#992-Monday, End of Month.

It’s almost noon already, and I’m just getting started on today’s blog. I had a terrible scare with Goldie. She is a big, big girl. She weighed 98 pounds last time we had her at the vet. We’re going this afternoon to a new vet, closer to home, and a friend of our family.

At any rate, I opened the front door, telling her to stay back, which she usually does. Not this time. She almost knocked me over, and ran out the front door and bolted across the street. I was panic-stricken. It’s been nearly three years since we lost Roxie to a car accident, and it’s all I could think of. I was petrified. And I still had my pajamas, slippers, and robe on. Oh dear!

I kept calling her name, hoping she’d come to her senses. She was too interested in sniffing out the bottom of a light pole, where all the boys stop on their walks. I was in luck. She didn’t run, thinking I was playing. She reversed as I reached for her collar, and I was able to catch her then. Whew! She started to pull; I knew if I held on to her, she would pull me down onto the concrete. Oh dear!

I told her she needed to be a good girl and come into the house. I’d opened the overhead garage door before crossing the street. I let go of her collar and kept telling her, “Be a good girl, and let’s go inside for a treat.” Food-motivated dogs are the best. We crossed the street, no cars, and she started sniffing mailboxes.

I’m praying, “Please, don’t run away!” She turns from sniffing and follows me, and I hurry to keep pace with her, right into the garage. I caught up with her at the door to the house. She does in the door, and I followed, so very grateful. I’ve been consciously thanking God all day that she didn’t encounter a car and wasn’t hurt at all. I don’t think our hearts could have taken that a second time.

Took a short break to view a training/marketing pitch from a famous author to be successful at writing a non-fiction book. Not surprising, you have to be a storyteller first. True story or one you make up, it makes sense you’d need to be a storyteller.

Have you ever listened to someone spin a yarn and by the time they’re finished, you aren’t sure if the story is true or not? The Babe is a great yarn-spinner. Usually in a joking way, to tease me or someone else. After his quadruple bypass seven years ago, when he finally started making jokes and telling stories, I knew he would get well. It took a long time for that to happen. It was a great concern. We’re blessed for sure.

Our appointment for the girls with their new vet is now only a couple hours away. It should be a good visit and good for them. Less of a trip by car. I need to go finish up a few things here before we do that. Hope you have a beautiful afternoon and have some time outside where it’s beautiful today. See you tomorrow.

Serene Saturday

I woke up early today, and the air is heavy all around. Cloudy, and kind of breezy, but not a cool breeze. I am somewhat achy after the weed pulling yesterday. Just using muscles I forgot I had! So, I’ll take a day off today and focus on straightening up the house. It might be hard, because I feel sort of . . . well, like Lexie does in the header photo. How she slept that way amazes me, and how she didn’t fall out of her chair comes a close second.

I lounged on the couch for about an hour, drinking coffee and reading the latest book I’m reading, “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.” I’ve read over 150 pages already, which is a lot for me lately. I chose a work of fiction because psychology and how-to-write books are a little dry right now. This one about Evelyn Hugo is anything but dry. The writing is crisp, moves along nicely. It takes place in older Hollywood, when young girls could travel West in the hopes of being discovered. I pity them for the treatment they received, then came to expect. Harvey Weinstein just perpetrated what went on forever. How disgusting.

I want to go back and read all the books I started and didn’t finish. I have several on my Kindle, and I should finish them, too. And see about putting books about writing on there, as I’m running out of room! The Babe and I still haven’t found someone to help assemble the four bookcases I bought. Hope we find someone soon! With unboxing all my books, I’ll identify many to give away. I’m hoping the library may take some.

I still need to go visit the library in Gretna. I need to become friends with them, as they have a separate children’s library, too. I hope plans continue to combine them into one big building, like a community center. I thought it would happen, but maybe plans are on the back burner now. It will be interesting to see how it develops. The way the community is growing, I would hope they build a center and merge everything soon.

When we were kids, the library held a Reading Club every year. If we read 10 books, we received a certificate stating so. There was no Pizza Hut in those days. Our kids earned pizza for reading, but we didn’t. As Frankie got older, I felt it was important for him to read. He developed a big interest in sports figures.

Bo Jackson was a dual sport athlete. He was amazing. He could run up the outfield wall to catch a near-home run. And in football, he could mow anyone down. He and Michael Jordan were the favorites. I bought a lot of books for him. Nick read anything, but lost interest in it once he got a car. He had to work to support the car, and he was more interested in those things. Becky read constantly, and is having her kids love books too. Every quarter, I send a box of books to both of her kids. So far, so good.

