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I think, therefore I am a Capricorn. My friend Verna (remember her?) once asked me, quite seriously, if I could make my brain slow down. Um … no, not really. I mean, I suppose I could do that, but why would I want to? It doesn’t seem like it goes very fast to me. I once tried to explain to a therapist that no, I do not have racing thoughts. It isn’t like I can’t hold on to one thought because another comes along to take its place. It’s more like one thing simply leads to another – more rapidly than most people are used to. It has nothing to do with attention span and everything to do with an ability to sort things quickly in order of importance, without second-guessing myself. On the flip side of that same coin, I am able to not think about something for as long as I choose. Most people have that ability and use it unconsciously as a defense mechanism. I do it completely consciously, with just a tiny spurt of willpower.  If I have a super power, it is only that I know myself. I know my soul. I know my heart. I know my mind. I know.  I cannot be bullied, coerced, or manipulated. If I do something you think I don’t want to do it is only because I have decided I don’t care enough to fight about it. I’ve learned to allow other people illusory victories. But I will fight – and to the death – on principles that are dear to me.

I’ve had lots of conversations recently about meddling friends and families and coworkers. It is something I don’t understand. My family doesn’t meddle. We don’t try to push each other around – mainly because the four of us possess all of the traits I just mentioned, to different degrees. We aren’t to be trifled with. At work, I ignore the bully. She doesn’t mess with me much. She learned early on that I turn everything back on her, with no hesitation and with a huge smile. She has no idea if I’m joking and she doesn’t want to find out. I make it way too difficult for her and she has mostly given up.

What do you do, though, when it’s your own family? How do you draw a line in the sand when others are blind to it? I don’t know what the answer is and I am not sure that there is an answer. Everyone is different and we all have different struggles. I can say, “Stand up for yourself! Tell them to fuck off!” … but that’s my answer that came out of my personal experiences.

So my question today is this: How do you create your own happy place and still manage to save room in your life for people you can’t kick out?