Yesterday morning, Emily and I were sitting in the living room messing around on our new laptops. (YAY!) She and I spent most of the day lounging around. I have been plagued this past week with a recurring (and I believe stress-related) backache. Emily was more than happy to spend a lazy Saturday keeping me company. From time to time, our conversation broke the silence of our fingers clicking on the keyboards. Continue Reading »
Disappointment. How to get over it? How do we move on from situations that disappoint us? I often struggle with that question. Over and over in our lives, we are confronted with disappointments. How do with deal with it? How do we move on and let go?
Some disappointments are quite insignificant. For example, today I really wanted a Big Mac. By the time I got around to getting my lunch, it was well past lunchtime, and I was really hungry. I was looking forward to my sloppy burger. I sat in a long, long line at the drive-up window waiting for my turn to order. I didn’t mind the wait. I was having an enjoyable conversation on the phone with my son. I didn’t allow impatience to sneak in. Finally, I had my food, and I pulled into a parking space to quickly eat before returning to the office. I pulled my fries out of the bag, and they looked terrible. They were too dark (which is odd for the crazily regimented McDonalds.) OK, it wasn’t the fries I had been craving anyway, so I set them aside and grabbed my Big Mac. I instantly knew that this wasn’t good. Thunk, thunk…the bun was as hard as a rock, and it was cold, too. Yes, I was disappointed, but I dealt with it. In case you’re wondering, and T was wondering, I ate it anyway. Obviously, I’ve learned how to deal with the everyday, minor disappointments pretty well.
It is the larger disappointments that I’m not so good at dealing with, facing, letting go, or getting past. How do we deal with the things in life that don’t go our way even if we have put our heart, our soul, and a vast amount of energy into it? How do we deal with disappointment over something that didn’t go as we had envisioned? How do we deal with tragic loss? I’m not good at all in dealing with the larger disappointments life throws my way, and that bothers me.
December 11 is a fine example of ME hanging onto, not being able to let go of a disappointment. My superstition, hatred, and fear of November is another example. Believe me there are a host of other disappointments, but this isn’t about MY LIST of disappointments or regrets. What this is about is the fact that it’s finally sinking in that I need to learn how to LET GO of disappointment instead of replaying it over and over in my mind…looking for a way I could have changed the outcome.
I have decided to face this head on. I am going to begin dealing with the subject of disappointment just like I would deal with a challenge that I might face at work. I am going to begin by educating myself on the mechanics of disappointment. What is a common reaction? What is unusual? What is normal behavior, and what is over the top? Once I identify where I fall on the scale of what is considered “normal,” then I will educate myself on what to do about it.
I don’t want to become cynical. I don’t want to be a grouch or a recluse. I want to learn how to LET GO of the disappointment in a healthy and constructive way. I don’t want to be a Pollyanna, either. While I know that there are lessons to learn from many of our disappointments, I now realize that some things are simply not fair. That’s life! Those are the ones that are difficult to let go of and move on from. When life treats me unfairly, it makes me angry. An angry person is not who or what I want to be. The disappointments we all face are often not our choice, but how we deal with them is well within our control. Now…I just need to figure out how to do that!
“We would never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world,”
~ Helen Keller
My hearts is tender. It is battered and bruised today. Well, my heart has been battered and bruised for quite a while. It’s a good heart. It wants to be happy and filled with joy. In fact, my poor little heart jumps at the chance to believe in happiness. My heart leaps when it thinks good things are about to happen. It wants to believe the best in other people. It wants to trust. It wants to believe in the innate kindness and goodness in the other hearts it encounters in this life.
No matter how much the rest of me experiences, my heart remains so very innocent and vulnerable. My heart is in charge here. My heart guides me and reacts to my experiences in life. Sometimes that is wonderful. As I said, my heart it sweet. My heart is what enables me to see the wonder of the world. My heart is what helps me see the beauty of nature. Where my brain sees a dog, my heart sees a friend. My brain sees a shedding cat, but my heart reminds me of the times that shedding furball roams around the house crying out “Ma! Ma!” until he finds me. My brain sees the filthy homeless man who wanders around near my office each day on his bike packed with his earthly belongings, but my heart wonders at his story. My heart is what makes me go out of my way to say hello to him each day. My heart is happy when my hello brings a smile to this mentally ill man’s face. My heart does a good job of helping me see the wonderous, miraculous, good in the world Even at this very moment, my brain is smelling brownies fresh from the oven, but my heart is making me love T for knowing that my day was rough and chocolate would help.
