Set the thermostat of your life at the temperature that suits you best, and let those around you dress in layers.” ~ Claudia Trupp

Much of my life has been about constantly adjusting the thermostat for everyone else in the room; morphing myself, my opinions, my thoughts, my words, my behaviors to make things comfortable and controlled. It’s not a question of whether or not this was required of me. (That conversation would take us into vast realms of family dynamics, learned behaviors, and the like.) Suffice it to say, no matter how it came about, I learned well the role of adjusting the temperature–my temperature–on behalf of everyone else.

I’ve gotten increasingly tired of such. These days I don’t want to do it at all! Dress in layers. Manage your own reality. Don’t make me responsible for your comfort!

Don’t misunderstand: this is not about me being belligerent, selfish, or demanding.

Believe me: I’ll offer and give much. Probably more than you know what to do with! Ample and extensive is comfort part of the package deal! Just take responsibility for yourself.

I realize, even as I type these words, that no one is implicitly or explicitly asking me to take responsibility for the thermostat. This is my learned behavior, my pattern, my pathology.

Even as I type these words I realize my tendency, no, total and outright compelling lure, to make things OK (and then some) for those who are in my midst.

Even as I type these words I am aware that this is not all bad…except when I find myself sweltering and suffocating n the heat I’ve enabled for another’s benefit; or when I find myself frigid, freezing, shivering, as I’ve adjusted the climate to another’s cool and oh-so-nonchalant ambiance.

What’s my preferred temperature? Do I even know? And can I/will I keep the climate set there?

It’s important I figure it out. You’ll adjust. Or you won’t. Either way, I’ll be comfortable – and here — ready and willing to share this oh-so-climate-controlled space with you.

This is why electric blankets and fabulous, luxury automobiles allow for dual-control thermostats and individually heated seats.

In lieu of such, I’ll be here – myself – comfortable; and willing to allow you to shed or don layers as necessary.