a little perspective

Standing up for yourself or whining? What is the difference? There is a phrase about the squeaky wheel getting the grease and I agree, to a point. I usually have a strict “no whining unless you are gonna take action”policy for myself. It doesn’t always work, but if I catch a hint of a whine in my voice – I try to change it.

In work situations, I advise people all the time – that if they want something, a promotion, a raise or better schedule – that they must be persistent, as no one is just handed those opportunities. And that they should be prepared for a No, or Not Yet or a “you need more training” response. Myself, I am pretty good about going after opportunities and rebounding from a No or Not Yet. I may get frustrated, and take 5 minutes (okay, maybe longer) to talk about how unfair a situation is but overall – I know life isn’t fair. We all have setbacks, and victories – I think both have to be celebrated in a way. Think about how good it is to have your kids see that not everything goes your way, and how you deal with what reality gives you.

In personal situations, I am really bad about getting what I want or need. I don’t want to be seen as whiny or needy at all but then – how do you get what you want? Let’s face it, none of us put ourselves  in “the other persons shoes” nearly enough. And sometimes it’s just a temporary need to be assured that things are really as they are. That it’s not an act, and you aren’t going to have the rug pulled out from under your feet. Again. We have all had the sucker punch to the gut, the thing we never saw coming or the thing that we were told “we were crazy to be worried about”. And then it happens. The punch, you doubled over, feeling nauseous, wondering who else has been plotting against your happiness. The things you should have known but didn’t, and wondering how someone could want to hurt you so badly.

And then everything changes, and someone you know personally experiences a tragedy that you cannot even imagine. Whatever that you thought was so important – isn’t. Telling your family that you love them is important. Helping others is important. Being close to home – just in case – is important. We don’t stop living when someone we know passes on, but it feels like it. Everything that used to bring you joy seems silly and you take a look at what you could lose. Saying or doing “the right thing” doesn’t happen, because there is no “right thing”. There is loss, and grief and questioning why. There is the words “I’m Sorry”, which doesn’t cover anything but gives us something to say. Why are we sorry? We are sorry bad things happen to good people, we are sorry that there is nothing that can make it better, and we are sorry there is no way to turn back time.

“One of the saddest realities is that we never know when our lives are at their peak. Only after it is over and we have some kind of perspective do we realize how good we had it a day, a month, five years ago.” Jonathan Carroll


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