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.

Thursday Things

It is currently a whopping zero degrees at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. Wow. That’s not the wind chill factor, it’s the actual temp. I’m sure the wind chill would be much colder. Great day to sit, watching Rachael Ray while letting Lexie sit with me while I decide what we’ll do today. It’s the best part of each brand new day. Full of potential. Chock full of possibilities. Ways to make progress. A blank slate, so to speak.

We had a wildly successful Hamburger Night last night at the VFW. It amazes me how many people will brave the cold to get out and join us for a meal. It’s hard to know how many to plan for on days like yesterday. Luckily, there is a full service grocery store across the street, so if we need, there are more fresh beginnings available to create more meals. We were blessed with two families celebrating birthdays last night, and it’s always nice to see the whole family come out. I always think about how loved those families must be. It’s a nice thought.

Our family lives so far away from each other, it’s difficult, at best to get them together for anything. I hope that changes over the next few years. We all get caught up in our own lives and activities and sometimes we forget about those who love us from afar. Hoping we all get our loved ones contacted to share our love with them. Life is too fragile to let it slide. A friend can be gone before we know it. Keep them close. Talk often.

I’m hoping the Babe and I assemble our new bookcases this weekend. They’re about 47 inches high, and 36 inches wide. Three shelves. One will go in the bedroom, one in the Babe’s office. One will be all my books about creating and writing. I have run out of room in my office, and need to get more organized. A part of having several creative hobbies is keeping everything orderly. That’s another area I need to make progress this year. I will be able to access whatever I need for any hobby when it is orderly. It will become a way of life the more I practice. It will be lifelong orderly, as I used to be.

And of course, the time wasted looking through several piles of books randomly placed about the house will be used for creating. I look forward to it! I’m getting started by vacuuming and dusting the bedroom and living room, and finishing cleaning the wood floor in the kitchen. It’s amazing with all the Swiffer products that exist, that the item I like best for cleaning the wood floors is a plain old broom. Nothing sexy about it, and not dashing about like a choreographer.

Have a beautiful day, wherever you are. This day will be what you make it. Make it a good one! Let’s see each other tomorrow. Be safe out there.

We’re Finally SENIORS!

Last night was one of the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Our 50 + 1 Reunion was a big success thanks to the committee of ladies who worked so hard to pull it off. They actually planned an event for last summer. Upon the lockdown for COVID, we couldn’t hold the event. This was definitely worth waiting for!

So that explains it!

The stately neighborhood surrounding the Field Club Country Club was the home of many of our classmates. It was like going home. That’s critical for us. They deprived us of seeing the building we all spent so many hours learning, loving, and how to get along in life. It’s shocking to see the hills of dirt now leveled out to street level. The city is building a new public high school, and it’s going to be beautiful. Trouble is, we’re kind of out there, drifting.

What great swag we received!

Until last night. We were hugging, squealing, and just so glad to be together. I loved the feeling the room had. I’m still smiling today. Facebook is where the after party will continue for quite a while. We’re joking back and forth, commenting on funny things like, “No one is arrested,” “We had a retired police sergeant with us, so we were good,” and many others, too many to note.

We were a class who faced some adversity. We were the first class in the United States to graduate with four years of modular scheduling. Many of us graduated early, six months to a year sooner than the formal ceremony. I could have, I had enough credits, but I didn’t know what I was going to do. Some did and were married, some did and started college early.

Another slight was our yearbook was more like a cheap calendar. Rather than include the school newspaper copies as in prior years, we had a small comic book-like yearbook. It was a travesty! Our Principal gathered us as juniors and informed us we would not be “seniors,” but our generic title would be “upper classmen.” We never got to be seniors. Joke is on the Principal; here we are, Seniors at last!! Cannot take that away from us! Finally, we have arrived!

It was the 60s, and we organized a protest. We had lapel buttons made, with the initials “FRS;” which stood for “Future Ryan Senior.” We’ll show them! It made not a bit of difference. We were never seniors until now, but we did express our discontent. I say we resurrect the pin, only it should now mean “Finally. A Ryan Senior!”

Who could have thought in 1970 we’d be who and what we are today? Who could have thought we would feel deeply for long ago friends who have met their God since last we were together? And who would have thought the fun times could come back so quickly, by suggestion.

Until The Next Time, My Friends, We’ll Be Close To Each Other In Our Hearts