From this day forward, I will no longer be concerned or bothered with the minor issues of others. I will always lend a ear and provide that shoulder to cry/lean on but, I will not lose sleep, offer advice, buy a drink or even refer you to anyone that might be an expert (other than prayer and the Bible). It might seem cold and callous of me to be making this declaration, but I feel it is necessary. Being an outwardly selfish but inwardly caring and selfless individual (some may disagree) has started to take its toll on me and my happiness. All these years growing up with my dad and seeing how he doesn't sweat the small stuff has finally sank in and I realize now why he has patterned his life in that manner. It used to trouble me that he didn't show more concern or talk more or even just be more involved in our lives as a family . . . makes sense now. He made sure we had everything that we needed and some of what we wanted as long as we followed the rules he established. He and my mother had an understanding that anything "fun" or "not necessity" would be taken care of by her. At times, I hated him for being that way. I wanted my dad to take me places, play catch with me (more than just once), invite me on fishing trips, actually show me how to fix cars (instead of my mom making me go outside and watch him), but that wasn't him. Please don't get me wrong, I don't want to completely be like my father in that aspect. I will continue to be that father you can talk to, that shows up at school for lunch, takes you out to eat for special occasions or just plays video games with you just for fun. I guess what I am declaring today is, I will not be a pawn for those that do not appreciate the extra things that I do for them. My kids are very grateful and love even the little things I do for them- even if they don't know all that I do, they understand- even lil Zoe. It's the older people in my life that I am applying the "willie" philosophy to and changing my approach. As the old adage goes, "do unto others, as you would have them do unto you"; is it possible to apply this to your life if you are dealing with someone that isn't on the "same page" with you in regards to communication, consideration and respect? This may seem like a rant to some, but I feel better revealing this to the world.