As we head into a new year, I ponder my resolution to have better balance in my life on a number of levels. One of those (very important) levels is in the area of stress reduction and reducing worry in my life. I think these are things we all struggle with, and recently I've come to realize there's a great deal that we impose on ourselves, especially when it comes to our relationships.
This realization came after having several people tell me things that other people said and/or did over the past few weeks and asked what I thought of it. I remembered that when I was under a therapist while going through my life changes a few years ago, one of the things she told me was that the secret to finding balance was realizing what was and wasn't my business. "You concern yourself with your responsibilities and what you control and let go of the things in the hands of others," she said. That's certainly true, and in fact remembering this advice upon being asked my opinion on these various situations and issues made me realize that people, in general, bring on a lot of their own stress by worrying about or fretting over things that other people think, say or do - things they have absolutely no control over.
Why do we do this? My first reaction was that it's arrogance. Frankly, we all have a tendency to beleive that everything is all about us - and that's wrong. The truth is that everything people think, say and do is all about THEM. It's a reflection of how they see the world. Even if they say that "others made me do it," the truth is that they made the decision on how to perceive things and on how to proceed. Nobody "makes" anybody do anything. Plus, by nature, people are going to do what's best for them and the ones closest to them. Why should they do something that benefits you 100% and them none at all when you aren't the center of THEIR world?
So there's one reason, but I don't think that's all of it, nor the major portion. In fact, I think if that were the whole reason, then it would mean that people in general are extremely selfish and short sighted, and I don't believe that such a narrow view applies to most people most of the time. Some maybe, but absolutely not all. Maybe not most. And remember, I said there's some truth to this. Maybe it's a small part, but I don't think that's a "once size fits all" explanation for it. Most people learn, grow, and gain a wider perspective on the world and as such, they aren't so shallow.
I believe another reason is that we want everybody to like us. The problem is, I recently read that there was actually some scientific study that at least 10% of people aren't going to like you. Frankly, I was surprised the percentage was that low. I thought it would be closer to 30%, but the latest study I read said 10% so we'll run with that. Why is this? Plain and simple, personality differences. Some types just don't play well together. If you don't believe it, ask any extremely emotional person I've come in contact with and they'll tell you I'm mean and don't give a crap about their feelings. I am, by nature, a person that leans more toward logic and reason in making decisions than emotion. I usually don't get along well with extremely emotional types that "just want peace" and "want everybody happy right now" because I beleive happiness comes from investing the time and hard work to do things right no matter how you feel about it "right now." If you do what's right, then it will work out in the end, and that's a happiness that last; not a vapor of high emotion that wears off when the party is over and the consequences have to be paid. In fact, since I've been working in professional licensing, I'd say my tendency to make decisions based on logic and reason have become a stronger because by nature of my profession, I'm obligated to do what's right no matter how people feel about it. I don't think that's a bad thing (of course), but I've caught some flack about it because I'm female, and by stereotype I'm supposed to be all about feelings. While I'm ok to say "alright, forget the 10% and thank God for and enjoy the other 90%, well, some people get awfully fixated on that 10% and believe that if they work harder then they can get a 100% approval rating. It seems their effort would be better spent nurturing relationships with the other 90% but in fact, sometimes they turn on the ones on their side to gain approval they'll never have, counting on forgiveness from that 90% that might come, but not realizing that it will have a higher price than they bargained for because broken trust is a very hard thing to rebuild. But it happens, all the time. I've experienced it; I've seen it; I've written about it. Hey, I'm a writer. The ugly underside of humanity is a playground of inspiration. Expose it to me at your own risk.
Just kidding - maybe. And a sidenote on the emotion thing: I'm interested to see if the stereotype of "hysterical emotion" in women downplays as more generations of women have careers.Working women don't have time to fret over every little wayward comment, rolled eye, questionable social media post, tear or tirade that comes their way. Or at least, me and my colleagues don't. But we'll see as time tells this particular tale.
So there's that. But not all people are emotional and out for approval ratings that would make politicians jealous, so reason #2 can't apply to everybody. But it does apply to enough that I believe it should be considered.
