January 13, 2019

New Year, New M.E.

Tee hee, you saw what I did there right?  People hate that little phrase, usually because those who throw it around change for about a week and then go right back to nachos and beer.

I'm not talking about dieting or making lists of intentions...we're about to embark on a little something, an actual something, not an attempt.  If 2016 was the abusive year, and 2017 was the pick up the pieces year, 2018 must have been labor pains because things got crazy for a lot of people there at the end.  There are a lot of  folks going through a major shift right now and we are in that group.  I can't say too much about it at the moment and it's killing me not to say anything at all.  A lifelong dream and ultimate retirement plan is lining up and I am so ready I can't even see straight.

There's a point when you've had so many curve balls thrown at you that you just stop ducking...no you lay down and stay low until you think it's safe.  And even then you don't straighten all the way up.  My previous life was so tumultuous that I spent the first few years with Honey waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Waiting for that moment of despair to hit.  There was no other shoe, no single incident...ours was more of a series of unfortunate events that tested our patience and faith.  Business stress and health fears came about fast and hard and the remnants are life long.  We had to begin looking into ways of supporting our home and yet not aggravating conditions.  A balancing act has to be struck in order for us to endure, also a major change in both living situation and income.

Honey fears change for different reasons than I.  He worries about the new decision being worse than the existing situation.  For me it's a question of do I really deserve this.  I was raised to believe that you get only what God/the Universe wants you to have and no matter what you do that's how it's going to be.  If you fight fate too much you end up with heartache.  I remember in elementary school when someone would drop a candy they were about to eat inevitably the phrase: "you wanted it too much" would come out.  I was taught the word 'want' was a four letter word right up there with some common colorful metaphors.  Now that things that I've wanted for years are happening, it's scary as all get out.  I'm not sure how to approach it all....do I be grateful that things are finally swinging my way?  Do I proceed with extreme caution and hope for the best while expecting the worst?  Honey says I need to accept that I've put enough out for others and it's finally my turn.  That acceptance is far easier said than done.  I do know, deep in the recesses of my heart and mind, that I've been through enough in life.  I have worked for all the things I've earned:  good job reputation, a degree, my notary commission...even my honorable discharge from the military.  None of it was handed to me.

I broke down a few months back, before the holidays kicked off, and just said it out loud: "somethings got to give...please.  I can't take this anymore."  That plea was heard.  I'm staring down barrel of a new life path that's going to be worth every moment of heartache and trial.  I'm certain there will be some random people who look at us and wonder what the hell prompted such a life change.  I know I'm not supposed to be concerned with what anyone thinks and I'm not supposed to give any credence to how they believe I should live.  I've had some lifelong dreams that are just now able to become realities, I intend to grab them up as time and ability allows.  There's no reason for me to worry or wonder about someone on the outside approving of or understanding the decisions.  Honey and I are doing what is best for us and ours.

My life now has been so different than the one I lived over 10 years ago.  I'm a different person, but then, not so much.  I let go of a lot of the goals I had in my early 20's because I thought I was going to be building something different with my ex.  He had intentions of his own so I put away a lot of things that were important to just me because they didn't fit in with our combined narrative.  I didn't understand at the time that two people could do more than survive and they could each have a path that was their own.  The bible belt south tends to teach it's young folk that one must sacrifice themselves for the good of the union.  I'm not saying that's completely terrible, just the message gets very muddled.  That message starts looking like you're the ultimate selfish human if you want more out of life than the day to day family survival.  It took allowing that relationship to die and allowing this one to flourish to realize that it's possible to have common but separate goals with someone and see some of them to fruition.  Has our journey been perfect?  Far from it.  Will it be perfect?  Absolutely not.  But the effort is ours.  We get to decide how far things go and how we want this particular chapter of our lives to play out.

I'm very excited.  I'm also very nervous.  I believe he and I have paid our dues and taken our beatings as appropriate...and some not so appropriate.  We've both given refuge to others and put ourselves out for the good of people around us.  We've paid for many of our sins the best way we could and accepted that there will be no confession or apology from those who sought to hurt us.  It's time to fade into the life that we both have dreamt of, the one that is finally at our fingertips.

October 18, 2018

Detrimental Mediocrity

I Googled this because I was curious to see if it was really a thing.  Apparently it is!  But each link on the first page referenced employment in some manner or life in general.  

What if a person doesn't have a mediocre life but does mediocre things for others?  When treating themselves they buy tickets to their favorite sports game or explore a new restaurant on a regular basis.  They take full advantage of anything that makes them feel happy and fulfilled.  That's what they will do for themselves.

For those around them, on the other hand...

"Well I did the best I could!"  
Really?  Did you?  Did you really do the very best thing you could do?  Did you sacrifice a little of what you do for yourself to give a little more than the bare minimum?  If the answer is anything but a verifiable 'Yes', then they are practicing detrimental mediocrity.  I say detrimental because it will end up having that kind of effect.  Friends, and sometimes family, are dropped every day because they don't put equal effort into relationships.  People stop going to restaurants or using certain services because they aren't getting good quality.  We don't condemn someone for dropping a mechanic who repeatedly damaged their car or seriously overcharged.  Fair weather friends and family are given chances until there are no more to give.  There's only so much a person can take before they have enough and move on to reliable counterparts.  

One thing we tend to say out loud is, "they knew better than that!"  Ideally, no they don't know, but once they realize they are causing harm to others and ultimately themselves, they wake up and fly right.  The more sobering fact is, yes, they absolutely know and they justify their behavior because they don't want to do any better.  
Out come the lines: 
"well this is what was done to me so that's what I do to others" 
"you came to me, I didn't ask you to"
"you expect too much"
"this is the best I can do, I'm sorry if it's just not good enough for you"

See there's this fine line between good and good enough.  Sometimes good enough simply isn't.  Yes, C work may be one person's best, but it is not The best.  (I'm not picking on anyone with genuine limitations, stick with me here)  If a person is totally capable of doing well but offers up less than that, they can't complain when it isn't looked on favorably. The most fun thing about people who do the least for others is the praise they expect for doing anything at all.  A minimal deed is seen as an amazing, praise worthy attempt at goodness.  Those around them are supposed to focus on that one small thing, not the multitude of things that should have happened, but didn't.  Any criticism of that fact gets met with a smoke and mirrors type response, "well I did X!  Why are you worried about A-V??"  Or they start picking apart the ones who point out that this could have been done better.  Personal attacks and pity parties rear their heads.  Recipients or those who go to bat for them are labelled as ungrateful or having unreasonable expectations.  The fault never lies with the selfish prick who just wanted 5 minutes of false praise.  

It's pathetic really.  When you really start noticing what certain people favor in their lives, you get a good bead on what and who they find important.  After a while, those mediocre gestures stop being effective.  Other people have to step in and make up the difference or fix a mess that is made because the best solution wasn't employed.  So then what?  Expectations hit the floor.  Relationships break down.  The losers pick themselves up, throw away the trash and start saying, "no thank you".  It takes a while for the realization to hit those who have been neglectful.  Mindful people feel remorse and try to repair the damage, but not everyone is so astute.  Others take offense to the perceived slight on their "best" and flounce away.  They sit around pulling up crocodile tears wondering why no one wants to deal with them anymore?  Instead of reflecting and trying to become a better person, it's much easier to just find a new group of suckers who buy a "they all left me" sob story.



New Year, New M.E.

Tee hee, you saw what I did there right?  People hate that little phrase, usually because those who throw it around change for about a week ...