Self-Reflection in the New Year

I’m back! I stopped writing because I wanted this to be a place where happy things were shared, since it has felt like all other sources of online presence contain so much negativity. But I have a lot to say, so here I am. 2021 has not had the best start. We are all still stuck in a pandemic with what feels like no end in sight. Everyone is suffering in different ways.

My year started with the loss of a very close Uncle–who I loved dearly, and while this was expected, it did not make it any easier. Yet another reminder that life is fragile and we should live to the fullest and be happy and love one another. Or at least we should try.

This past week our 17 year old kitty took a swift decline in health and while we grappled with how to best help him, he decided for himself that it was time to go outside and hide — to handle his life on his own terms. After a week of frantic searching, he was found and had passed away. This hit me SO hard. Again, an expected outcome, but not easy and not how I wanted him to spend his last days. Mixed into this week was a cluster of horrific headaches and finally caving to go see my doctor for what I knew was my annual sinus infection. Yippee!!

All of this to say, when there is so much going on–emotions, grief, stress, how can anyone be their best self? Yet, I try. I really, really try. Add work into the fold which includes people you wouldn’t choose to work with if you had a choice and an explosion is imminent. Here’s my problem. One of my biggest faults/weaknesses has always been how I choose to respond to situations when I am frustrated, upset, and/or distracted by other issues/concerns. I let anger and frustration get the best of me and BAM!

This has to stop. Graci 3.0, here we come. I can’t keep doing this to myself and others and especially those I care about. Last night, I tossed and turned and while I really did try to block out the drama of yesterday’s work day, my mind simply would not turn off. Every time I woke up I had a song in my head was from last week’s inauguration, Land that I love, ‘From the mountains — to the prairies, to the oceans, with white foam……. All. Night. Long. No clue what the song was trying to tell me. Does music speak to you?

This morning, I finally got up and headed for a shower to start my day and decided to turn on SiriusXM so I could get rid of my earworm. I found a ‘stay at home’ channel that is amazing. I turned it on and Bobby McFerrin was singing ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’. I immediately started whistling with him. The next song was Tim McGraw, ‘Always be Humble and Kind’. Wow, appropriate and fitting — and something I reflected on very deeply after yesterday’s kerfuffle. Finally, Don Henley came on and sang ‘All she wants to do is dance’. I love that song. And it always makes me dance. And sing. Mood lifted. Thanks, music — you always know just what to say.

However, it doesn’t correct the wrong I need to right. I can and will apologize, of course. But this doesn’t fix my problem. People say (quite often) that I’m overly sensitive. Sometimes I want to feel offended when I hear this, but then I stop and realize that is just who I AM. I can definitely change how I respond to situations and prevent so much stress, but I can’t change how I feel, how I care, how I love. I can’t do that anymore than I have the power to change how others behave.

One of the best things my mom ever taught me was to think before you speak. I don’t do this 100% of the time, if I said I did — that would be a lie and could be proven by yesterday’s events. While I did think about what I was saying, I didn’t make a final decision not to say it — because I was angry. And why? If this is something that has happened repeatedly over the last 7 years, why should I STILL allow these interactions to anger me? I know why, but it doesn’t make much sense. I get angry because I don’t appreciate being treated or talked to in a manner of which I would never speak to someone. That whole golden rule thing, that SO many people could care less about.

I’m rambling now. What am I going to do to prevent this moving forward so I can remove myself as part of the problem and be a better Graci? Simple. Graci-OUT. I will no longer respond to communications unless they are helpful, necessary, and kind. Just like we remove toxic people from our lives to live a healthier/happier life, so to must this behavior go.

This kind of nonsense (and especially from people who you would never associate with outside of work) is completely unnecessary and why would you want to add to your stress or worry? I asked myself this question and then berated myself for hours. I’m old enough to know better, and I care — so it just needs to stop.

None of us are perfect and we will all stumble when it comes to human interactions. All we can do is try to learn from it and grow. We can’t expect change if we keep doing the same things, again and again. Thank you for reading my ramble.

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