Tough conversations

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Anyone else tired of having tough conversations?

If you fall into the above category, would you just rather punch people in the throat instead?

Yeah, me too.

If you don’t fall into the above category, would you just rather punch people in the throat than have a conversation?

Yeah, me too.

The truth of the matter is that if you punch someone in the throat, having any conversation is just difficult for them and they just have to listen.

“Conversation had.”

Let’s move on.

Some days

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There is an old saying, “Some days you’re the bug and other days you’re the windshield.” Heard that one before?

Well, these days I am feeling more like the bug.

Life comes at your awful fast and there is just so much crap going on. The “windshields” of life are coming faster and more furious and avoiding them is getting harder and harder. Actually, avoiding them is next to impossible at this point. It seems I am bouncing from one to another…

Pleasing anyone and everyone seems to be impossible and there are people in my life that are supposed to be rooting for me who just aren’t. Instead, they have become the windshield and there is no pleasing them and no relief from their scrutiny or criticism. I can do nothing correct in their eyes.

It’s frustrating. It’s tiring. It’s relentless. It’s making me just want to hunker down and avoid everyone (more so than usual). The problem is I can’t avoid them since they are here, around me, all the time.

So, instead of just hiding, I stagger from failure to failure, always being told that I have yet again done something that doesn’t meet with approval or at expectation. Words of praise or acceptance? Absent. Non-existent.

Today is no different. Feeling defeated.

Hypocritical complaints

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I am know I am guilty of it. I am not exempt from it. I’ll admit it. I’ve got some hypocritical complaints about family members. It’s just really rich when someone will point them out to me, but not recognize that they themselves are doing exactly the same thing.

As you can imagine, blended families are a challenge. Actually, challenge may be the wrong word. It’s actually a special kind of hell, really. It’s a love and hate relationship x100. It’s unbearable and maybe survivable. It’s an age old story, but typically you don’t treat your non-biological children the same as you do your biological ones. It’s terrible.

Anyway, the youngest (my bio kid) just moved in after her graduation from high school. The relationship between her and step-mom is strained (at best). Of course, you can imagine all the reasons why…many of the same reasons why my relationship with my non-bios is strained. She can see the obvious differences between how she gets treated and how they get treated.

So, someone last night had the gall to complain about a “missed laundry day” and what we should tell her if she wants to do laundry outside of her designated day. Mind you, two of the three locally living non-bios do laundry at our house on a fairly regular basis even though they don’t actually reside in the house. The suggestion was that she should be told to go to a laundry mat to do her laundry…you can imagine that I pointed out that she does actually live here and that if she chose to do laundry at a time no one else was using the machines and did it in a timely manner so that it didn’t interfere with anyone else, I didn’t see a problem if there was a legitimate reason for missing her designated day.

I caught hell for that.

Heaven forbid that I mention anything about the non-bios and their status of being adults and lived outside the home for more than two years.

Never mind the fact that someone is secretly paying the leftover bills of another non-bio and his family who just moved out of state.

So, hypocritical complaints? Yeah. We have them. I bite my tongue on most of them until I can’t do it any longer.

It’s just laundry. It’s not a bad financial choice that will leave her asking for help years down the road, on a continual basis.

Give it a rest and me a break…

Destructive behavior

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Have you ever had a sudden urge or desire to engage in destructive behavior, either physically or mentally?

I am not sure what triggers the feelings (and I am totally in control, mostly), but two destructive behaviors I am currently contemplating:

  • Eat everything in sight.
  • Fight, either physically or verbally, everyone.

I know there are lots of other destructive behaviors out there and these are relatively minor compared to some, obviously, but today this is what I am dealing with.

Anyway, maybe it’s the fact that my “don’t give a damn” meter has reached beyond critical. Maybe it’s that I am tired, super super busy, and only marginally motivated.

I don’t know.

How do other people deal with this?

I know this is a passing feeling. It won’t last. But today, the feeling is strong. very strong.

What do you do?

What’s your take?

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OK, so here’s a different question for you. What would you do if given advice by someone with questionable personal demonstration of advice given?

Let’s say for instance:

  • Do you take driving advice from someone who has dents and scratches all over their vehicle?
  • Do you take construction advice from someone who has a house that is falling apart?
  • Do you take weight management advice from a doctor who has a weight problem themselves?
  • Do you take cooking advice from someone who can’t find a job in a restaurant?
  • Do you take fishing suggestions from someone who can’t catch a fish?
  • Do you take writing advice from someone who can’t write?

I think you get the point.

What do you do with advice from someone who doesn’t seem to put said advice to practice in their own lives?

