Life Revised

Well, Dear Reader, it happened. We did, indeed, receive snow here in the Ozarks. But, even with six inches on the ground, I was able to get out yesterday – which is why there was no post.

But don’t worry your little soul. Even in my absence, I pondered the topic and found that thoughts swirled in my mind most of the day Sunday. So here we are today, a Monday with coffee in hand, united by a single keyboard. I’d tell you today to grab that drink and settle in, but I’m not sure I should be encouraging you to day drink on a Monday. But, you know, you do you.

I got my coffee. I got my thoughts. I got you, Dear Reader. Let’s do this. But first…

Never forget that you are fucking magic. Yes, you are. I am picking up a collective vibe that some of you may need to hear that today. So there. You heard it. Now all you got to do is absorb that shit and believe it in your core. Now, on with today’s topic.

Do you know who’s going through a lot right now? Literally, fucking everyone. So, with that in mind, why is it so hard to be kind to each other these days? And I don’t even want your finger-pointing COVID-based explanations on this, People. Really. I do not. This started waaaaayyyyyy before March 2020, and you know it. There’s a sense of entitlement in the air. Is it Mercury’s latest retrograde? I mean, Mercury does some pretty shady shit when she’s in retrograde. Still, I don’t remember reading that she turns people into assholes while cruising backwards through the Universe, ya know?

After the defeating scene at the recycling center that will forever be known as The Glass Bottle Episode, I touched on this. I mean, a dude from Canada had to show three dozen people who live in a city where the church to people ratio is about 1:13 how to be kind, for fuck’s sake. I would have thought a bunch of eco-friendly AWD-vehicle-driving hippies out recycling their fancy IPA and organic wine bottles could have been a bit more aware of the humiliation of others. Still, I guess even liberals can be assholes. Right? I mean…even I have my moments.

So, I wonder if – just for today – we could just take a moment to NOT talk about how unkind the world is and simply go over a few ideas on how to teach yourself to be a bit more kind. Shall we? Okay. Let’s do that.

Oh. I almost forgot. Grab a drink. Settle in. Here we go…

Behave like an inquisitive three-year-old. By that, I mean to ask more questions. When it comes to my personal relationships, I do my best not to jump to conclusions. I have started asking for clarification when I’m unsure how to take what was said. But I wasn’t always this way. When my ex and I started dating, he said something about my ‘thick thighs .’ I took that an entirely different way than it was intended – and was mad at him for days. Apparently, the man likes thick thighs, but I did not take it as a compliment. A lens marred by poor body image and the lack of follow-up questions significantly contributed to a miscommunication. In the book “The Four Agreements,” we are reminded to not take anything personally. So yeah. That. Don’t take anything personally and ask follow-up questions.

Say “no” more often. Look, People, can we just simplify this and declare 2022 the year of “Hell YES!”? I mean, there’s even a whole book about that very thing, but for those of you who like short reading assignments, here’s a Clif Notes thingy. The basics? If an activity doesn’t elicit a “HELL YES!!” out of you, then it is most likely “no” in some form. Worried about making someone mad if you say “no”? Well…first, get some therapy. That will help. Secondly, (Note this!) boundaried people are some of the kindest people on the planet, and they say “no” all the time. My friend, Jen, is one of them. That woman can deliver a “no” to an invitation faster than Patrick Mahomes can run to the end zone. And she does it with such intention and kindness that you almost want to thank her for turning you down. Really. I am not shitting you.

Stop being nice. Do you want to be a kinder person? Then stop being so fucking nice all the time. There’s a big ol’ fat difference between being nice and being kind. Nice people are not kind. Nice people are smarmy. I can say this because I am a recovering ‘nice’ person. Nice people ignore their needs and have poor boundaries. They are unsure of what they want so they are, most of the time, unsure of what they need. Stop that shit already. It isn’t working. I have been told all my life that I’m a ‘really helpful person’. That sounds like a compliment. I mean…helpful people are nice, right? Yes, they are. And they also sacrifice more in a relationship and don’t realize their needs aren’t met until one day they look up and know they have nothing left to give. And then they are really fucking angry. That’s a sad state of affairs, folks. So, here’s the deal: Takers will always find ways to take. Stop pushing their drug of choice on them (Their “drug of choice” is your inability to say ‘no’). I am warning you, though. It might get ugly. Drug addicts don’t like it when you stop dealing. Find your support system and stay strong.

That is it today. I thought about this post all day yesterday as I watched people stand in doorways as if they were the only people on the planet. I also realized I still struggle with each of these points when it occurred to me that I was too nice to ask them to move their fucking asses so I could buy yet another sticker for my water bottle. Thankfully I was with a really kind guy who watched all of this go down and said, “Make a path, folks, make a path.” Okay. He didn’t say that. It was more like, “Excuse us, Miss, we’re coming through” but nonetheless, I got my sticker because of him. Left up to me, we’d probably still be standing there.

So yeah. We are all a work in progress. Be kind. Love yourself. Eat dessert. And here’s your song. Like Ernest Hemingway (probably not him) always said: Write drunk. Edit sober. Life is a series of revisions. Follow your heart.

PS…if you liked this post, I would be absolutely giddy if you shared it on social media. One of these days, I plan to pay my rent with this writing gig, so, yeah, thanks.