That’s one reason I love my job so much. I can use my brain to make a difference, however small, in the world. That makes my heart happy. It’s frustrating though sometimes. Sometimes making a difference means that the bad guy gets riled up. The fight against injustice isn’t easy. Think about it. If injustice exists, then that means that someone, or many, are having a good old time getting away with unjust behavior. Who wouldn’t be happy to be the guy on top? Who wouldn’t be happy to be able to get away with whatever they wanted and have the folks around them turn a blind eye? Yeah, that kind of person who is going along just fine with their life of unethical behavior isn’t very happy when Pollyanna comes waltzing in and saying “Hey! That’s not fair! Yes, those rules DO apply to YOU. No, you are NOT able to twist and turn those rules to suit yourself as you see fit.” No, the bad guys don’t like that at all. Bad guys don’t like truth and fairness..not if it mean that truth and fairness is also applied to them.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about a letter that had been sent to City Hall full of criticism and complaints about me. Oh, how that hurt my heart! Why would someone take the time to do something so rude and cruel? It wasn’t the words that hurt so much as it was the image in my mind of someone actually taking the time, taking time out of their life and their day, to try to hurt me ON PURPOSE. That particular incident has escalated. The more I thought about that letter, the greater my concern grew. The letter contained out and out lies. If I didn’t have the respect and support of my co-workers, if that letter had been taken seriously, it could have seriously damaged my career. Losing my career would have an impact on me AND my family. Why would anyone want to hurt my family? It scared me to think of the ripple effect that such a letter could have caused in my life.
What if this guy continued to cause problems for me? Could this crazy person cause so much trouble that I was no longer an asset? Would I become a liability? What if he was relentless? What if it was easier to get rid of me than to deal with this nutcase? OK….yeah. I was becoming obsessed, which is really nothing new. 🙂 I spoke to my boss about my concerns. Once again, I can’t say enough good about this man who is my boss. We were friends before I ever took this position, and I can’t imagine anyone I would rather work with. There is such a bond of trust between us. Someday I will write an entire blog entry about our history together. He is my friend, and I can’t imagine a time or a thing that could ever change that. He and I have shared significant, life-changing years of our lives together. When I met him, he was a man married twenty-plus years with a small child. Now…he is a gay man in a committed relationship. His strength in dealing with and facing major honesty and changes in his life continue to inspired and impress me.
He listened to me, and he understood my concerns. We consulted with the legal department, which really accomplished nothing, but did calm my fears that I would be hung out to dry. While my fears of personal career damage have been calmed, my fears of personal safety have increased. I knew that this person had a history of run-ins and confrontations, but now that I know even more, it is unsettling. There are three current restraining orders outstanding, countless cases of legal action and false accusations. Last weekend, a fast food worker was attacked by this man. Charges are pending. The list goes on and on. The more I learn, the more confused I am about WHY this person is able to skate so close to the edges of the law and still manage to walk free.
Today I had lunch with two victims of his harassment. They had not known each other prior to their common problems. The issues he has with them are unrelated. They both carry mace. They wanted my help. What can be done to protect us from his “legal” abuse? He has done nothing illegal yet, or nothing that can be proven. Even as I write this, I am worried. What if he reads this? But why would he? How could he? I write, because this is MY blog, and I refuse to be afraid. I will not alter my life due to this. I don’t like bad guys. I have plenty of reasons not to like bad guys. I don’t like people who think they can live blamelessly as they hurt those around them. I have reasons to dislike that, too.
Yes, I will get involved. I will help. Once again, I find myself among strong women. Together, we are strong. More than once, it was said, “It feels so good to know it’s not just me. I feels so good to know that I am not alone in this.” Bad guys don’t stand chance when strong women stand united.
Today I was reminded of so many other times when my heart has hurt over selfish, thoughtless, ugly meanness. I remembered the first time I when I really knew that my heart was tender. It was two days after my dad died. Never before had I felt so alone in the world. I had lost the greatest love I had ever known in my life. I had lost my safety net. I was raw with pain. I was driving to work that morning. My dad was not yet laid to rest. The funeral was the next day, but I was driving in to my office for an hour or so. It was bitterly cold. Although the traffic here is never really bad, it was rush hour. I was on the expressway at the busiest overpass. Some cars were entering. Some were trying to exit. Cars jockeyed for position. Ahead of me, a car signaled to change lanes in order to exit. Instead of letting the car change lanes, the car in front of me purposely sped up and then slowed down simply to make sure that his fellow motorist would not be able to exit as he had intended. As I watched it happening, I began to sob. My heart was so hurt. My recent losses were so fresh and painful. My heart could take no more, and the pain overflowed.
I remember how that senseless cruelty hurt me on that day. When I pulled into the parking lot that morning, I had laid my head against the steering wheel as the knowledge of man’s inhumanity to man washed over me. Why? Why do human beings have this horrible capacity of cruelty inside of them? That day, I cried for the man who had not been able to take the exit. Where had he been going? What if he was going to visit a loved one in the hospital? What if, like me, he was hurting from a great loss? Why is it so much easier sometimes to hurt people than to be kind? Shouldn’t the desire to allow the guy to change lanes outweigh the desire to fuck up his morning? I don’t understand such behavior. Thankfully, I don’t understand. Hopefully, I never will.