Going to get started on this day, and hope you have a good one, too. I may just curl up with the book all day. And that’s ok, too. Enjoy your weekend! See you tomorrow.

Faults v. Virtues

When you think of yourself, what comes to mind first?

“I could lose 30 pounds.”

“I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.”

“I’m a terrible Mom.”

As a child, we’re often taught not to talk about our abilities. “Don’t be conceited,” they tell us. “It’s not polite.” Especially for a girl. I remember reading in a Catholic Girl (was that the title? don’t remember for sure) Magazine, it was stressing the duty of the girl to remain “pure” in mind, body, and heart. Part of the duty was to praise the boyfriend, and be his lovely assistant in everything, to know their place. We didn’t hear “Good Job!” every time we did something. Some of us were told a “B” wasn’t good enough, it should have been an “A”.

Wow, that was the late 50s and early 60s for you. No more. We weren’t supposed to be smarter than the boys, or stronger, or better at doing anything. Wow. There are many very intelligent women, strong women, who are the best at what they do. How sad we were instructed to dumb ourselves down. How can we live fully is we pretend to be less than what we actually are?

I, for one, hadn’t a clue what I was going to do with the rest of my life after the kids grew up. I didn’t want to hover over them, after all, you have them to send them out into the world. I loved my kids to pieces, and knew I was happiest with them. I couldn’t keep having kids because I didn’t have a life plan.

Making the decision to go to community college was the best thing I ever did. Having a lot of interests made it a little harder to decide what to do. I decided on Medical Secretary. I earned a certificate, but found a job at ConAgra. Lots of on the job training by observing a huge business working. It was amazing.

I took many business classes and was finally offered a programmer trainee position if I completed a certification program for a year. I would have been crazy not to do it. It launched me way further than I could have imagined.

By learning I had value, talents, abilities, I experienced a lot of growth as a person and in my career. I finally knew I did a good job. While I think kids may not need constant praise, I believe some is needed. Too many wounded adults are walking the earth. Many others don’t realize they are. We need to learn to accept our virtues and talents. Otherwise we can be overwhelmed by our faults. Those two sentences from Robert G. Coleman leapt of the page at me this morning. So many of us spend time tabulating our faults. We need to tally our virtues. Take some time doing that today. Do it every day. Be fair. You will discover your worth.

Self deprecation can be funny, we need to laugh at ourselves. Taken too far, it’s not good. It’s only recognizing part of ourselves. We need to recognize all that we are in order to become all we can. Don’t let your faults define you and your legacy. Start today. Appreciate yourself. And make it a habit.

Have a beautiful day. It’s lovely outside in the shade. Going to check the plants now. Be safe. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday’s Ways

Typically called Hump Day, I find myself looking forward to having lunch with a couple who have been good friends forever. I went to elementary school with Jan, she married Steve in 1976, I believe. It’s the only wedding I was a bridesmaid for, which made it all the more special. They are awesome people, both attorneys, raised two handsome lads and now have a bunch of grandkids. Retired on a lake in Missouri, where the family is. They’re in town for the College World Series, a great event for Omaha.

The cable service Mom has her phone service on is terrible. She is constantly losing service. The wiring in her part of town is jimmy rigged. What is that? The Urban Dictionary defines it as:

Done or fixed half-assed.

Sorry, there is no polite way to put it. A lot of people put a quick fix on things only to have the continue to break, not work, break down, and cause lots of angst.

I think it’s terrible a 93 year widow, who is nearly blind (according to her) should have to wait from Tuesday morning until Thursday afternoon for a tech to come out. Why can’t they have an emergency tech/techs for things like that? Her Lifeline wouldn’t work either (I think). But she doesn’t like to use it, the EMT’s may let her cat out. (Seriously, it’s happened twice. We’ve sternly counseled her not to worry about that.)

I may stop to see her to make sure she’s ok after lunch. It’ll help ease my brother’s mind, I think. He does a wonderful job of checking on her multiple times a day. It’s convenient for him, he is across the street and a couple houses over. It helps my youngest brother and me. Otherwise, we’d all stop and see her on a rotating basis.

I’ll tell you, my second COVID booster (Moderna) was uneventful, but the arm is really painful! I don’t know when an injection has been painful lately. Before I was on Medicare due to age, I had to pay for a Shingles shot after radiation for breast cancer. Radiation makes it possible to get shingles from the treatments. Isn’t that crazy? The shot was $250 when I was 57. Wow. 57. That was a good year, seems so long ago!