There is one more reason, and I think it applies to most of us. I believe the reason people get tied up in what others think, say and do is because they don't want to be alone in how they think or feel. They want to know that others agree with them. They want others to have an opinion with them, or to get mad with them, or to be sad with them, or to take up the cause with them because they don't want to be the only freak swimming against the tide. They want to know they're like everybody else and what the other person is doing is wild/selfish/stupid/crazy/nonsense/whatever. They don't want to be alone in their opinion or feelings because they don't want to look in the mirror and ask "is it them, or is it me?" We all want to be right. We all want the world to understand that our opinion is just as important as everybody elses'. We all want respect. Nobody wants to be a nobody. They want people to know that they're here, that they have value, and that they are just as important as the other 7+ billion people in the world.
Here's the thing, though: Going about it by getting tangled up in other peoples' business is a sign of insecurity. If you truly walk in faith and you're confident in yourself as the authentic human being you were created to be, then you don't need to beg or scream for attention. You humbly go about your own business, believing that the life God set before and the purposes you serve speak for themselves.
That's the cure. That's how you break free from this stress. You get busy living your own life and tending to your own businss and have the grace to accept others and the decisions they make without intruding into their lives with your opinions.
Does this mean you ignore others and don't care what they do? Of course not. You should always do your best to help people in need and if there's something you can do to help others on their life path, you certainly should. The key is to use common sense and discernment. Yes, we all have opinions on things, but we don't need to share them all the time. Everything that flies through your head doesn't need to fly out of your mouth. If you aren't asked for your opinion or advice, assume it's not wanted or needed and keep it to yourself. I'd even go so far as to say that you should still use caution in giving advice even if you ARE asked for it. As one of the elves said in The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring, "elves don't give advice because all paths may run ill." Think before you speak. If in doubt, don't. And realize that advice is a take it or leave it thing - and in many cases, people leave it, so be prepared to have your advice or opinion rejected just in case and be prepared to not get offended. And please, for the love of God, if it won't make any difference and you have a thought - don't. Stop right there and go no further. If it's done and/or there's no way it's changing no matter what anybody says and you really need to get it out, set up a private blog or buy a journal to work it out, but don't go off on tirades and complain to everybody in the world about things you can't control involving people close to you. And don't ask or expect people to take sides with you unless you want to do the equivalent of renting a billboard that says I'M THE ONE WITH THE PROBLEM. It makes you look bad and it makes other people run like hell from you when they see you coming. If it's something so big that you can't live with it, find a way to either deal with it or distance yourself from the situation. Just because a war's going on doesn't mean you have to be a soldier in it. Other people might want you to have their problems, but they can't draft you. You don't have to accept them and if you choose not to accept their problems, well then, it's over.
The point of this mile long blog is that I'm coming to understand that balance is something that we have to strive for in every area of life, and personal relationships are certainly a big element there. We do live in the world, with people, so having good, balanced relationships is an extremely important thing. And one way we can achieve balance in our relationships is by not being a busybody, minding our own business, and having the grace to let it be.
Thanks for hanging in there with me on this one. I hope you had a Happy Friday and that you have a great weekend.
A recent outbreak of drama led Rick and I to ponder the source of problems recently. We realized that the totally out-of-left-field things that hit you without warning and turn your life upside down are actually pretty rare. In fact, as I look over my own life, I think I can only think of 2 or 3 instances when my life was smashed to smithereens and there was absolutely no avoiding it. At 37 years old, I think that's a testament to how rare the "rebuilding your life" seasons are. Thank God, too. Because if such things happened frequently then I'm not sure there would be a single sane person on planet Earth over the age of 30.
The thing is, it seems like people have problems all the time. I mean, it's never ending, and there are some that live in a constant state of drama. Life is one series of battles after another. Well, if the turning life upside down occurances are rare, then what is it that creates all this drama? The answer is simple, and it's none too flattering. All that drama boils down to one thing and one thing alone:
People making bad decisions.
