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It’s My Blog, and I’ll Write if I Want To

The dangers of making your thoughts public is that they are out there. We all suffer from the human condition, so what was once locked in your head and now available for the peering public eyes becomes peering public scrutiny.

I’ve always worried that I’d piss off a future employer with my liberal lambastes or persnickety opinions on business decorum. Never, never, did I dream that I’d actually piss of the person close to me. So much so that she has now unfriended me on Facebook. This is quite sad.

I feel sorry that her feelings were hurt about my observations. It highlights, for me, a few things. First, given her reaction, it seems to emphasize the depth of shallowness. It’s as if she’s afraid of being confronted by this criticism of not being compassionate enough. So, she has resulted in reactionary tactics without actually trying to talk to me. {ADDENDUM  [1/10] The reaction to unfriending clearly indicated hurt feelings. The existence of feelings negates the shallow interpretation I’ve used. So, what do I mean? Poor reaction? In ability to face and deal with those feelings? Inability to name what those feelings mean? To be fair, I hate being called out when I think I was right about something. What I really don’t understand though, is how she felt justified in that judgment. So, I pontificate still.}

I know it was the wrong forum for all of this. But, we’re miles apart and our relationship has devolved into characters on screens. So, that’s the mode of communication we’ve used for years. And, some things you can let go. Some things you can hold your tongue and not say anything. But, I couldn’t on that. I couldn’t on those two occasions.

I was embarrassed that I knew her. Embarrassed that this level of shallowness was exhibited by someone close to me. I realized, I am no longer proud of her. I used to be. I used to be proud of her triumph, her persistence, and most importantly – her compassion. She used to chide me on my lack of compassion and understanding. It’s ironic the tables have turned.

And, that I couldn’t let go.

So, I used the medium we’ve been using for years. This public forum. Facebook to blog — it’s all out there.

Sure, I anonymized it. I tried to give just enough details to give credibility to her side, but few enough that it wasn’t obvious to the casual observer. To her, though, she knew. She knew it was her that I was talking about, in public, on my blog.

I feel terrible that she’s this pissed off. Harboring all that anger and hurt does no one any good.

But, it’s my blog.

I have to write. I have to write to make sense of it all. And, I really wanted the question of proper etiquette out there. I get a range of 2 – 60 page views a day. I gather most of these views are robots, and about 10 are people in Portland. Occasionally  I can narrow down IP addresses to make estimates on friends or family. But, that’s rare.

So, I thought my blog was private. I figured she never read it.

Then, I made a reference to it in a post. I didn’t know she’d click on it, AND then the subsequent posts that lead her to the One. Am I that naïve?

Maybe when I’m older and wiser I’ll admit that keeping up this forum was childish and churlish. I am actually fearful of the lesson that is waiting to smack me in the face of all of this. The last time we didn’t talk was followed by tragedy so deep, it never let’s go.

But, for now, I’m holding steadfast that this is my blog, and I’ll write if I want to. I will do what is necessary to protect anonymity. But I will write about this human condition. I will write about these relationships we let turn sour. I will write about the mending. I will write. I will write because I have to. And, this is my piece of sanity.

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Tuesday, January 8th

Today we had a riveting day at the dentist and a stop at the library. Dinner time was accompanied by Minecraft for the second night in a row. The ADHD book I’m reading encourages BIG rewards for good behavior. And, our little pickle has been great at school for the last two days. It feels like bribery, which you get versed in as parents, instead of simply expecting good behavior. We’ll see.

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Monday, January 7th

I sat down to write last night. But, the boys were up, and home. And, I got distracted. Then, we watched Sherlock. And then I folded laundry during Portlandia (season 1, on disc, thank you Library). And, then I was too tired.

So, I resolved to take a photo a day to at least capture, pictorially, what has occurred. And, then, yesterday, I forgot to do that.

A few days ago, I posted about the quirks of working relationships. I tried to discuss this dichotomy in chemistry between people. It’s as if there are two types – those you get a long with and those you don’t. I mentioned it to a co-worker today, and he responded with this anecdote.

A man moves to a town, and sits on a bench. A resident walks up, sits down next to him and asks, “Where are you from?”

The man answers, “Oh from a few towns over. What are people like here?”

The resident asks, “How were they in the town a few over?”

The man responds, “Terrible. Just terrible.”

The resident answers, “Well, you’ll find the same thing here.”

A few days later, the resident was out for a walk again and sees another new man to town, sitting on the bench. The resident says to the new man, “Where are you from?”

The new man answers, “Oh, from a few towns over (the same town as the first man). What are people like here?”

The resident asks, again, “How were they in the town a few over?”

The new man responds, “Wonderful! Just wonderful!”

The resident answers, “Well, you’ll find the same thing here.”

The moral of the story, it would seem, is that I am my own determiner of what chemistry works and what doesn’t. But, I question it with my attempt to be steady and slow to judge (apparently, unless you are close to me, in which case I am quick to judge).

The end.

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Friday, January 4th

I think I’m coming to acceptance about how our son will learn. I hate labels, I hate these boxes we put kids (people) in. I just hate it. But, that’s how we try to understand our world.

