Friday, November 21, 2014

Kind vs. Right

Yesterday, I was reading an article about the two things that foster a healthy relationship – kindness and generosity. It was a very interesting article and I started thinking that these two things are important in all our relationships, not just our romantic ones. Which led me to me today’s blog. It’s more important to be kind than right. 

I enjoy being right. It’s part biology and part sociology. There was a standing joke in our family about our dad always being right. Someone even bought him a plaque once that said “I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken”. Many discussions (and game nights) morphed into an argument over who was right. My default position was “I’m right and will prove it… at any cost”. You can imagine how fun that made me. 

It has only been the past few years that I have come to understand the cost of being right. So often to be right, we have to be cruel. You know what I mean. You and a friend/significant other/family member/co-worker are having a discussion and it quickly devolves into who is right and who is wrong. Obviously you are convinced that you are right or you wouldn’t be defending your view point. And when you hit the tipping point of the argument, you must make a choice. Do you want to leave the field of battle a winner, or put the other person’s feelings and beliefs first? For someone who only learned how to fight to win it has been a daily decision. 

I remember a few years ago I was in the car with my sister, An and her kids. The kids were having one of these lovely sibling “I’m right and you’re wrong” fights which had spiraled into you’re wrong cause you’re dumb. Being a paragon of virtue, I took this opportunity to explain to them that it isn’t as important to be right if it means hurting the other person. It was a pretty good discussion and I was rather proud of myself. Until 5 minutes later when I was on the phone yelling at a vendor for being an idiot and messing up a lighting delivery. I hung up the phone and An bust out laughing. “So it’s better to be kind than right huh?” Sheepish face…… 

Obviously, my journey to being a kind person is still in progress and this is something I constantly have to work on.  I’m getting better at in my personal relationships but find it more challenging at work. So every morning I hope to get a little better at it than the day before. There might even be a day or two where I manage to live on the kind side.

*Dedicating this post to my older sister, who is the most genuinely kind human being I have ever had the privilege of knowing*

Here is the article if you are interested in reading it. Business Insider Article

Friday, November 14, 2014

Confessions of a Control Freak

I admit it. I am a Control Freak. I like order. I hate surprises and being blindsided and I believe that if I am prepared for anything life can throw at me I can survive all of it.  I carry a Mary Poppins’ purse with anything you could possible need in an emergency. There is a mini first aid kit, dental floss, gum, mints, pocket sewing kit, girl’s hygiene supplies, pens, hair bands, multiple types of lip balm and countless other emergency supplies. (Although it was recently pointed out to me that I don’t have batteries and I need to rectify that oversight.) I was at my niece’s graduation party a few years ago and one of my cousins had forgotten her wet wipes. Not fun when you have to deal with a dirty diaper. AT told her to ask me as I always carry them in my purse. My cousin was confused. I don’t have kids. Why would I carry wet wipes? Well, just in case.

There is also my nearly urgent need for a schedule or itinerary, some kind of play by play guideline for my day, week, trip, free time. This makes me really good at my job running someone else's calendar. It can however be a bit of a problem in normal life. It took me years to learn to be flexible. When I was a kid I would melt down if our scheduled changed last minute. For so long, it was nearly impossible for me to bounce back from disappointment.  I have begun to understand the connection between my nervousness/fear and my need for control. It is exponential. The more worried or afraid I am, the more I need to schedule and organize. 

So how does a Control Freak learn to give up control? DRINKING! Just kidding… well only a little bit. My therapist introduced me to a life altering truth (as she so often does). We don’t actually have any control, only influence. I can’t control traffic, people’s reactions, or the fact that mosquito bites give me hives. But I can stock up on bug spray, use the WAZE app and remember to smile even when things aren’t going the way I envisioned. It all ends up being a funny story for the blog eventually.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Snoopy, the World’s Weirdest Dog.

It’s been a rough week which started with a massive allergic reaction to mosquito bites and three days in bed with hives.  As I am not a sedentary sort of person being inactive/confined to the apartment is one of my least favorite things. I watched way too much TV and tried not to lose my mind. 

At one point I was sitting on my couch, doped up on Benadryl watching Call the Midwife (GREAT show if you are looking for a new Netflix addiction), when a movement in the corner catches my eye. No, it wasn’t a mouse. It was Snoopy, the World’s Weirdest Dog. He was playing Soccer.

Snoopy is a Beagle, Pug, English Pointer mix who I had the pleasure of adopting 3 ½ years ago. He was four months old at the time and had been abandoned at a shelter along with his mother and two sisters. When I first met him he was a 10 pound ball of fluff and the last remaining member of his family to be adopted. I picked him up and fell in love.
Now I had never raised a dog before and really wasn’t sure how to train him, when to feed him or even how much to feed him. 

Thru trial and error I landed on the theory that my dog was basically the equivalent of a human toddler. From there it seemed to be a no brainer. Training him includes time outs and taking his toys away when he misbehaves. Instead of normal dog commands like Sit and Stay, he comes running every time I start counting to 3. He nags me in the morning if I am running late for work and reminds me every day that we need to take our vitamins.  At night he stays in bed with me until I’m ready to go to sleep and then he moves to his bed for the night. Everyone who meets him agrees he really is more of a fur person than a dog. 

So when I found him playing soccer I wasn’t all that surprised. He was holding one of his stuffed animals (flat Monkey to be exact) in his mouth and batting a tennis ball between his front paws. This went on for about 5 minutes and ranged up and down the hall and then back to his crate. I can’t say for sure but it appeared his crate was “the goal” and I’m pretty sure he won. Next time I promise to video the game and I’ll keep you updated on his latest escapades. 

Happy Friday!