Yep, that's it. Most of the problems we face on a day to day basis boil down to a simple matter of somebody making bad decisions. Even some of the most complex problems can be drilled down to the fact that somebody, somewhere, made a bad call. Sometimes it's that we make bad decisions. We don't plan ahead. Or worse yet, we make our decisions based on the #1 worst decision maker in existance - our feelings. We know what's right, or what we should do, but it's trouble, or it's a hassle, or we just don't like it, so we don't do it. Emotions get people in more trouble than anything else on Earth, and I'd be willing to wager a large percentage of what I have that most of life's problems stem from doing what feels good instead of what's right. I could write a doctoral dissertation on this, but fortunately for you, dear reader, that's not my purpose here. My purpose is to address this at the simplest and most basic level.
Sometimes the bad decisions are made by others, and you suffer for them. I've often said the greatest injustice is suffering for other peoples' mistakes, and it happens way too much. If you have any kind of relationship with other human beings, you know what I mean (especially if you work). Other people do something completely senseless, or don't plan, or create emergencies and they call on you to help fix the problem. These situations are not only annoying, but they destroy relationships too. And even if the relationship isn't destroyed, it's severely wounded to a point that it will take longer to recover than anybody is comfortable admitting.
The good news is that there's a simple cure to this. If problems are caused by bad decision making, then what's the logical way that they're solved? Say it with me, kiddies: "Doing what's right." Wisdom and discernment can help you work your way out of a pickle AND has the added benefit of preventing future drama because you learn from your experiences and don't make the same mistake twice. It harkens back to the old saying "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." You just have to be able to look at the situation in the face of the reality it exists in, determine what the right thing to do to fix it is, and do it. Three step process: analyse, assess and act. I even used some handy alliteration in there so it will stick to the memory.
I think it's worth pointing out that The Bible has an entire book called Proverbs that's dedicated to the virtues of wisdom. It's no joke, folks. Wisdom is often overlooked as a virtue, but it's probably the most important thing we can have besides our health. I'd even go so far as to say that wisdom will get you further than intelligence.
As for me, I know how to deal with the drama. When people start freaking out, it's worth remembering that the world hasn't ended yet due to peoples' problems. No, this old rock hasn't seen an armaggedon mistake yet. And to borrow a line from Nick Fury in The Avengers - we'll continue saving the world from until such time as the sun stops rising. Or something like that. Heck, I'll be able to tell you next week when it comes out on DVD, BlueRay, streaming video and all those other fun formats for the home.
And for all of you dealing with drama or problems in any way, shape or form, below is a silly video to help cheer you up and put it into perspective. Enjoy!
That's all today. Take care.
Folks, it’s amazing I’m alive. I stepped on a landmine recently.
Yep, I sure did. I asked someone I know if they had spoken to a mutual acquaintance lately and was harshly accused of trying to pick a fight. After some ranting and admonitions about “minding my own business” they revealed that no, they hadn’t spoken to the person.
Well, pardon me.
How many times has that happened to you? You know what I mean. A memory trigger brings something to mind so you ask about it, only to be criticized for asking, or accused of being nosy, or being told to mind your own business. You didn’t realize that you were drifting into sacred territory – after all, it hadn’t been a sensitive issue before – but something changed and you get cut down for not knowing what you haven’t been told.
I know it does hurt. It’s downright rude and offensive. But in such situations, I think it’s important that we keep a valuable truth in mind: the harsh reactions are a protective mechanism. These reactions are as good as
renting a digital billboard saying “I have issues with this!” They think a harsh reaction will teach you to back off. They don’t realize that may work, but they’re also exposing a chink in their armor. I compare these attacks where there’s no threat to an allergic reaction: An innocent substance gets in your system but for some reason your body perceives it as a threat, so it reacts.
The truth is that we all have emotional issues that we hold close in order to protect ourselves. None of us are really an "open book" no matter how forthright and honest we are or strive to be. We all have things we keep in our innermost circle and don't invite others in. That's fine. There are certain things we should keep private. The problem is that some people stretch that inner circle to hold in more than others, oftentimes things that others don't have a problem sharing and even seek help and support in handling. How much we hold in is up to us, but we need to kill the correlation between the one thing that pricks us and the whole world being out to get us. Emotionally charged issues tend to cloud our judgement and scew our perspective to a point where we believe it really is all about us - and nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, most of the people in this world don't even know us, and a great number who do know us don't have an emotional investment in us. For all our trials and tribulations, we personally interact with a limited number of people at a time and believe it or not, most of them mean us no harm. Some (gasp!) might actually want to help and support us, and our knee jerk reactions to scare people away from sacred territory may scare them away. When emotions run high, it would behoove us to realize that, in the words of the late, great C.S. Lewis, "sometimes an apple is just an apple." Believe it or not, there aren't double meanings or ulterior motives to everything under the sun.
