Sunday, September 26, 2010

Let's start over

Reading and catching up on my emails this rainy Sunday morning, I came upon the September newsletter from SARK. If you are not familiar with her I suggest you do so. An author and artist she in an inspiration to many. I was first introduced to her in college when a fellow classmate let me borrow the book, The Ultimate Nap Book: Change your life without getting out of bed. I was hooked. 10 years later: I own eleven books, follow her on twitter, read her blog and subscribe to her newsletter. Oh how great it is that technology allows me so many ways to indulge in wondrous inspiration.

As I said, her most recent newsletter caught my attention. A story about creative dreams. How they are not only projects, businesses or great ideas, but ways of living differently. She writes, "my mom was a grudge holder who was very concerned with being 'right.' I've carried on that tradition while having a creative dream of being and living differently...Don't you love how the world gives us new places and ways to practice?" Below is an excerpt of the story from her newsletter.

The story ended on a happy note and she made this statement: I was profoundly reminded that when we can live and behave differently than our reactive patterns we are also untangling other larger dynamics.

It got me thinking. Really thinking. Most recently about our beach trip and my actions or rather reactions to events that unfolded. Here is my story.

It was the second to last night and our big dinner out as a group. Without discussing it with everyone, Fred and I were just informed that we, as a group, were going to go leave for dinner at 6:30pm. Upon thinking about it Fred and I thought that was a bad idea. We made our concerns known. If we don't leave till 6:30pm, by the time we arrive at the restaurant, get seated and order our food it will be close to 7:30pm and the kids bedtime. While we want to eat and have a good time the kids will be losing steam and getting fussy. It made more sense to leave closer to 5:3o or 5:45pm in order to minimize the meltdowns. While one couple agreed with our assessment when mentioned to the other, they were less than agreeable. Their baby had to be fed at 5:30pm, their son was currently napping and they hadn't had showers yet. My solution to that was, get in the shower now, your son will wake up soon and you can feed the baby at the restaurant. Simple right?

Still they did what they wanted instead, which was stick to the not leaving till they wanted plan. So the closer it got to 6pm the more my kids started to get hungry, bored and meltdown. I knew we had to go and go soon. So I suggested that Fred and I head over there, get a table (my kids settled down and fed) and wait there for everyone else to join us when they were ready. This was of course ridiculous, we could just wait here, and I GOT MAD. I mean really PISSED OFF. I just sat there festering about how wrong they were and how much I disliked them, their selfishness and unwillingness to compromise. And I remained this way the rest of the night. Being unsocial at dinner, taking it out on my husband and kids. My anger turning to hurt. Even spending a few moments crying in the bathroom. How disappointed I was with our vacation this year, how I felt disrespected and disliked by my friends. How I so desperately wanted to go home. I left feeling detached from my friends when I should have felt more tight-knit. I was not feeling good about myself or the whole situation.

I've often thought about the whole trip and the events that resulted immediately and shortly thereafter. Mostly about my behavior. What I could have done differently. Like SARK, I too want to go back and say to everyone, "can we start over?" Because seriously, when I look at how I behaved, it was, again like SARK, self-righteous and defensive. While I was so upset over how I was being treated, how disgusted I was with the selfish behavior and uncaring toward other's feelings I too was acting just like them. I was uncaring how my unwillingness to let it go and unsocial behavior was causing uncomfortableness to those around me. And my anger, while maybe justified, was being directed to those who were undeserving of it's wrath.

We cannot change others, how they behave or think or feel. Change comes with a desire to be a better person, with respect for human life. As SARK says, we all have the opportunity to live and behave differently. And I for one have the desire.

So, let's start over shall we.

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1 comment:

  1. Rachel-

    I love your writing and glad I found your blog! Here's a blogger award for you: