I said what?

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

June 30, 2011

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It was a busy afternoon at my house. Frontier had to be sorted. Eggs and meat were being picked up. My husband was figuring out what was wrong with the Bravada. Levi was dancing in and out of the house, playing with his toys and his new friend. It was busy. Then, I cooked dinner while bringing a print job out as it finished. Talked more. Navigated around the small fry more. Dodged the husband in the kitchen while cooking as he would come in to wash his grease laden hands. Then, we ate dinner. Then it was calm. Then a face appeared through my back door. It looked familiar, but different. The night was such a blur of activity, I introduced myself. Then I blinked. Then I looked. Wow. It wasn’t just a familiar face but a good friend!

How perceptions change.

So, this good friend and I go to the back porch and chat. Our club received a new solicitation from the city, wanting to explore zoning issues with buying clubs. I had emailed back, explaining what we knew of other club problems and how we tried to mitigate that before it became a problem. Thus far, I haven’t heard back from the city. They want to see operations this next week.

My friend was restating how her conversation with her husband went. She explained, “Then, I think of what you say, about making sure we don’t operate out of fear.” She proceeded to explain a brilliant plan of educating and encouraging through empowerment instead of using a knee jerk reaction to guide policy.

I was puzzled. I mean, I know I think these things, but I’m not always sure how much gets out of my head and into conversation. Do you know what I mean? Isn’t it amazing sometimes when people parrot back your words and you sound darn right smart?

Okay. I don’t mean to sound arrogant. I think I’m clever and funny, but so what. I was really just amazed. These words my friend stated, even as she added I had said them, I was thinking that it was some of HER typical wisdom. (Because she’s a smart cookie.)

My mother has done that to me a few times, and my husband did once too. Michelle had this idea or said this thing. Usually, I can’t even remember the incident. I know what they are saying lines up with my values, but with all my wonderful memories, I don’t recall saying specifically in their interpretation they words the parrot back.

I wish we could get more of that feedback — you know, how we affect people, how we touch their lives, realizing we have relevance. Do you know what I mean?

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