I think the best thing to do in these cases is to back off. We all tend to cut others off from very emotionally sensitive issues and if a person chooses to do that then it’s disrespectful to try to bully your way in. It’s a shame, especially when you want to help and support them. But if they choose to shut others out and suffer alone, well, it’s best to respect their wishes and let them. After all, you can’t force people to open up, seek help or do the right thing. Sometimes the best you can do is back off and continue with the rest of your life.
And as for the person I unintentionally angered, well, I am sorry. I see the “keep out” sign now and believe
me, I certainly will. I’ll give you the space you desire, but realize the ball's in your court. It’s your responsibility to let me know when or if the landmine is diffused.
That’s all for today. I hope you enjoy the video inspiration to go along with this entry below. Bye!
I don't know about you, but I get frustrated with people that complain about their life all the time, but they do absolutely nothing to change the things that they complain about. Perhaps I'm oversimplifying things, but it seems that if you're truly miserable then you'd at least try to change the situation, right?
Well, I do but it seems I'm in a minority. It seems there are a lot of people out there that are comfortable with the ruts they're in. And I wonder, maybe, if they fear what it might mean to stick their necks out and pursue a change. After all, where they are might not be a "happy place," but it's familiar. There are a lot of people that fear change, and the unknown.
I know my recent experiences have shaded my perception in this area. I used to fear change too. Yes, I was one of those complainers. My former boss found it quite amusing, in fact, But if she could see me now, she wouldn't know me. I've found nothing but change around every corner for the past 2 years. I expect it now. In fact, now if it doesn't happen then I wonder what the hell's going on because something must not be right for things to stay the same for, oh, more than a little while. It's amazing how life and reality can beat the fear right out of you, and mold you into a whole new creation. I used to say "oh no!" to change. Now I say "so what?" It's pretty normal for me. And while I won't say that I'm fearless - yes, I do feel some anxiety over the unknown - I'm not frozen by it. I've seen my faith grow in proportion to the reality of my life and find myself much more flexible and less fearful than I used to be, even 3-5 years ago.
So I suppose that explains why I'm not very patient with complainers. I've been forced to adapt with change. With changes in my job. With changes in the family. With changes at church. With changes in my friends due to these transitions and losing 3 of them to cancer. Yes, I said I lost 3 friends to cancer. That was not a typo. And all in a period of 15 months while everything else in my life was looking like a clown's juggling act too. Maybe that explains why I was disgusted with hearing somebody earlier this week complaining about something bad that happened to them years ago - like over a decade ago. I was appalled. Either they have a very thin hide or their "life pain" file is at a low level that I envy. Life hasn't hesitated to beat me with a baseball bat from time to time, so I suppose I'm not very sympathetic to the delicate souls with low emotional resilience.
Honestly, though, I do think we get used to talking and talking and talking and not doing. I know I'm guilty, so I really can't point at the splinter in others' eyes when I have that log in my own. It's taken real life to show me that true value isn't in words, but in the actions that back them up. In fact, I was under a therapist for a while a few years back and one of the first things she told me is "don't listen to words, look at actions. People lie with their mouths, but they act on truth." Man, that got a lot of people in trouble with me. They did not appreciate that jewel of wisdom. But it also convicted me to look at the match between my own words and actions and lo and behold, I did see a rift. I've worked very hard over the past couple of years to be more mindful of this by ackowledging how I really think and feel, defining my true values and boundaries, and ensuring that my actions match my thoughts and words. It's not always easy because we live in a society that tells us to do whatever it takes to make others happy right now, and work around it later, but it's an easier way to live. And really, I believe it really makes having relationships with others easier too. I've noticed that my relationships have improved drastically since I was mindful of this. Of course, excercising discernment has also helped, but that's an entry for another day.
