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Thursday, September 12, 2013

   I've been seeing a lot of posts on Facebook about walking away from the drama and BS in one's life, not doing things that don't bring you happiness or removing negative, difficult people from your life. This is supposed to make your life simpler and stress free. Because life is supposed to be easy, right?  I call BS.
  First of all,  people are generally difficult for a reason. Maybe they had a bad childhood. Maybe they had a child hood that was too easy and they never really learned how to appreciate the people in their lives. Maybe they just received some terrible news. "That person shouldn't be so bitter about their cancer diagnosis. They should appreciate what they do have right here and right now". By the way, you're an ass if you've ever said something like that to someone. OK, maybe you WERE an ass. People can change. I'll give you a pass if you're a reformed ass and have the humility to admit it. You have your reasons for being an ass.
   Second, everyone is "difficult" at some point in their lives. Even you. Even me! (I know, you're shocked, right?)  I am, personally, very glad my husband, after seeing all the kinds of crazy I can be, hasn't just thrown his hands up and said, "I fold". I'm fairly certain I have, at least once, caused him a little stress. But he sighs, smiles and says,"I'll always love you". Which is probably only half the thought. It's probably more like, "If you don't stop that, I'll make your demise look like an accident". Sometimes you can be a little difficult. No. Not the person to your left. You. And I'm sure you have your reasons. Should we "just walk away" when you're having a rough time?
  Third, where do we draw the line on whom to walk away from? What if it's your kid with special needs or who's getting their butt kicked by puberty? Parent with dementia who needs round the clock care? Busy body Know-it-all coworker without whom we couldn't do OUR job? This isn't a call to codependency. If someone is abusive and there is no sign of them getting better and you are able, then yes, go. Or send them packing. This is just a call for compassion and patience.
  What about not doing things that don't make you happy? Do you mean like changing diapers? On your kid or your parent/ grandparent? Your job? If you hate your job, should you just walk away? Maybe. But at least wait until you have another one. And maybe if you hate your job, it's because it's not where you should be and you should do some soul searching and find your calling and take steps to get there. But, I digress. In some cultures, not doing something because it doesn't make you happy is unheard of. You do it because that's your role and other people are depending on you. I'm not saying that's the best way, but, ya know, try to find a middle ground between the great emphasis on the individual in U.S. culture and responsibility to the group in other cultures.
    Sometimes when you just press through the Idawannas, you get a great return on your investment. I'm the treasurer for the PTA at my younger kids' school. I'm not a numbers person and my training was fairly minimal. Since I'm the money girl, I have to go to most of the meetings even if I'm not on that committee. Of course, I'm on most of the committees because there are only a handful of parent volunteers and we wear a lot of hats. Sometimes, I really hate it. Really, really, really. But, then we put on an event and the kids have a great time and nobody sees what didn't go as planned or what was forgotten because they're just having a good time. They're smiling and laughing and it's because we went to the meetings we didn't want to go to and we did the shopping we didn't want to do and we set up the dance/ seasonal event even though we were tired and we're glad we did.
      Life is a lot of difficulty peppered with some occasional great moments. The difficulties make us appreciate the great moments. It's kind of like hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The uphill part is ROUGH but the view from the top of a mountain is amazing.  So, I guess what I want to convey was best said by Kenny Rogers. "You gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em." There is a time to walk away from the negative and the oppressive, but there's also a time to suck it up, soldier on, cowboy up, and put on your big girl panties. But without sounding all advice-y. Just wanted to say, "what's up with that?"

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