Goals and giggles

Remember when I talked about the adult personality keeping us calm in traffic? I think that the overwhelming theme of that was to not take things personally. If someone cuts you off in traffic, the best thing to do is just slow down and make sure you have the room you need. However, the overwhelming reaction is to either A. honk on your horn, B. flip them off, or C. Tail them to show them that you were, in fact, driving in that spot they just decided to occupy with their obnoxious Hummer. I’m sure the majority of us out there would pick one (or all) of those three options, which is the problem. I used to almost always pick one of those, but now I’m trying to be the adult in the situation and just back off. I may shake my head or mutter some appropriate name for the driver, but once I’ve done that I try to let it go and continue with my (hopefully safe) driving.

I’ve gone about two weeks with this personal challenge, and while I haven’t always been faithful to it, I have noticed that the times when I keep my temper under control and just let things go, I’m happier. Traffic doesn’t seem as bad anymore. People around me seem to be adults too, letting people in and using their blinkers. Is it just that when I’m calm and adult-like I see the glass as half-full? Maybe. But I think this has been a huge lesson for me, and I hope to become even better at keeping my emotions checked when I’m on the road.

Since this has worked so well for my driving, I think I need to apply this idea of not taking things personally to all areas of my life. Did we have plans tonight? Are you not feeling well, don’t feel up to it, or having something else you have to do? I’m not going to take it personally, because really, what good does that do? Do you not like the restaurant that I’m addicted to? Seriously, that has nothing to do with me, and I won’t think of it that way. Dislike blue? Well, we may not pick out the same shirt color, but we can still be friends, right?

I’m hoping that if I’m diligent at applying this theory to many situations, my feelings won’t get hurt. I won’t be as paranoid as I can sometimes be. I won’t over analyze that conversation for the umpteenth time.

Now, this may make me oblivious in some situations. But right now, I’m ok with that. I want to see know what it feels like to not think the world is out to get me. I mean, how selfish is that? Yeah, I know I’m going to slip up, especially every 28 days or so. But dammit, I’m still going to try.

What about you? Have you had any life lessons lately?

By the way, I don’t know what the giggles part of the title is supposed to refer to. I just wanted to break up the Dr. Phil aspect of this post.

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2 Responses

  1. I guess my life lesson is similar, but kinda on the opposite side of things.

    I used to tiptoe around everyone all the time to make sure I didn’t upset the natural balance of anyone, but then I realized that doing so caused me to neglect my own needs and I ended up tired and depressed and really really tense.

    So now, I take care of me, even if it means I have to break a commitment. I’m sure some people think me more flaky than others, but the truth is, if my friends can’t figure out that I have a lot on my plate and allow me the space and time I need to handle my life, then our friendship must not be that strong. This doesn’t mean it’s all gotta be my way…I’m still accommodating (I hate spelling that by the way) when it doesn’t kill me to be so, but if I need to back out on that movie to work on a paper, or go for a walk alone in the park, or sleep, or something like that, then I do it. If my “friends” take it personally, well, that’s their problem.

    Yay for being grown up!

  2. Yeah, I’m working on that one right now. I’m still eager to please, but I’m getting better at making sure I’m pleased before I please someone else.

    Too many instances of “please” in that sentence.

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