I guess I just wish that others were as honest with themselves and would do this kind of inner exploration. Look within and find the truth. When you complain, are you really unhappy? If so, you'll try to change it. Even the act of trying to change it will help make you happier because you know you're doing something, and doing something is always better than doing nothing. But if you aren't, then admit that you're temporarily frustrated, but that you still believe the benefits of whatever's pricking blood out of you now outweigh the frustration of piercing your emotions.
I think that in the end, it boils down with being honest with ourselves, and letting that trickle down into being honest with others. And that always leads to better and more stable relationships. Anything built on truth will last.
That's all for today. Happy Friday to you. I hope you have a great weekend.
Welcome to my latest "mini blog series" on surviving the holidays! In these weeks leading up to the holidays I'm going to offer my experiences, insights, and observations on getting through the holidays without losing your sanity. I'd like to open this series with a list of do's and don'ts - basically, simple tips that will help you get through this season with less stress and more time and resources to enjoy what the holidays are all about.
DO keep a schedule with you at all times, as this is a season filled with cordial invitations to events of all sorts - and those invitations can come at any place, at any time. It's never safe to be without a calendar this time of year. If you don't have a mobile device, get a small calendar that you can carry in a purse, briefcase, or pocket.
DON'T be afraid to decline an invitation. It simply isn't possible to do everything - there's too much going on. There is a polite way to decline an invitation. Simply say "I appreciate you thinking of me and offering this invitation, but I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to attend." You don't owe anybody a doctoral dissertation on your calendar. It's perfectly ok to say "no" just because you need time to do other things, or for yourself.
DO go ahead and make travel plans and arrangements now. Waiting until the last minute is stressful to you and rude to the hosts. It takes a lot of "doing" to hosts guests in your home, so be considerate and let them know arrival and departure dates and relative times now so they can plan for your visit accordingly.
DO make shopping lists. In this season of buy, buy, buy, it's easy to lose track of how much you've bought. Do like Santa - make a list and check it twice.
DO check your resources to avoid needless spending or duplicating resources. I was fixing to buy more wrapping paper this past weekend - until I checked my supplies and discovered 10 rolls of paper from last year. People won't remember what wrapping paper, gift tags, bows, boxes or gift bags you used last year and truth be told, you probably didn't remember until you pulled it out of storage.
DON'T be afraid to ask someone on your gift list what they want if you're completely stumped on what to give them. We usually buy gifts for the same people year after year, so after a while it's hard to be original. Don't try. Just ask.
DO ask the people on your gift list if they're ok with receiving gift cards for presents. People seem to have strong opinions on this. I love them, as do most of my family members, but I've had some friends that believe giving gift cards is wildly offensive and insensitive. I actually plan to do an entry just on this topic soon.
DO regift if you got something in the past that hasn't been opened or used, but be careful and DON'T regift it to the person that gave it to you. In fact, if you get something that winds out in the "strorage" drawer or closet, it would be wise to put a note on it indicating who gave it to you to prevent such an embarassing error.
DO observe important traditions, but DON'T feel obligated to hand on to ones that don't mean much to you - or others. Things tend to pass in time. People get married, people have babies, people die. Some things stay and some things go, and that's ok. Keep what means the most and let go of what doesn't.
DO take care of yourself and mind your health - mentally and physically. Be sure to take time out for yourself, excercise, eat right, and get enough sleep. It's easy to skimp on self care during this busy season.
DON'T go off your medications now. I'm not being a smart alec. Money is typically tight this time of year, and often people decide to skip the medication refills to save a few bucks. Don't do it. Your doctor put you on your medication for a reason, and you feel better because of it. If you go off now, you will suffer. This is no area to skimp on ever. It's for your better health. You have enough on you without having to battle your body as well - and you will if you go off your medication. So don't do it. And if, by chance, you do feel it's ok to do so, I urge you to do two things: Do it under doctor's supervision, and strongly consider waiting until January and making this a New Year's Resolution instead.
