I successfully, albeit inadvertently, depressed a friend of mine today when I asked him where he is now compared to where he was when he started off the year. “Today” isn’t bad. It’s easy enough to get through the busy work, but what actual accomplishments are we making? The year has flown by. Time in general seems to be flying by. And the only way to make it “slow” down is “be” in the present and “do” things that are steps towards accomplishing our goals. (As an aside, if we’re not doing those things, then maybe it’s because the goals we have are not really ours.) We joked about the situation. There’s something about the truth in jokes that make them all the funnier. Off the cuff he said the reason he hadn’t accomplished anything this year is because he didn’t make any plans at the beginning of the year. 🙂 Funny, but only because it was somewhat true. I told him he still has three weeks to do something. What (else) will you do in the remaining weeks of 2014?
. But wouldn’t you know it, different day, same scenario. I wonder if God is trying to show me that *I* need to be more in tune with the feelings of those around me. How is it that these things get under my skin unless it’s showing me something about myself? It could just be something worth worked up about, but who gets worked up without an underlying reason. The background to this story is that yet another inconsiderate soul asked a mother if she is “still” mourning the loss of her son? Pause right there. At what point in this person’s brain did the message get so twisted in order to come out like that. I’m betting there was no ill intent, so if it started out as an innocent question/concern/thought, then where did that person go wrong? Yes, my experiences are not yours so we will see things differently and react different to the same stimuli, but are we all so self-absorbed (there’s that phrase again) that we can only see from ourselves outward? I took the person’s question as wrong as can be, I’m sure. I took it that the person was basically saying why aren’t you over it yet, you should be over it. Granted, I didn’t hear the question, I don’t even know if those were the exact words used, but that was how it was relayed to me so that’s all I have to go on. Normally I wouldn’t let it phase me too much because broken telephone is real, but when you know the mother got so upset that she had to leave the premises then you know there’s something to it. It doesn’t matter if her child died today or twenty-five years ago…how, in good conscience, do you approach someone, a mother no less, with a question like that?
I was recently disappointed. You know how “they” say every disappoint is God’s appointment, or something like that? Yeah, I don’t see it. How long will it take for me to see it? Am I supposed to be the Christian here, allowing myself to be subjected to injury? Turn the other cheek? Really? I’m not saying I feel the need to retaliate. I’m thinking more along the lines of protecting myself. Why should open myself up is this is what’s going come in? Yes, we all are self-absorbed to some extent. I am too. But how unconscious must one be to not be able to think ahead to how your open and public actions might affect those who should be important to you? I feel almost hypocritical asking this considering my own selfish actions but in this post I’m the victim so I get to vent. (I’ll save the self-bashing for another post.)
My reality is that I have expectations. I expect you to consider me if I consider you. But, I realize that my expectations are many times unrealistic. They are based on *me* and *my* perspective and experiences. So I try to turn things around as much as I can in order to see things from the other person’s point view. In the situation referenced above, I see nothing except either 1) self-absorption and/or 2) fear. And then again, we may have different definitions of “consideration,” you and I. I understand that. Forgive me for initially being defensive, but I will get around to understanding the root of it. At least, I will try.
I’ve been sort of caught up lately in being projected upon. Meaning? Consciously or not, I’ve been allowing others’ expectations of me to influence my thoughts and actions. My intention is to “worry less” and do more. Of me. Whatever that is. I encourage you to do the same. Stop worrying about being “enough.” You know, holding your tongue because you may not be smart enough, not approaching that someone because you may not be attractive enough or interesting enough, or not starting a venture because you may not have the skills enough to complete it, and on and on. Be you. Those who are “for you” will come. Keep them. Those who are not, well, they will be easy enough to spot. It’s difficult to block out the negativity and the distractions but it’s worth it. You will be so much more productive and content. I would add though, don’t be too quick to judge. I say this because I recently took a friend’s statement to heart and thought it was meant to be a dig. It bothered me for days. I mulled it around in my mind, looked at it from what I thought was every angle, until it finally dawned on me that maybe I misunderstood the statement (the conversation was via text, but the complexity texting adds to a relationship would have to be for another post lol). When I finally stopped defending myself to myself was when I could look at the context of the statement, not in light of just the conversation, but taking into consideration all of the past interactions. I knew then that it was really my good that my friend wanted for me. Ooh, I love the gray the areas! There are fine lines everywhere.
Stop comparing yourself to others – their quality of life, their quantity of gigs, the type of leisure activities they get to do, noticing what they don’t have to do, or in whatever other way you’re comparing yourself. Stop.
I’ve been there, I am there, yes, I do that. So, yes, I’m talking to myself as much as I’m talking to you.
I sent this to a friend yesterday and thought I would share,
We have to stop obsessing about where we are! We need to look at where we are now, just one more time, but this time with the eye of this is where I don’t want to be. And immediately, next, make a plan to get where we want to be, which will be daunting if we look at even five years down the line, but we can do it if we focus on, say, where we want to be at the end of year and then break it down into chunks of what we need to accomplish each month, “seeing” where we will be and what we want to be doing. We can actually get there. The question is do we really want what we claim to want? I only ask that because if we wanted it badly enough…we would be doing what we should be doing.
Where do you find your inspiration?? As you stand where you are and you look before you, the possibilities of the future being endless, the direction solely placed in your hands, where do you look to find inspiration to choose the way to go?
…go somewhere quiet and tune everything out?
…do something to take your mind off of the subject at hand knowing, or at least hoping, that “it” will come to you later?
…force yourself to stop and think?
