Archive for the ‘attitude’ Category
A pit you don’t want to fall into
Jim told with me yesterday he had been thinking about the things I’d shared with him the week before.
“What things?” I asked with a smirk, “What did I tell you? “
(That’s one of the beautiful things about short term memory loss….every day is a new day)
He reminded me I had vented some
anger frustration in the realm of relationships. I had been feeling devalued.
Well, He said, “I thought more about it and by the middle of the week I was also battling self pity.”
“also”…did he just say “also”?
Self pity is what Junior High girls do, right????
After my conversation with Jim I decided to look up the definition for self-pity:
Psychiatrists have an interesting name for people who habitually indulge in self-pity–it’s “injustice collector.” These are the folks who are constantly dwelling on their hurts and hardships – whether real or imagined – and they enjoy thinking about them and talking about them. They lovingly collect and number each and every offense that others commit against them, and they search out people who will sympathize with them and commiserate with them. All this keeps the focus on themselves, which is what they want most.”
Dang, some of that felt a little too close to home.
That is the last thing I want rolling around in my brain!
I”m beginning to think self pity is a lot more common than I realized.
I’ve been calling it other things like ” being in a funk”, “being down” “discouraged” “feeling rejected” feeling down”
My wife’s daily devotional had a warning about self pity this past Saturday:
“Be on guard against the pit of self pity.
When you are weary or unwell, this demonic trap is the greatest danger you face.
Don’t even go near the edge of the pit.
Its edges crumble easily, and before you know it, you are on the way down.
It is ever so much harder to get out of the pit than to keep a safe distance from it,
That is why I tell you to be on guard.
from “Jesus Calling”
Had a little drama on my other blog last night.
A mother recently left a comment on a blog post sharing about the heartache she has been going through with an older son….well, Son got onto the computer that was still logged onto my post her comment was still visible.
He was not a happy camper.
Having personally experience 18 years of parental hell myself, ( it started when our oldest was about 14..and is only just now tapering off 19 years later as child #4 is finally getting his bearings) I have some perspectives on parenting I wish I could have tapped into so many moons ago.
So for what it’s worth, if I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with this distraught mother (and her slightly dysfunctional son) here is what I would tell them…
First to the Young man.
I would sit across the table , look him in the eyes and say.. ” It’s time you grow up. You need to move out and get a place of your own. It’s going to be tough…financially and every which way..but the truth is, you do not appreciate what your parents have been doing for you and you need an attitude adjustment. I might (might have) considered letting you stay here a little longer if you had been willing to play by the rules of our home..but as it is, the drinking, smok’n and blatant disrespect for your mama is the last straw…. You need to be out by the end of the week. period.”
“Mom…I know you love your little cub.. you love him dearly..unfortunately, at this point, he doesn’t feel it. and he will continue to disrespect you and break your heart until he comes to his senses. and that may take getting to the end of himself. When that finally does happen. he’ll be back and you’ll have a new son.”
Parents..(especially moms) have a tendency to short circuit the natural consequences of of poor life choices ..the result is, our children continue to flop and flounder and get into all sorts of heartbreaking situations…heartbreaking. and we keep bailing them out... you need to stop. if they get busted, let the natural consequences of their choices unfold…period.
When I was in the middle of it all, there was a time when I felt like an elephant was stepping on my chest…the stress and pressure was crushing. I told someone yesterday, I felt like I went through an emotional wood chipper.
I am not the same dad I was going into the parenting gig, 30 plus years ago.
I’ll never forget the time I sat across the table from my 14 yr old daughter who I had just brought home..she’d ran away for 3 days, had no intention of coming home..( I knew where she was, it was just a matter of reeling her in)…
I sat across the table looking @ her …anger, defiance rebellion,contempt written all over her face
She was our strong willed one….that rebelliousness needed to be broken… to break the rebellion but not break the spirit.. you can do it..in fact, if you don’t you will never have real peace… so I gave her two options…put her in a girls school, or spend a week @ my cousins and his family..(which she really , really did NOT want to do either,for reasons I am not @ liberty to tell you)…. It was a watershed moment in our relationship. She is still a strong willed young lady. Yea, we went through a lot more after that, but @ least she knew if push came to shove, I was not going to back down.
I taught a high school shop class for a year…I discovered the same dynamics that made for healthy relationships with my older children also made for healthy relationships in the class room with a group of rowdy young men…
First they needed to know who was in charge…call it what you want, respect/ fear..maybe a little of both…
Secondly…love..they needed to feel that I genuinely liked them… and I did..
Once in a while, they would test me just to see if I was still in charge….
Here’s how it works in Realville :
teacher first- friend second..
Parent first- friend second.
boss first/ friend second.
Feel free to do otherwise ;-) DM
This post is still in a rough draft form, but wanted to post it, so I could get some initial feedback. DM
I had to return a 10 ft section of plastic 4 inch PVC pipe last week to Theisens. When the cashier rang up the transaction, I noticed she had accidentally rang up a 4 inch splicer instead of 4 inch pipe. Simple mistake. She had to call her supervisor over to override the transaction, which in my mind was no big deal. She apologized to me and said, that was the first time in 6 months she had made that type of mistake. I told her, “heck”, I try to make at least one mistake every day..just to stay in shape.”