Do you dismiss the advice outright? Do you take it into account and go your own way? Do you follow it and hope you didn’t get set on the wrong path?

Is there any reason to take advice from someone who appears to not take their own advice?

Drop your thoughts in the comments. I am looking forward to a lively discussion!

Inappropriate display

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Is it appropriate for a teacher to display a “Black Lives Matter” poster on their wall or wear a t-shirt with the same message? Is it appropriate for a teacher to leave a Bible or other religious text sitting on their desk? Is it appropriate for a teacher to promote one political party over another? Is it appropriate for any of these things to be done while with students and on school time?

I was doing a training the other day with a school district and one of the teachers participating in the Zoom meeting had a poster on the back wall, in plain view of the camera, that essentially was advocating for a political viewpoint. Obviously this teacher was demonstrating they were an “activist” of sorts and wanted whomever was seeing them on camera to see that they felt a certain way about certain issues currently on the forefront of conversations for society as a whole.

I found the poster to be inappropriate for a teacher to be displaying – especially if this was a background that would be seen by students. I didn’t find it inappropriate because I disagreed with the subject matter. I found it in appropriate because I see it as a violation of professional standards.

Now, before I continue, I want to reiterate that I am all for free speech and allowing people to express their views. If you have spent time on this blog over the years you would know this. I don’t have many instances where expression of one’s views should be limited because I believe that the expression of one’s self is that important.

However, having been a high school teacher and an American Government teacher and knowing enough about freedoms within the school and limitations of those freedoms, there would seem to be a double standards – again.

Professional standards say that, as people who have a position of power over students, our personal views should be kept to ourselves. In the past this has generally been applied to things like politics and religion. The reasoning behind this is that students are moldable and if given undue influence, they might take on the beliefs or thoughts of their teacher. Makes sense, and as a teacher I tried to keep the students guessing when it came to these two topics – not my job to instill these things in students, that’s their parents’ job and eventually they should develop these views and opinions on their own with their own reasoning.

However, over the last 20 years, it has been more acceptable for teachers to express their political views but not their religious views. When I was teaching I heard my own colleagues express their political views in the classroom with students. I have had my daughter relate to me that one of her teachers was actually passing out bumper stickers for one particular presidential candidate. Conversely, I have seen and heard of school employees and teachers being punished for expressing their religious views or even practicing their religion while on school grounds.

Is it another double standard? Is it another practice of “it’s ok for me, but not for you” when it comes to politics and religion?

Look, it should be all of one, or all of the other. Either keep all politics and religion out of the classroom or allow all politics and religion in the classroom.

But, what do you think? Is there a fine line between what is appropriate and what isn’t? Is one more acceptable than the other?

Finger pointing

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There is a whole lot of finger pointing going on these days. “You did this,” or “You did that,” or “You failed to do…” is a common refrain heard across the land. It seems no one wants to be responsible for their own actions any longer. It is always someone else’s fault. It is always because of someone else’s failure. It is because of someone else’s attitude. It is because of someone else’s wealth or lack thereof.

Someone else is always to blame.

Or at least that seems to be what a majority of people believe and are trying to convince others of.

Newton’s Third Law says, “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

In general, Newton was actually talking about physical items. Some, however, would argue that it doesn’t really apply to “life” and shouldn’t be misused that way.

I say those people are idiots.

I would posit they are saying that because they are one of those people who don’t believe in ownership of their own actions.

How about coming at it from a different angle – Every action, inaction, attitude, reaction, has a consequence. Perhaps this would be more influential coming from someone else:

A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching. — Sivananda

So, how does this apply to the topic at hand?

EVERYTHING we do or say has consequences. Those consequences are in direct correlation (almost always) to how we navigate through life. Our actions in our environment, our interactions with others in our environment will always have consequences – sometimes positive and sometimes negative. There is never not a time when this isn’t true. Sure, the result might not have immediate consequence but make no mistake, there will eventually be a consequence.

I can’t help but take a look at the news and wonder how life would be different for lots of people had they made different choices in any given situation, whether a long time ago or in the immediate time and space.

Situations?