…bounce your ideas off of someone you trust?
…make a list?
…do something else?
I’m personally looking for inspiration right now so I’d love to know what works for you.
I was reading recently one person’s idea about the Fear of Success and what causes that fear. He says that we are afraid to succeed because we are afraid of being alone, being cast out, being different from the rest. I don’t know how much I agree with that perspective. I mean, it must be true for some people. At least for one person. 🙂 For me I think it’s more a feeling of failure that I’m avoiding. Not the prospect of succeeding temporarily or trying to succeed but then failing in the end. Not like that. But more along the lines of, if I go for it and succeed, then what have I been doing all this time?? Has my life prior to the “success” been a waste? A failure or disappointment in and of itself. Yes, the experiences I’ve had, the lessons I’ve learned, the people I’ve met, ALL that I’ve done and been a part of make me who I am now, have indeed prepared me for this point in my life. I understand my life has not been a waste. But still, some part of me feels like if I could do “it” now then why didn’t I do it before? Was I just lazy? How much better could my life be now if I had started way back. And, of course, this is backwards thinking because if I let this paralyze me now then there will be exponentially that much more regret two days, weeks, months, years, decades from now.
Ah, well, today is a new day.
I do, I do! 🙂 Sometimes I’ll have a “good” day where I feel so inspired to do and create and then I paralyze myself with all of the options of paths to take. I don’t get it. I remember from high school my best friend and I would run to the corner store at the end of our lunch period to buy some junk food. The problem was, I had a set amount I was willing to spend, say 80c, and with that I could only get ONE thing. It was the same dilemma every time! We would rush to the store with maybe ten minutes til the bell and I would stand in front of the register, poring over the plethora of options. But always, in the end, I would grab the familiar snickers, pay, and we would RUN back to school. smh The main question that ran through my mind was, “What if I try X but I end up not liking it?” My money would have been wasted and I would not have my dessert void filled. Definitely a lose-lose scenario. But now I look back and wonder what I may have missed out on? As trivial as it is to think about, I bet I did miss out on some obscure chocolate bar. What will I miss out on this time around as I stand in front of life, as young as I will ever be again, and think about all of the things I could do, like write a book, make (really) short films, take pictures, do something tech-y like write an app for my husband’s phone, or help churches get into the cloud. So I sit and think and half start, going from one to the other, but ending up not pursuing any one thing. What a shame. If I would just focus on one thing and get it going. If I choose none then I’ve given up on all and who knows what I will be missing out on. If I continue waffling it’s the same as a non-choice because then I don’t give myself the chance to become an expert. But as was true 20 plus years ago is still the same now – what if I do put my heart into something and it ends up being a waste of time, I end up not satisfied, with the void not filled, and nothing to show except growing older?
Wow, has it been a month already? “It’s hard?” you hear me say? “It’s supposed to be hard?” you hear me respond to myself? Right, well, yes, that’s been my latest internal dialog…on repeat. But why is it hard, really? To make those first steps, to commit to something you’re unsure about – fear of abject disappointment and/or embarrassment for failing yet again?
Listening to others around me I think it’s really a form of apathy. Yes, of course, we all want things to change, but to make them change we have to change, and honestly it takes effort to overcome the inertia of familiarity – of staying how we are, where we are, and what we know of ourselves, and actually of those around us because in truth when we change those around us are forced to adapt in one way or another as well. They can either hang around and hang on, or be left by the wayside.
There aren’t that many things I want – I want to be a good example to my children, a good wife to my husband, and be of service to others; I want to spend time with my family, I want to write a book. travel and maybe even take an acting class or two. But in the end (after attending literally a dozen funerals in less than a year) I realize I want my family to know NOW that I love them, and to remember that love when I’m gone. And this takes me back to the beginning…how am I going to get what I want without taking a step?
What do you want and what first step do you need to take to get start you off in the right direction. And if you’ve taken that step then congratulations! You’re further than most others who are still only dreaming.
Now, what’s the next step? 🙂
I wanted to do a post as an ode to single parents because I have much respect for them. I’m married with two young children. My husband works 12-hr shifts most days (no, he is not compensated like a doctor, at all) and that can be taxing. There’s not much I can say really because I DO have someone to help me even if it is only sometimes, but I still feel it when he’s not there – when I have to tote the children on all of my errands plus take them to their activities, not to mention anytime I have a ‘me’ thing to. The latter is so rare because that’s just how mothers are – we put everyone else above ourselves way too often, but we do derive satisfaction from knowing we have fulfilled/satisfied/made someone else happy. Anyhow, my daily struggles always make me think about single parents. I wonder how they manage. They have no reprieve unless they have a good support network, but how many of them do? Sure, they don’t have the added dynamic of having to keep a partner/spousal relationship going, but then they do have everything on themselves. There is no sharing of responsibility, even if it’s in name only. There is no shoulder to lean on. There is no mediator between them and their children. There is no “Look, leave me alone, go ask your father, he’s right there.” lol There is no shared accountability – all decisions are on one person’s head, good, bad, or ugly, right there, right then. That’s a lot. That’s a lot for one person, even if that person has a good support system. My mother was a single parent. Having my own children now I see for myself exactly how self-centered children are. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a fact. Children only know their world from one perspective – theirs. I like to think I was a considerate child and not completely self-absorbed, but in reality that probably wasn’t the case for myself or my sister. 🙂 So, here’s to the single moms and dads out there. I’m raising my virtual glass of sparkling apple cider to you! Don’t lose heart (or sanity). 😀