When you can’t control ..

There are a lot of things *worth* making a big deal about in life.

I have an amazing friend that I don’t see often enough, especially anymore because of a move and his retirement, who I can’t believe what he has seen, done and had happen to him in his life .. the loss of two children, a third with severe disability, a major health diagnosis for his spouse, and that’s just to start .. situations that might bring any of the rest of us to our knees.  Yet he gets up everyday, volunteers, goes to work, has the brightest eyes and biggest smile on his face and he just gets at it everyday.

That’s a lot for anyone to deal with.  Those things change you.  They have to.  And they can change a person for better or for worse in an instant.

Most of the time though .. we have little things, issues or challenges, deadlines, tasks, whatever .. thrown at us constantly throughout the course of a day.  And usually, there is little the Universe can truly throw at us that can’t be taken in stride.  That we can’t entrust, if not to God, to someone else.  Or ourselves.

Unless .. we perhaps have some issues with needing control.

There was a time in my life when I used to wonder why life, (I was told), was so bad.  So hard.  I felt horrible because no matter how bad things have ever actually been, I’ve always tried to find the silver lining.  I try to always be open to the fact I can do things better and take ownership of issues that are mine .. deal with them or make peace with the fact they are just my issues and minimize the impact on others.  Like the fact I often try to get one more thing done before I have to be somewhere which often, not always, but often where I feel I might have some leeway, has me running behind.

I have also far too often over the years, tried to take on issues I am told were or are mine.  But they’re not.  It took me a very long time to recognize that.  I used to wonder what was wrong with me that I didn’t see things the way I was told they were.  That perhaps I just didn’t get it.

In some cases, things are a big deal.  And, I try to always give credit where credit is due.

It’s tough though when everyone comes at things from their own past experience, personality and perspective.  So how big a deal something might be to one versus another is all very relative.

But after you’ve been through some actual, real sh*t in life, your realize what’s worth making a huge fuss or demands or threats over and what’s not.

It’s taken me a long time to get to a place where I have learned to better recognize this and  compartmentalize when issues are my own that I need to own ..

And when they’re just someone else’s .. appreciate that fact, and let it go.

Still, no matter how far you may try to remove yourself, sometimes you just keep getting dragged into the drama others need to create.  (And let me just clarify, this fortunately has nothing to do with the Cowboy.  Other than at times we both get to share/swap stories and ponder solutions to the everyday chaos around us.)

…………………….

While I’ve paid good money over the years to understand this and get to this place where I am currently at .. there are some valuable lessons I think in sharing stories, situations or resources.

http://drphil.com/articles/article/320

http://www.compatamate.com/Relationships/control.html

Whether or not it’s from me, Dr. Phil .. or any of the thousands of resources/forums available on Google which I won’t bore you with here .. there are lessons here I’d love for my daughter to learn, especially as she ages.  I hope she more easily recognizes a person with control issues than I can or ever did.

It would help tremendously even in situations like the one she and her best friend found themselves in this past year ..

Where a third little girl who so desperately wanted to be both their friends, did what she could to create chaos between the two, in order to come in and be the one to save the day.  She wanted them both to need her and like her best.  Versus just being a good person to like and love, who looked at herself for the person she wanted to be and stood firm in that .. (not easy for any girl about to enter her teens)

And who they would have welcomed into their circle to begin with.

We had this very conversation just the other night in regard to something said to her by another friend completely outside the triangle mentioned above, her reaction to it and how she might best respond.

Friendships, families, workplaces and relationships shouldn’t be about winning, losing or needing control.  While structure is necessary in some form and if expectations are made clear .. they are best when they can just be because everyone is doing their own part.

If it doesn’t work for some reason, it’s my belief .. take it or leave it, .. that natural consequences are a good reminder perhaps we need to look within and work on what’s there .. first.

Advertisements

Mindless blogs and Making the most of our time ..

Leave it to a man,  I am laughing to myself, to point out the obvious.

(Well, to be quite honest, I know a lot of women that do that better than many a men.  But that was still the first thought that popped into my head)

While I don’t get a ton of comments on my blog .. which is fine .. I love and appreciate the ones I do get.  Even critical ones.  Which so far, I guess it’s nice I’ve only had one.  But I work in a field where I’m used to them.  I can usually take whatever gets thrown my way.

So when I saw the following response to my “Help Wanted” post from a week ago where I mentioned I could really use a personal assistant, something I’ve believed I would be much better off with since college, I about spit my coffee out laughing:

“Perhaps if you weren’t writing mindless blogs you would have more free time to do what the rest of us do??”

First of all, thank you, Mr. Obvious.  Or, what one might think is obvious.  It’s 2:23 a.m. and I’m up writing because I don’t sleep much, not when I’m alone anyway.  This is my usual time unfortunately, to be up yet doing things I simply want to get done.  Mindless or otherwise.  Because during the day, I’m busy.  Apparently according to your best guess, not making good use of my time.