I stopped by Mom’s after lunch. Good thing I did. Her toilet stopped working. No water in the tank, handle lever and flapper appear to be working properly. With no phone, she could not call the plumber, so she asked the man who delivers Meals on Wheels to call for her. No answer. He called her neighbors. No answer. Both men left messages, but the plumber never got the messages.

I stopped at 2:30, called the plumber, and several phone calls later, they finally said they’d come after 4. They’ll call me (remember, the phone tech cannot come until Thursday afternoon), then I’ll call my brother. Hope they get her fixed up soon. She’s a nervous wreck.

Talk about a story getting hijacked! This sure didn’t go the way I planned this morning! It’s time to go to the VFW Post 2503 for dinner and visit with friends. Hope you have a good evening, and we’ll chat tomorrow.

Tuesday’s Trips Around Town

What a beautiful Tuesday morning from the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. Wow, it’s not supposed to break 90 degrees today. What a shocker! This is a summer cold front in Nebraska; 88 degrees predicted for a high. Blessings.

I have to say, some days the daily meditations of my book “Days of Healing, Days of Joy, Meditations of Adult Children,” really hits is out of the park. (The NCAA College World Series in is Omaha yet again, as it has been since the 1950s, plus I love baseball!) Today it had a quote by Montaigne. Who is that?

Montaigne was a philosopher of the French Reniassance. He popularized the essay as a literary genre (who knew?) He was admired more as a statesman than an author. His quote was:

“Marriage may be compared to a cage: the birds outside despair to get in and those within despair to get out.

Some people believe, “If only I were married, I would be happy.” This is not true. I can tell you, if you’re married to the wrong person, you will not be happy. Some people believe if only they were married, they would not be lonely. Wrong again. If a relationship isn’t right for you, you will be lonely.

If a marriage is healthy, it can be a mighty hedge against loneliness. If not, it can be the container for many, many problems, issues, and misery. The quest for happiness has not one thing to do with your marital status: it has to do with your own self-esteem. If you are working on your faults and deficiencies, and have learned to think well about yourself, there is no limit to the happiness you can achieve: married or not.

It’s been a hard day. I love visiting with old friends, even those who are quite ill now. I will not abandon them. They mean too much to me. Yes, it’s not fun to see their deterioration, but I will not desert them. Tomorrow will be easier. Lunch with a longtime friend from elementary school and her husband. It’ll be a great day.

Have a beautiful evening, and we’ll visit again tomorrow. Blessings on you and your families. Keep them close. You just never know.

Monday Morning Moving In Again.

I love spring, summer, fall, and winter. Seasons have been part of my life forever, and I can’t see me moving to a warmer climate. Don’t want to be away from family; from all of our grandkids; or from two of our five kids. It’s home, wherever the Babe is.

I have nothings scheduled this week; no pesky doctor’s appointments; no VFW Post 2503 meetings, nothing but whatever we decide to do. It’ll be a good week to visit a couple of friends who are in ill health. Friendship transcends illness, and bringing brightness into the lives of folks who are confined for whatever reason. Call or visit your friends; you’ll both feel better.

My daily meditation book today talks about the labels we have in our lives. Do they reflect the truth of our actual living situations? What’s that mean?

“No pain, no gain.” There is a little bit of truth to that, meaning making sacrifices for your goals is necessary. It does not guarantee success.

When I was married before, I believed in sacrificing my wants and needs, along with a lot of prayer, I would win favor with God. As I matured, I realized God doesn’t want us to stay in bad marriages “for the sake of the children.” He already showed his favor by dying for our sins. I believe what we are supposed to do is use our talents and abilities to make our world a better place. We are not supposed to stay in situations where we are belittled, verbally abused, witnessing the same treatment to your children. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

I said I had to divorce because I believed in marriage. It was supposed to be a partnership, not a dictatorship. I also did not want to become a bitter, hateful woman.

After the divorce, yes, it was hard. At the same time, it was easy. Not financially, not when I needed to be two places at once, but I stopped being on guard. I stopped frowning. I never knew my unhappiness showed in my face. A new neighbor told me afterwards, she noticed the difference in me. I never smiled before. Yes, it takes a toll on a person. And the kids. Sometimes, you need to leave for the sake of the kids.