DO realize that there's no such thing as a perfect holiday. As much as we'd all like our holiday to look like a Norman Rockwell painting, realize that's art, not reality. We live in an imperfect world and it shows that every day, in every way. It's extremely rare for things to go as we planned, and they never go perfectly, People get sick, cars break down, things get sold out, casseroles burn, wrapping paper tears, turkeys don't cook right, gift bags bust, the milk goes sour, people fight, shipments get delayed, bad weather hits, somebody moves and the Christmas card is returned on December 26 leading to misunderstanding and hurt feelings - the list can go on and on.
So there you have it - a few simple, common sense list of suggestions to get through the holidays. I believe that's a good place to end this entry, as well as a perfect lead in for the next entry in this series.
Next Time: Can't We All Just Get Along - It's The Holidays! (or, Reality 101)
I recently got a quote through Twitter that said “it’s not the hand you’re dealt; it’s how you play it.” I believe this is true. After all, we can’t control life. Many things happen that are beyond our control. The secret is; how do you deal with it?
This is a topic that hits close to home for me, because I went through two major life changes last year that were the direct result of other peoples’ decisions. I had no say so in them, and the changes were literally rammed down my throat. Yes, I felt victimized. It definitely wasn’t fair, and I resented that other people were making decisions that were affecting my life. But I have come through, and I can honestly say that I feel my life is much better today than it was before the changes. How did I do this? Well, there are a few secrets to playing the hand your dealt and turning a hodgepodge of crap into a winning hand:
1. Take advantage of every opportunity, no matter how small. It’s the small things that lead up to the big things, and often it happens in incremental steps. My 2 E-book contracts are the result of an article I read on E-publishing last summer. I’d say that idea went a long way!
2. Realize that you have a right to work things for the very best in your life. No, you can’t choose what happens to you, but you can choose whether to remain a victim. When life gets derailed, take some time to analyze the new situation and look for ways you can work things out for good. You often can’t control what people come into your life, but you can determine what kind of relationship you have with them by letting them know what’s good, what’s acceptable, and what’s absolutely intolerable in your life.
3. Accept what you can’t change and change what you can. There are some things you can’t change, but in every situation there are details you can control. I had no control over my job move, but I decided to demonstrate my skills and abilities to my new colleagues right away. As a result, my duties were assigned based on my strengths instead of putting me wherever they needed another body pushing through work – and I’m happier with my job than I’ve ever been.
4. Don’t let other people run your life. Yes, there are times when decisions that other people make will affect you, but these times should be the exception and not the rule. That’s a poor way to set your sails and usually leads to ports you never intended to visit, much less live at. Stand up for yourself and make it clear to other people that they will respect you as an individual or they will no longer have a place in your life.
5. Reaping and sowing is a real way to turn a losing hand to a winning one. It’s a real concept, folks, and I’ve seen it play out over and over again. What goes around really does come around. If you aren’t a person of faith, consider this: The universe only has a limited amount of energy, and you can only get back what you give. So please, be mindful of your words and actions. Honesty, integrity and hard work will yield fruit. Deceit, deception, and laziness, well, sowing those if fun but reaping them’s a witch.
6. Be thankful for what you have, and take care of it. Because why should God give you more if you gripe and complain about what you have? Do you know when I saw a breakthrough on building our dream home? It was after I finally accepted the home we had and dedicated myself to taking the best possible care of it.
7. Realize the Law of Undulation. I absolutely love this concept of the ebb and flow of life that C.S. Lewis presented in The Screwtape Letters. Life really is a series of peaks and valleys, and you’re always at some point in that curve. So if you’re down, don’t fret because you will go back up. If you’re up, stay humble because things will level out. And if you’re in the middle, then praise God because at least you’re moving. The nature of the universe is change, which means that ruts are an illusion. Eventually, something will move.
8. Honesty and integrity always win the day. Do the best at all you do, and be honest. Truth has a way of showing itself, and integrity demonstrates character. You may suffer for it periodically, but in the end what’s right always stands while lies and deception dissolve into nothing. In my 13 years in the work force I can say for a fact that people that played politics and stepped on others to move ahead never lasted. They shone for a while, but eventually the favor ran out and the truth showed itself. It all goes back that that annoying “reaping and sowing” thing.