And, now, it’s 11:53pm. So, no more writing. Today, you get a picture.

Listening to Grandma & Grandpa read
For Christmas, my mother got Levi a recordable book whereby she and my stepfather read a story to Levi. He listened to this book all day.
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Connections, Chemistry & Conflict

We’re familiar, I hope, with those magical relationships where everything just clicks. You meet. You’re worlds a part from where you are and where you have been. But, suddenly, within a few moments of conversing you realize you have a bazillion things in common and suddenly, you’re finishing each others sentences. You realize that your first impression was ironic and wrong – you weren’t worlds a part – you share the same world view. Your values line up, life experiences line up, and everything just clicks. You connect. There’s chemistry. It’s wonderful. This person may be your best friend or your partner in life, now. That chemistry may have fizzled or stretched or changed – but let’s consider that first amazement.

Are you considering? It’s like all is right with the world. You feel like you belong. You feel like someone really gets you. You feel welcomed. You feel like you have a companion. You feel loved.

Those connections, when they happen that quickly, for me are rare. It only happens once every few years. Most people fall in a spectrum of extremes. Most people fall to the other side of quick chemistry, and there is a semblance of having to work at the relationship. However, you can usually find enough common ground to have productive, fun, motivating conversations. Many of these people I truly admire and love them dearly. We have enough in common, perhaps we’re united by a love of food security, that it propels us to work through whatever differences we have found. And, then, we get used to those differences, achieve understanding, and move on.

But, then, there is the other extreme. The instant conflict extreme. The person, who no matter how hard you try says “Up” when you say “down.” How do you deal with those people? Those people who you’re like oil and vinegar? What’s the break point? If you’re a peer, when do you walk away? If you’re a colleague, how do you manage work? If you’re a boss, how do you deal with this subordinate? If you’re working on an intimate team, how do you work towards the good of the organization while keeping your own relationship professional? If you’re a boss, when you decide enough is enough and there is no amount of moving forward and you have to let that person go?

I’ve met three people in the last few years who identify on that degree of conflict: conflict chemistry. Maybe the relationship started out neutral, then no matter how consistent I thought I was, the relationship degenerates to the point that every time one speaks, the other thinks the opposite. I”m trying to consider how I might do this. But, first I can only consider when I am shut down. This happened today, a few times in a meeting. It didn’t matter what I suggested, the negative aspect of said suggestion was brought up. That behavior kills conversations and fails to allow dialogue to ensue. So, the point might be to get to the heart of an issue, instead it stagnant conversation. The other day, when this happened, I persisted until the other gave up. But, I don’t have always have the patience to persist.

This has happened in earlier working groups with another of the three I’m vaguely mentioning. This person exhibited similar behavior, so for sometime I just thought it was me. But, then I got feedback from others that it indeed was not me – rather the other. This person was consistent in her behavior. She shut down other people and failed to allow people to talk and air their concerns  It was only her concerns that were aired. It fostered such a toxic environment that I thought it was going to break the organization with which we belonged. My own persistence and sharing of stories with friends validated I was not alone and that behavior was not acceptable. Because none of us enjoyed conflict, we quietly stayed the course and the person eventually left. Dialogue progresses more positively without this individual. I’ve heard rumors that her behavior has manifested itself in a new organization. That organization is going strong, so I wonder how they’ve managed to manage her behavior.

The most recent conflict in chemistry occurs with a peer at work. She started as my subordinate, but while I was on vacation she was removed from my purview by someone who didn’t understand or care for the methodology. While she was under my purview I was able to coach and share thoughts – we got a long fine. When I returned from vacation the oil and vinegar attitude began.

I have not questioned it. Maybe that’s the lesson. Maybe I should call out the hostility. I should practice my NVC tips, write it out, and hold it sacred for the next outburst. Call out the white elephant and challenge it.

End free write.

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Wednesday, January 2nd

Today, we’ll have a free write, without a topic. I am going to write. I am going to write. I suppose I have two mottoes for this year. 1) I am going to write. 2) I will think positively.

A few weeks ago, a friend lent me How Full is Your Bucket? It’s a book by Tom Rath, one of the authors of the Strengths Finder and those subsequent books. Dan Clifton had studied, for nearly 50 years, the effects of positivity on health, and has found much anecdotal and surveyed results: what you think and what you encounter matters.

I’ve read through page 60, and I just started the book on the bus this evening. Peppered with facts and stories, in just the first 60 pages, the message is clear: we need to be nicer to each other to survive as a race. Beginning with a horrific story about American Prisoners of War, these men were isolated, relegated, made to feel completely hopeless. The consistent theme that was omitted from their lives was simple support from one another. Their captors successfully brainwashed them into thinking only negative thoughts to the point that a dramatic amount committed suicide, regularly.

So, what does the opposite look like? That’s what How Full is Your Bucket? details.

Well, goal number two for the year is to think positively, and now I have the proof about why.

So, how full is your bucket? How can we be more positive to each other? I need to begin by getting off the computer and paying attention to my husband.