Pain doesn’t pay off when we misname it. This would fall under the first of The Four Agreements we discussed last week. Being impeccable with your word means telling the truth; it means naming your situation properly; it means naming a series of bad relationships properly, not calling it “bad luck;” it means naming our workaholism what it is, inability to play. As the meditation told me, “Pain Only Begets More Pain.” Your situation stays the same. Forever.

I knew I had to change my situation. And you may need to, also. If you are in a physically abusive relationship, leave. Now. There are agencies who can help you plan your escape. Bring your kids with you. No one needs to suffer any longer, especially you and your kids. Please, you deserve better. So do your kids.

Let’s start our journey’s towards a free and beautiful life with us being impeccable with our word. It’s the best start you can make. As we proceed with our days, let’s learn to recognize what gives us pain. Let’s evaluate why. Making changes will only improve your life. Yes, it’s hard. Anything worth it is. My dad taught me that. He taught it to challenge us. It made all of us kids better people. Have a beautiful afternoon, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Agreements and Baseball.

No, I’m not talking about those highly inflated contracts in MLB. I’m talking about applying Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements to the game of baseball, down to the lowest level of T-Ball. It’s tournament time in our select baseball world and the team had a pulverizing loss yesterday. Three innings. The opposing team was exceptionally good for being in the 9U (Nine & up) category. Many were star players on their own. They stole every base they could, running up the score. Nothing makes a first year playing together team lose their will to live than running up the score on them when they’re struggling.

The only talk there was among them was how good the other team was. They were good, and mentally, our boys were defeated before the first pitch went out. I just want to share this as the coaches do every game, but with different words.

Tell yourself the truth about you. You are a good player and not doing anything wrong. Sometimes, others teams will beat us. You are not at fault. They’re just better. Let’s work harder so we’re better.

Don’t Take Anything Personally. It’s not your fault. All of us make mistakes. That’s how we learn. Let’s work to learn more.

Don’t Make Assumptions. Just because they’re a top ranked team doesn’t mean we’re going to lose. We need to work together and be our best today.

Always Do Your Best. Put your game face on every game. Keep your heads up. Be confident. Don’t give up until the game’s over. There’s always a chance if you all do your best. Keep your heads and shoulder up. That’s a winner’s posture.

Play Ball!

All of this takes practice, both for body and mind. It’s nothing that happens overnight. And it’s not for just 9U Select Baseball teams. It’s for all of us. For life. Share as you see fit.

How I wish I could have been stronger willed as a kid. The bullies would not have stood a chance. During my entire 7th grade, no one would speak to me. A nun confronted me about the older girls in choir. She wasn’t there one day and the 8th graders (I was in 6th) were talking. Monsignor Aughney told her about it, she picked me to ask if they were talking.

At that time in my life, I would have confessed to kidnapping the Lindbergh baby when confronted by an adult in power. I wasn’t going to lie to a nun, not with the threat of sin held over my head. I violated the kid code, I ratted them out. When we returned to school, there was a lot of giggling at me, making fun of me. One day, I remember specifically, a boy who later became friends with me in high school, walked after me while barking like a dog. Let’s just say, it was not a compliment.

My face burned. The tears blurred my eyes. I kept walking. He finally quit. I kept walking, all the way home. No wonder I used to stop at the cookie jar upon arriving at home. Sugar was the thing that made me feel better. Well, sugar and listening to music. I’d hide in my room, playing music, (not while doing homework), eat Mom’s Toll House Cookies like my life depended on it, and feel better. 7th grade was pure torture. But I lived. Deeply wounded, but I lived.

Magically, I kept being myself. When 8th grade came around, the classmates all forgot about the narc among them. They all told me, “You’ve changed.” No, I hadn’t. They had. My self talk wasn’t good back then. Fat, ugly, dumb, can’t draw, you name it, I hated it about myself. Teach your kids to be kind and gentle to themselves.

This doesn’t mean sinful pride and boasting. Be yourself. Keep it in you. It works better. You get it. We’ve a few things to do before the noon and the 2 p.m. game. Hydrating is one of them! You do the same if you’re in Nebraska, it’s sweltering already. But there’s nowhere I’d rather be than watching kids play baseball. I love them all! Have a great day, and see you tomorrow! GO STORM CHASERS!

Fifth Step: Always Do Your Best.

Imagine my surprise this morning, as I turned to The Fourth Agreement of the Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz: Always Do Your Best. We think we do, but we really don’t. My dad preached to all of us to do our best. Whatever we do, do it with every bit of our being; homework, building a science project, or as adults at work. Do it to the best of our ability. Why?

