12/29/12

I Made My Bed . . .

Another reader suggested post of the year is an interesting challenge that I was happy to dig in to . . . The question (paraphrased) was "How do (I) reconcile myself to the reactions of others to (my) unpopular choices and decisions?"

This one is actually very simple (shockingly enough considering I can do 800 words on my favorite thing about Arbor Day) . . . I don't care. I don't mean to imply I am apathetic to the world around me (I sorta' am) or that I think my critics are below/beneath me (7:9 are) or that I don't think I can occasionally make mistakes (I'm laughing/crying over the mere idea). The reality is that criticism (constructive or c-wordy) is vital to me. I live for it and I am truly a better person for it but I don't absorb the observations/feedback/input of others in a way that forces any rectification  Why? I make decisions, chose paths of action, and say things based on a very quick analysis of what is BEST FOR ME IN THE CONTEXT OF THOSE DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN MY DECISION.

Let me give a few examples . . . I try to minimize swearing on Twitter. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a certified vulgarian in my real life but I have lots of folks that I truly enjoy that don't love the four-letter-tossers in their stream. I try to respect that. But I make no apologies when I do let a good one fly. Better example? I can't bring myself to quit things even if I'm beyond annoyed, feel I'm being ignored, have no clear path on how to rectify things, and I don't think I'm being respected? Why. I typically think it is when you are surrounded by people that frustrating that you HAVE to stick it out. They can't "do it" without you. They are in their own way not your way. Really? That example sucks? Fine. How about THIS - I don't say, think, or do anything (except when the lights are low (giggidy)) without thinking about Ava anymore. Would she be proud of me? Does this give me and her a better shot to be happy? Sure there are moments that fall well short but a MAJORITY of those are in contexts that she will never see/hear/experience. And the rest of them . . . I'll explain it to her some day. And hope she understands. I try to think of my parents in the same context. I used to put Joy at the center of my decisions. I'm not ALOOF to the rest of you - I just don't think most of you have enough "skin in the game" to get a real "say." Nothing personal.

I live my own life by my own standards and I'm very comfortable with this position. I think I'm at/slightly above average intelligence. I have book and street smarts. I have a good understanding of history, business, politics, religion, time, and space. I allow all those factors to come in to my thinking and to even help direct it. I don't break laws. I don't hurt people. I don't steal. I don't cheat. I don't jaywalk (often). I'm not putting my wants and needs disparately far before others (remember - I put myself in the context of those involved in my decisions).

I think we'd ALL be happier if we stopped allowing everyone to have a (literal or figurative) "say" in our decisions. If we made up our own minds on what is "right" or "wrong" for us while being AWARE of the people impacted, I think we would be happier, they would be happier, we'd all improve as a group dynamic, and there would be less crime and/or punishment accordingly.