  • Law enforcement interactions: How you react in the situation will determine how they are going to react to you. Resistance, evasion, force, weapons, or suspicious activity will generate various levels of reaction. Do you always deserve the type of reaction you are going to get? Nope. But, you have to remember that your actions likely triggered the interaction in the first place. As such, your actions will also determine how the interaction progresses and ends. I can’t help but think there are a lot of situations as of late that ended terribly for lots of people (on both side of the law) because they weren’t following the law.
  • Cheating (whether in minor things or big things): You make the choice to be dishonest or to hide something from someone. You are creating a situation that will have a consequence. Will you experience that consequence right away? Maybe, maybe not.
  • Financial decisions: Spend wisely, reap positive consequences (most typically). Spend poorly, reap negative consequences (almost always). Either choice will likely result in habits that become a cycle. The cycle, as cycles go, repeats itself over and over. If you stop pointing fingers at others on why the cycle keeps perpetuating itself and change your behavior, because really no one else is to blame, then you will get different results. Thus, an action still has a reaction – just you get to decide if it is positive or negative.
  • Weight or health management: Admittedly, there are some genetics involved here, but for the most part you are still responsible for what you do or don’t put in your body. Make good choices, reap good benefits and a healthier body. Make poor choices, reap poor health and continually cascading issues. It all starts with a choice.
  • Work ethic: Your outcomes at work are directly related to how you approach work. If you are diligent, dedicated, conscientious, motivated, and energetic then you will likely have a good work experience. If you are lazy, apathetic, unmotivated, and have attitude issues then you will likely have a hard time keeping a job.

Are there exceptions to these things? Of course! Even Newton had exceptions to his 3rd law.

BUT, you can’t make a life out of pointing fingers and always blaming someone else.

You can’t be finding or relying on the exceptions for everything. If you are always looking for the exception, you probably really are looking for excuses. And those excuses? Those are the things holding you back and keeping you from making the right decisions at the right time, because you’ve trained yourself to point fingers and not take responsibility.

I’ll end with this, and I know it is cheesy, but the whole “Don’t forget if you point a finger at someone, you still have three pointed back at you.”

It’s true. Before you blame someone else for something, you better look at the choices and decisions you made along the way that got you to where you are at that moment in time.

Exasperation

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I wonder…do you feel like me? Do you look at the world around you and just feel exhausted, exasperated even, at all the stuff doing on and the the people you see or encounter on a daily basis?

Do you throw your hands in the air because you simply don’t know what to do?

Do you shake your head in frustration, disgust, or irritation?

Do you find yourself muttering under your breath about this, that or the other thing?

Do you often mouth “W.T.F?” quietly to yourself as you ponder WTF just happened?

Do you type in your email/text/social media accounts things you want to say but then delete because it just isn’t worth the trouble?

Do you find scenarios running through your head about what you would do if you were allowed to do so (kind of like those tv/movie vignettes)?

Do you hang up the phone and then tell the person what you really want to tell them?

All of the above?

I know, this sounds like there is going to be one of those infomercial solutions…”Then you need *fill in the blank*…”

It’s not.

I just wanna know if you’re out there. If you’re out there doing the same thing I am doing.

It must sound like I am an uptight jerk. I’m not.

I just don’t tolerate stupidity well. Maybe I am allergic to it. I don’t have many allergies, but I know for sure I am allergic to this.

It’s tiring.

So, are you out there? Tell the the last thing that exasperated you. Let’s compare notes!

I swear…

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Ever heard someone else utter those words? Ever heard yourself utter those words? Have you “had it” to the level that you begin muttering under your breath and out comes those words, followed by a definitive statement that you have no intention of following through with?

I have heard that phrase from others in the past. I can distinctly remember my mother saying that phrase several times. The multiple occasions probably probably involved my brother and I (or maybe my sisters). I can’t remember exactly, but I do remember that we all knew it was time to be on our best behavior or something was going to happen that involved the “tanning of our backsides.”

Anyway, I have reached my level.

Only it isn’t with children (though I am sure I have uttered this about them too).

It’s the pets today.

The cat won’t shut up. Meow. Meow. Meow meow meow…seriously! What the heck! I have let him outta the house three times already today. In and out. In and out.

The dog is even worse. Whine and whine and whine….and then there is the whole in and out, in and out, thing with her too. The dog has gone out to the back yard 8 times already. 8! Sure it’s a nice day outside, but heck if I know what the hell she wants.

So, I swear…if I gotta let them outta the house one more time…

Working from home is great, but this is admittedly a downside. The interruptions are incessant.

I swear…

Partied out

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It was a long weekend that started on Thursday night.

It was a weekend filled with food, celebration, and family.

Too much family.

Too much planning.

Too much to do to actually enjoy it.

Anyway, three birthday parties in two days…one on Saturday and two on Sunday.

All at my house.

It was a good time, but it was exhausting.

What’s worse is that there is always some family members that are there that you just rather wouldn’t be there. That’s harsh to say, I know, and I love them and all but they just make anything and everything more work.

Everyone had a good time. At least I think so.

I did and I didn’t.

At least it is over. I am partied out. I could care less if there are any more this year.