Trust me, James .. I wish the DMV were open right now because I’d be the first in line late at night take care of what I need to get done.  In fact, I might call the appropriate state officials first thing tomorrow morning to suggest at least one office stay open 24 hours .. because I bet a ton of others would be right there with me.

Are you among the uber organized, incredibly efficient and ultra successful?  I do hope so and I am glad you have it all figured out.  If not though, perhaps it’s the opposite .. you don’t have a whole lot going on in life that you have time to read mindless blogs and then point that fact out?  Or best reality might be that you are lucky to fall somewhere in-between?

I could take a guess .. but I hate to ever assume I know a thing about someone else’s life let alone make a remark about it.

Life for most people, is hectic.   And for women it seems, more and more.  Women who might work.  Care for a child.  Try and maintain some level of health and fitness.  Take care of things around the house.   Volunteer.  Manage family time & relationships and friendships.  Take care of an aging parent.  Help a child with homework.  Visit a friend in the hospital who just had a baby.  Console another friend going through divorce.  Spend time on your own marriage to keep it on solid ground.  Or, exert far too much time and energy dealing with an ex who can’t seem to move on and blames you for everything that has ever gone wrong in his life.  Go to church.  Cook a meal for a family who’s going through a loss.  Make your own family dinner.  Run a child to their activities.  Shop for a child’s friend’s birthday present.  Take the dog to the vet.  Attend a fundraising event you feel obligated to go to because your friend with that organization just came to your benefit.  And if you’re lucky .. find time for a yoga class or a good bar where you can hide out for an hour and try to remember what it’s like to actually breathe and get over the guilt you’re just not doing enough .. or doing it well enough and you need to try harder tomorrow.  Finish that beer or wake up after the final yoga stretch and cool down.  And then kiss those you love goodnight.

While I truly am enjoying responding to James in this particular post, this is actually a discussion I do want to have with my daughter .. most likely routinely .. as she is growing up.  And one we have already started to have.

We want it all.  Or think we do, especially when we’re younger .. just starting out in life and career.  We try to do it all.  Women, especially.  But it’s tough to have it all.  Something’s gotta give.  And women tend to be too hard then on themselves when that happens.  They feel they somehow failed.  Well, that I know is a gender neutral issue.  Everything’s got to be, look and feel perfect.

I fight this myself although I’ve gotten much better about it over the years through time and life experience.  But I see it so much now in close friends and colleagues, especially.

Life’s not perfect.  At all.  We do the best we can and hopefully learn to let the rest of the chips fall where they may.  We may want to save the world, or the whales, or .. oh, this list could go on and on and on but I don’t want to give anyone any more ideas or items to put on their to-do list… but it’s okay if you can’t.  Still we try.  And that’s okay too.

But, James, this is why some of us would appreciate an assistant.

……………

Now I’m not done with James just yet.

From ‘Help Wanted’ to ‘No soup for you’ .. I wrote yesterday about good customer service and how at a very young age, I learned working service jobs that the customer is (almost) always right.

What’s wonderful about a blog is that the writer gets to determine who the writing is for.  Kind of.  Perhaps its better said, who is your audience?  Do you know the customer you are going for?  And are you making sure they are the intended target in your work?  For some bloggers the target may just be for themselves.  A creative outlet.  Others hope for a much broader audience.  And money coming in through ads.  But what is “right” here in the blogosphere, often means what is ‘right’ by the writer.  (Try saying that 10 times fast) Not necessarily by the audience or readers .. or in other words, the customer.

I have been meaning to write a better ‘About me’ page for awhile now, to explain why I have taken this blog, this personal project on.  A project James feels is meaningless.  An opinion he is certainly entitled to.  But many others have encouraged me to continue to write.  I am so honored so many of you are stopping in to read, offer support, comments and just plain time of yours to connect.

Anyway, James’ note prompted me to finally get the ‘About me’ page done.

If you’re so inclined to further care about why I am blogging/journaling/channeling my inner writer that I don’t typically get to use for anything other than 30 second copy .. please check out the tab.

It’s cool if you don’t, too.

Who I would like to see it and who will get a copy of all this when it is done.. is my daughter.  Because this is for her.  She may not appreciate it now .. but I’m hoping somewhere down the line my daughter loves the memories I’m able to record, the parts of me she will someday want to know more about when I’m gone and be able to look back and sincerely track the big changes that may or may not lie ahead for us all this year.

If anyone else might appreciate some of my random thoughts or days along the way, I am blessed.  Sincerely, thank you for stopping in.

But like anyone with a remote .. or a mouse on their computer .. you get to vote with where you click and spend your time.

On your TV, you don’t like the program, change the channel.  Online, if you aren’t interested in a site, keep surfing.  Lucky for us all .. we live in a time and place where there is infinite content to choose from.  And each of us gets to decide where our time is spent most wisely.

Best to you all ..