9. Don’t let fear be a factor. If the Lord brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it. I don’t care if you’re scared. Find your courage and bring the fire. We have a Savior that defeated the devil, freed the souls from Hades, defeated sin and death, and sits at the right hand of the Father. I think He can handle whatever we face – especially if it’s His will for our lives!
10. Don’t be afraid of who you are. Be real. Be authentic. Embrace yourself, rough edges and all. Because when we stand before God, He won’t ask why you weren’t more like other people. He’ll ask why you weren’t yourself and why you didn’t appreciate the blessings He gave you.
Life may deal you a bad hand every now and then, but that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to live in defeat. In fact, you should fight defeat. Don’t settle for life trapped in a box or accept bad things for yourself. Stand up, be yourself, and do all you can to make the hand you have a winning one!
That's my soapbox speech for today. More later. I hope the rest of the week is great.
Last night was the big, huge, series finale of Smallville - one of my favorite TV shows. You notice I said series finale, as in this is the last episode of this show they will make forever and ever. I worked my butt off all week to make sure all the chores and errands would be done so I'd be free to watch it because, of course, I've looked forward to this epic episode ever since they announced the date and that Michael Rosenbaum would return to reprise his role as Lex Luthor. So last night, I made supper and went to special efforts to feed the birds, do the filing, and take my shower before the show came on at 8:00.
At 7:55, the power went out. Surprise! We had an unforecasted thunderstorm. The power was out for nearly an hour, meaning we missed half the show. Then the weather service kept breaking in during the remainder of the show with alerts of storm warnings as the storm moved to counties to our east. So not only did we not really know why things got where they were, but we missed a good portion of what we were able to watch. And no power means no DVR so - there. Gone. Just like that.
Now before you say "But Sherri, you can watch it online!" stop. I've heard that 4 times already, so just stop right there because it really pissed me off all 4 times. They missed the fundamental point. I know they will not only post it online, but that an encore presentation is scheduled to air next Thursday (and I may be able to buy it from iTunes too). Having to wait a bit longer is a minor frustration. I'm frustrated because I was looking forward to having the experience of watching a new episode of one of my favorite TV shows one last time, and it was taken away from me. It's not that I missed the show. It's that I missed the experience of seeing a new episode, as has been my habit for years, for the last time. I'll never get that back.
If this were just one thing passing out of my life, perhaps I wouldn't be so upset. But considering all of the major changes I've seen in the past year and all of the things that have passed out of my life already, it's a bitter pill to swallow. It's not just this. It's this on top of everything else that's passed out of my life over the past year, much of which I also did not get to bid a proper farewell to because they passed out suddenly, unexpectedly, or not as I planned. That seems to be a pattern in my life.
The point of this entry is not to gripe, but to tell you to please be sensitive to people. If they're sharing something with you that seems trivial, it's not that simple to them. It's something that's hurting them on a deeper level because, after all, if the simple solution worked then they probably wouldn't bother to share it at all. To throw out the first thing that flies through your brain, while seemingly helpful, can be slapping a dab of ointment and a Band-Aide on a wound that needs stitches. So please, don't be dismissive with a plithy reply. It may be that they aren't looking for answers. They're looking for somebody to understand and respect the fact that something small hurt them in a big way.
I'm not upset because I missed a TV show. I'm upset because I missed having an experience for the last time. I am consoled to know they will rerun it Thursday. I don't understand why they can't do it over this weekend, but considering that CW has been wanting this show to go away for at least 2 years, I guess we'd better be glad they're being gracious enough to show it a second time at all. And since they used to run new episodes of Smallville on Thursday, this may be a better experience for me. It won't be the same, but maybe it will be good. At any rate, nothing better get between me and the TV Thursday night. Or Friday either, for that matter, since the season finale of Supernatural comes on then. I already checked the weather and the weather is supposed to be clear. Then again, they didn't call for anything but the possibility of a stray shower last night and we had a wrathful storm that knocked out power out, so I don't trust the forecast too much!
That's it for this time. A deep entry, but we're done swimming for now. I pray for better luck for the rest of the weekend and that your weekend will be a good one.