In talking to my cousin about life, he loves to say that situations have layers. I am quick to come to conclusions and make decisions, but he often reminds me of the layers. I tend to overlook the layers, but I realize that I have them too.
Let me explain what he means by layers. Layers are those experiences that determine how one reacts to things, people, and situations. For instance, I will not eat watermelon in public because of the stereotype associated with African Americans loving watermelon. I love watermelon, but I will not eat it in public because I have attached a negative image to my eating watermelon. I will turn it down if offered to me even though I really love it. I’m not quite sure if the stereotype is a negative one, but I still will not be seen in public eating watermelon. I know it’s silly, but that’s not enough for me to change that behavior. So if I were turn watermelon down in public and asked why, my cousin would say there are layers to my decision. Basically, the decision and the reasons behind it are more complex than it appears.
I am generally intolerant of bad behavior. I do not take into account the “layers” behind the situation. I am quick to disassociate with a person who I feel has treated me unjustly. There have been several instances of my ending relationships rather abruptly because I don’t feel it important for me to understand the why. I would rather remove myself from the relationship entirely. My cousin often reminds me of the layers behind people’s actions. I’m on the fence on whether or not to take these layers into consideration or not. I do think it is best to remove yourself from a toxic situation as to not add any negative layers to your own life.
I feel that it is important to acknowledge these layers and not to judge people too harshly. So if I turn down your watermelon at a public function, don’t take it personally. There are layers behind that situation. I’m working on it.
I have made a huge change in my life. With this change came a lot of work that I needed to do physically and emotionally. I will first explain the physical work. I made a physical move. My son and I moved into another home. Our new home was very close to the old one so I didn’t plan on hiring movers, and there was no deadline for me to leave my old home so I could take my time. I packed our essential things gradually leaving the things we needed readily accessible in place. I had no clear-cut plan on how the move was going to get completed. I just relied on the fact that there was no rush. I had time and I was only moving a few miles away. So I packed my nonseasonal things in boxes and drove them to my home each day over that span of several weeks. I chose not to fill my fridge with groceries as I would be moving it to. Although I still had no plan on when and how I was going to do so. The same went for my large furniture items. I knew I would have to move them eventually, I didn’t want the shell out the cash to pay for movers, and didn’t feel the pressure of time.
A few weeks went by, and I was still a one-woman caravan for my manageable items, but the larger items remained and I was starting to feel the effects of being unsettled. I was rifling through packed boxes to fish out things I needed, but had packed because I believed I would only have use for them when I had completed the move. As my frustration started to build, I began to wonder why no one had offered to help. Everyone in my circle knew I was moving. They all knew how I was traveling back in forth with my mid-sized SUV packed to the hilt. They had all seen me stooped in pain from carrying boxes back and forth, loading and unloading. I was getting upset with everyone around me for watching me struggle with this move.
Then I realized that I had never asked for help. Not only that, several times in the past, I had refused help when it was offered. It didn’t click with me at the time that my constant refusal of help may have been a signal to all of my friends that I didn’t need the help. I was responsible for how they were treating me, but being the stubborn person that I am, continued to move unassisted. I moved beds, a coffee table, shelving units, boxes, all by myself. I even carried a six-drawer dresser up six stairs into my new home.
Eventually, I hired movers to move my refrigerator and sofas. I have no idea how I was able to do so much, but I paid that price. I visit a chiropractor twice a week now. I could not walk the day after I completed my move, and two days later I couldn’t stand upright. Was I proud of what I had done? Yes. Was it stupid? Yes. Was it necessary? No. Could I have asked for help? Absolutely. Have I learned my lesson? Not yet, but I’m working on it. Old ways die hard and I am certainly open to suggestions.
I few years ago I took a class titled Writing About the Arts. I loved this class because it was taught by one of my favorite professors. In addition to writing about the arts, we attended concerts, visited museums, and plays. It was a wonder class and I learned a lot about how to paint a picture with words.
For this week’s prompt, write about a piece of artwork, a concert, or a performance.
I love words. I love obscure, barely-used words. I love using them in random situations. Have you ever heard a word that you have been dying to use, but you never find the opportunity to use it? Now is your chance. Write something based on that word. Let it spark your creativity or explain why you love it.
“When you expect the best you release a magnetic force in your mind which by a law of attraction tends to bring the best to you.” —Norman Vincent Peale ________________________ Enjoy today. Achieve today. Tomorrow is promised to no one! original graphic credits: unknown
It has become evident to me that being humble is quickly fading away.
To many people, being humble is a weakness or a lack of confidence, but to me it has always meant something different. One can be humble and confident. The two are not mutually exclusive. When I think of being humble, I think of being a person who is well aware of their gifts, talents, and accomplishments and also aware of their weaknesses, shortcomings and goals yet to be attained. Having made significant accomplishments does not mean there is no room to grow or that any shortcoming or weakness should be dismissed or ignored.
I am reminded of an incident in my hometown of a student who was gifted academically and athletically. The student earned many scholastic awards and several scholarships for academic and athletic merit. Unfortunately, that student made a series of poor decisions and was arrested. Of course the incident received attention on all of the local news outlets as this highly decorated student had fallen victim to the trappings many young people face. What surprised me was the reaction of the student. The student did not take ownership of the wrongdoing, but instead reacted with anger towards those who mentioned or passed along news of the arrest. I am well aware there is a certain type of person who loves to see the mighty fall from grace, but the student’s reaction was troubling to me. I am also well aware that the highly accomplished, gifted, and talented fall victim to the same temptations as everyone else, but those gifts and accomplishments do not excuse or dismiss bad behavior or eliminate the consequences of poor decisions. The student’s reaction was that of prideful boasting of previous accomplishments and a dismissive wave of the hand to the arrest record. All of this documented on the student’s social media site and quickly spread like wildfire. Certainly one poor decision does not take away all of your accolades, but those accolades should not excuse one from misconduct.
In my opinion, there has been a major shift in values. With the rise of social media and instant access to almost everything, we have been taught to create a cult of personality with little to no attention paid to maintaining an honorable reputation.
This post was just to vent my personal frustration. I have no solutions to offer other than to challenge all of us to protect ourselves from valuing the trivial and transient and to place your value in the things that cannot be replaced.
Change happens. There is nothing we can do to stop it. We can prolong it but, it is inevitable. We don’t have to like it but, we must learn to accept it. It makes some people uncomfortable. Oh well.
I have always been the type of person who accepted change. I am not normally a combative person. I do like to challenge things and I am assertive. I also know when to pick my battles. Sometimes it is not worth it to put up a fight just to kick the can down the road. I like peace and peace comes with acceptance.
In the past year, my life has changed drastically. For the most part it is good but, there are some things that weren’t so great. Fortunately for me, those bad things were temporary. Nonetheless, there was nothing I could do to stop it. I had to work with what I had. I had to make adjustments and, more importantly, I had to get on with my life. I had to surrender, embrace the changes, and work through them. Had I fought it, I would have prolonged the discomfort. Now it is just a distant memory. I even laugh about it now.
Life is good and I will continue to give little time to the things I cannot change.