She didn’t know what to say.
My point was, she was being way too hard on herself, and needed to lighten up just a wee. I had watched her wait on another customer before me, and could tell she was “wound tight”
wound tight: hard to live with/ perfectionist/never makes mistakes.
Last night our son was lamenting on the fact he had bought a used set of Disney books off his sister for $50, thinking he could re-sell them for $200.00…He found out, they might be worth $25.00.. Oh well
I told him about the time I got caught up in a bidding war on e-bay for an “original” Grant Wood water color.
The picture went from $1600 to over $3200 the last 30 minutes of the auction, and when the dust all settled, I won
I knew that if it were an original, it was worth 3 times that amount. After we received the picture, I took it to an art appraiser, who informed me it was NOT an original Grant Wood…and might be worth a couple of hundred dollars…tops.
Side note…we did not have $3000 of discretionary money just laying around…..It came from a line of credit which made the whole thing that much more painful.
Why is it we tend not to tell other people our screw ups but are more than willing to talk about our successes?
I could tell my son felt much better about himself when he heard his dear old dad had dropped a couple of thousand dollars he couldn’t afford to loose
That picture I had paid $3200 it lay around here for a couple of months…but it was sending out some bad vibes. .long story short, I relisted it on E-bay and sold it for $400.00 (do the math if you haven’t already
That is what I call those life experiences…I paid $2800 in tuition to learn I am weak willed when it comes to auctions…the best thing I can do is stay as far away from high stakes auctions as I can.
I’ll tell you one more story and call it good..
In 2007 I was asked to general contract a home for someone with a beautiful lakeside view. The neighbors in the area were none to happy about this new home blocking their views of the lake. Oh well…
The day we were scheduled to dig the basement, things were really hectic and crazy on the job site. It was my responsibility to calculate the finished depth of the basement. After the wall was poured, I started second guessing my calculations, realized I may have made a 2 ft error and the house might be sticking out of the ground 2 ft higher than it was supposed to…@ which point, I just knew the neighbor across the street was going to take me to court and have me tear out the wall and re-dig (that would have easily been a $25,000 to $30,000 error)…When I was able to finally re-check my numbers I discovered I had NOT made a math mistake and swore I would never let someone pressure me when it came time to do important math calculations on the job.
Lesson learned : NEVER ever be in a hurry when it comes to math calculations when building a house.
OK it’s your turn…tell me a story about one of your screw-ups…. (or more)
you need to do this..
it will be good for your soul ;-) DM
“Check on me in a half hour.” I told my wife this morning.
I planned to knock down 20 feet of rock wall on our 130 old barn.
The barn was built in the 1880′s. I can still see broad ax marks on many of the supporting beams.
As a builder, I am in awe at the type of workmanship that went into this barn . Last September, I noticed the rock wall on the North side starting to lean. I knew if I didn’t do something about the rock wall soon, it was going to collapse.
As I tore into the rock wall , my mind went back to that season in our lives where we lived in a Christian community. For 18 months…. even though we had our own apartments, we shared a common kitchen with two other young families. Boy was that an experience.
Imagine 3 different households trying to coordinate meal times, grocery shopping, and parking. There were some intense moments….
(plus some great memories)
One of the most valuable life skills that came out of that season in my life was learning how to address issues instead of simply ignoring them. Not only did I learn how to address and work through conflict with the other people in our building, we learned how to work through conflict in our marriage, with our children, and on the job.
Our children are now adults. I can see the fruit of conflict resolution skills in their lives 20 years later. They are much quicker to address things in their relationships than most of their peers.
Going back to that barn I was working on this morning, I couldn’t help but see some parallels to that time in our lives….
#1 Sometimes it can get pretty messy when I first wade into a problem.
#2 The bigger the issue, the more time and energy I will probably have to expend.
#3 When I ignore a problem, it doesn’t mean it will somehow magically fix itself…all I am doing is postponing a bigger problem for later…
#4 Living life this way (addressing problems instead of ignoring them) has made my life so much richer… I prefer relationships based on reality instead of walking around on egg shells.
Several years ago now, we were attending a church with a single man who had “emotional issues.”
Long story short, he started wanting to hug my teen age daughters every week. (Not the older women mind you, just the young ones). I approached the pastor and said, he was making my daughters uncomfortable and someone needed to say something to him privately or I would do it myself.
The hugging stopped.
One last story…
Healthy conflict resolution skills were NOT taught or practiced in my family of origin..
They were not part of the family business I grew up in either.
I’ve refused to play along with the passive aggressive mind games and as a result, I am the black sheep.
Well, it’s about time to eat..better wrap this one up….
Thoughts, comments, questions?
As always, thanks for stopping by the blog! DM