Wednesday, 2 October 2013

What's the good word folks?

I've always considered myself to be a pretty up-beat person.  "Happy-go-lucky" my Dad always called it,  and he was always proud to boast that I'd gotten that from him..   along with his "gift of the gab".. another Daddyism that generally meant that I was a people person and didn't have any problem blending into a group and chatting with just about anybody.

I'd made an off-handed comment the other day in conversation about how there's been way too much on my plate lately,  and that I was about ready to tip my head back in Charlie Brown fashion and scream to the heavens about being granted a freakin' break already ~ this in a conversation with an acquaintance who is only semi-aware of the craziness that has been my life over this past year.  

To be honest very few know anything about it any of it, and even less than that have the whole picture ~ though some attention is inevitable, no good can come from dwelling there for long.  I find myself quoting the serenity prayer ~ a little wisdom from another very special Dad in my life and thanking my lucky stars that after everything life has thrown at me in the last 20 years that I'm still here to laugh about it, to cry about it and well as the song says..  "I'm just glad to be here!" ..  that about sums up my philosophy lately. 

In my defense, I hadn't gone into detail, nor was I initiating any kind of pity party, it was my way of explaining away some of the crazy that has been "Life in General", and my best attempt at an indication of why some things may have slid off the plate here and there..   Strangely enough I hadn't been talking about one life event or another, or the  myriad of things on my plate -- but rather that I was struggling to get back on top of everything on my personal plate to my own satisfaction. 

I was completely horrified when the person I was speaking with proceeded to respond telling me that this was life and that the feeling might never pass, going on to tell me that this is a mental state I chose...   and closed the statement sounding much like what one might find on the inside of a Hallmark fortune cookie, if they made them.  Platitudes of finding the positive and only talking about those. 

I have to admit my brain stalled just a wee bit on that first statement.  I didn't CHOOSE any of this ~ who would? That's CRAZY! 

I can hear a close friend of mine at this point speaking up with something about a long walk and a short dock.. which makes me smile..  but more to the point..  this whole thing leaves me wondering..    

I have always been a cheerleader on finding the positive aspects of most everything.  In Cancer I found many joys though it stuns people when I mention them.. the things are there when you look at them..  

I think the part that gets me most is that I considered this person to be a positive force in my life, and while my comment alluded to some of the crazy that's gone on it certainly didn't delve into anything and my intent was not to get into a big conversation about it.  Her curt response and dismissal of my feelings just left me feeling like I'd been so completely wrong about her.  Could I really have been so horribly wrong?

While I am a firm advocate of finding the positives in life - but when is it appropriate as to point them out?  

I find myself of a conversation I had with a good friend recently about having lost her husband while he was on a fishing trip and how well meaning friends were telling her to get over it and get on with her life.  

Another friend was lamenting his single-dom, and reminiscing about a recent relationship and had a friend tell him that the acceptable grief period had passed and that he should move on. 

It really leaves me wondering how many otherwise intelligent people, are out there lavishing platitudes and judgement on their grieving, hurting, and sometimes just plain overwhelmed friends ~ for what?  

Who decided that YOU get to set the bar on how long is too long, and how long is "acceptable"?  What is trivial and what is worthy of mention?   

Is the intent truly to demean the other person?  Or did you simply not want to hear what they had to say?  There are far better ways to redirect a subject or kindly let a so-called friend or colleague that these are NOT the ears they're looking for..  

Just my view from the zoo... 

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