserable trying to fit in. Nor can I expect other people to change to suit me. And we’re full circle, back to dysfunctional family gatherings.

Published by