Ruiz says if we do our best, we live intensely. We’re more productive (I’m all for that!). You’ll be good to yourself as you give yourself to your family, friends, community and everyone else. It’s in the act you feel good. I can tell for myself, as I’ve rearranged my morning time spent, I’m creating more. I’m getting started on feeling accomplished. I’m getting things done. My stress is less. Yes, I can see the future I’ve been working so hard at for the past few years.

Most people have jobs instead of careers. They are miserable and can’t wait for whenever payday is, welcome the weekend with open arms, and dread Monday morning. During my single mom years, I suppose I was a bit of a workaholic. I’d work for the OT on Saturday mornings. My kids were old enough to stay alone, watch cartoons, and pour milk on their own cereal, while I worked 4 hours from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Once home, we’d start on cleaning, laundry, doing yard work, etc. I miss the energy but not the stress that came with it.

Yes, many people misuse those two days called the weekend. Chances are, deep down, we’re unhappy. The work is dull and boring but we need the benefits. When you’re unhappy, you try to escape; into more work, going to the bar, and the rest of the story isn’t pretty. Sure, I visited drinking establishments; I had to see what the hype was all about. It took about a year for the luster to wear off. I quit going out, looked forward to staying home with the kids on Friday nights, doing laundry, and being grateful.

Once we accept ourselves, learning from each mistake, we develop stronger personalities. We learn to stand up for ourselves. Things don’t bother us. We can say with total honesty of our word, “I did my best.” I can tell you, living a life with chronic pain and disability since 1995, many days, my best is disappointing. No one but me is judging, but I’m learning to know it’s nothing I’m doing on purpose, it’s simply the hand I was dealt at age 43. Yes I’m used to it; I know what to expect. About every five years, I become significantly worse. Part of it is aging, a lot of it is my condition. I remain grateful to God I can still walk, drive, see, and create beauty for my world.

Further, Ruiz tells us when we enjoy what we’re doing, it isn’t work, you’re doing it because you want to, not because you’re forced to do it. Sure, there are minor things required of us to live in society, living with others, we just do them. Laundry, cleaning, mowing the yard, they’re must do’s to live in a neighborhood with others. I consider them to be necessary evils. I thank God I have many nice clothes, a nice home, and we can see what we’ve worked for. The Babe helps a lot. It’s how his mom raised him. Thanks, Liz!

When we are in the process of action, we are living. We are experiencing living fully. Inaction is siting on the couch watching TV. Sure, I succumb to it now an then, but then realize how fruitless that is. I enjoy a good Netflix binge just as much as the next person. I just don’t allow it all day, every day. I can’t. If I would, I may as well cancel my website, my blog, my works in progress, give away all my fabric, art supplies . . .

Ruiz also says when you live, keep your word, never assume, don’t take anything personally, and do your best, your life will be happier, fuller, and reach further into the universe. Who could hope for more than that? What a great way to live.

Last summer, while our friend Lenny was experiencing declining health, I came upon the company, “Live a Great Story.” I have lots of their stickers, magnets, and shirts. It’s a motto I love, and it’s one that makes me remember Lenny. He was generous to a fault, and kept it hidden. He was somewhat of a curmudgeon until he saw a little kid. Then he lit up. At his funeral, I learned what a generous man he was. He lived a great story, that’s for sure. Dang, we miss you, Lenny. It’s so quiet at our table on Wednesday nights.

These four agreements are staying in a handy place. I will refer to this book often. It will certainly help me putting my kid book out and returning to my novel. I have grown to love my life, despite it’s areas of loss. We were not prepared how to live life older, less agile, and less energy. You cannot make a machine out of the human body, to defy it’s limits – whether the limits are age, accident, illness, disability.

We can conquer doubt and fear by learning to take risks – putting your art out there, your written word, your quilts, your creations. It is possible, and probably the best thing you can do for yourself. Art heals. Quilting heals. Writing heals. I believe it’s my purpose now. Write and help others heal.

My schedule is changed for today. The Babe called to meet for lunch. I’d adjust. It’s what you do when there are two of you. Someday, one of us will not be here. We need to enjoy each other now. No regrets. Have a beautiful afternoon, we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Dad with Grandpa Jewell. Had to have been after WWII.

Fourth Step: Don’t Make Assumptions.

How many times have we heard this? Too many to count. Assuming things sets us up to believe wrongfully something is true when it’s not. We all do it. It’s hard to conquer but we have to try.

Miscommunication is what fouls business deals, ruins marriages, and complicates friendships. Many deals, marriages, and friendships end as a result. Do you seem to have that happen a lot? Are you making assumptions? Are they about what others are thinking or doing? If we carry those assumptions without clarifying, we tend to take things personally and spew poison their way. We don’t mean to. It is the result of misinformation. How about we ask the other person what their intent is, what they think, and what they believe? We are most likely way off base.

How to remedy the situation? Ask for clarification. If it is not provided, check yourself. Stop any assumptions immediately. Chances are it may not even be worth your time. Yes, it’s hard, but learn to stop. It’s for your own peace of mind.

Whenever we make assumptions in a relationship, we discredit our significant other without realizing it. If we don’t communicate our wants and needs, thinking they should know these things, we expect them to read our minds. No one can do that. Early during my writing, I asked the Babe if he wanted me to stop because it took so much time. He said, “No, I don’t. I know it’s important to you, so it’s important to me, too.” Wow. I was way off base. I had to ask how he felt to learn that I was operating under a false assumption. I’m getting better at asking, that’s for sure.

Let’s stop creating drama around our assumptions. Growing up, I remember seeing on television and in the movies, a husband was clueless about something the wife wanted. She would tell him, “If you loved me, you’d know.” How silly. We are not mind-readers. The wife would pout, the husband would cower, and ugliness would ensue. Would you want to live like that?

Our different levels of make believe are interesting. My fantasy is different than yours, the Babe’s, and our BFF’s. The only limits are within our imaginations. We can have a very active fantasy life, based on assumptions about a smile from a stranger, a Facebook friend request, and those emails from Nigerian princes. You can pretty much bank on the fact the prince is out to fleece you, and the 20th friend request from “Eric Hill” or “Eric T Hill” is bogus. He tells all the girls their posts are wonderful and your face is beautiful. Won’t you send a friend request to him?

Seriously, watch out for weird, harassing messages. It’s the hazard of having a public page, but being an author demands a public page. Reporting and blocking does little good. It’s exasperating.

But back to the precept of not making any assumptions. Those are some good words to live by. Keeping our word impeccable, our not taking things personally, and not making assumptions are some good advice for all of us. What do you think? We have the Fourth Agreement tomorrow, as our Fifth Step. Get Ready! Your life is about to change, right along with mine. Hope we all get to a happier living arrangement, with good words to spare.

Off to do some work on my children’s book today. I’m e-mailing a copy of the work in progress to the printer for his advice. Exciting! Have a wonderful afternoon, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Be safe out there, stay hydrated.

Third Step: Don’t Take Anything Personally.

Yesterday’s Agreement, “Be Impeccable With Your Word” sets the mood for the other three agreements. Being prudent with your words, positive talk to yourself and others, helps pave the way for you to not take anything personally. How?

Remember, people say negative things when they’re not in a good space, when they feel inadequate, and they try to poison us with their venom. Don’t drink from their cup! Deflect their words, their negativity! Right back at them! Remember, this is not about you. It’s about them.

Personal importance is the place in life where people think everything is about them. And most of life just isn’t about them. It’s about each individual in their own scheme of things. The Babe knows a lot about where I am at on any given day, but he only experiences it through his perception of me. He cannot experience things as me.

If you can not take things personally in the midst of a fire fight, you have it made. Truly. Let them eat their own emotional garbage. This is particularly hard if you grew up in a household with alcoholic, narcissistic adults. It takes more of a conscious effort to not take things personally. Still, it’s about them, not you. This one was hard for me. I’m getting much better at it.

If you react when someone is talking, thinking what they’re talking about is about you, you start a lot of conflict. Conflict over your position on any topic, how they violate you, how you’re too busy, how you think you’re complying with what they want, on and on and on. Back the truck up. It’s not about you. It’s never about you. Why do you think you are so important? Why so defensive? What makes you think it’s about you when probably three people in the room are as guilty as you are. They’re simply solving a group problem. Don’t muddy it up.

When you stop taking issue with what other people say, think, express, and do, you free yourself of a whole bunch of negative behaviors. Envy is gone. Your jealousy and anger are gone, too. Wouldn’t that be nice? You no longer react. You don’t get angry. What a difference in everyone’s life, especially yours.

This is short, but has much food for thought. No, we won’t master these overnight. I think they make perfect sense towards living a better life, don’t you? There will be two more blogs about the last two agreements, tomorrow and Friday. Then I can let you in on a couple things that are pretty exciting. Life is getting better every day. Hope yours is too. See you tomorrow.