Sunday, July 31, 2011

Open To Interpretation

Two things:

1) While at the party I referred to yesterday (which was a home run for me, because I was surprised with the presence of two family members from afar), I noticed that one of the women on the in-law side of things was wearing a brace on her right foot and recalled she'd recently had surgery.
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Intending to kindly make light of her malaise and also find out how her foot was doing on the healing scale, I said, "You're wearing non-matching shoes ..." and was immediately cut off before I could make my inquiry.  The woman put her hands on her hips and said, "You had to go and say something!  Thanks a lot!" and walked away.

I didn't react at that point, save to think to myself, "What was that?!"  A short while later, the woman sat across from me at a communal table and I immediately said, "So, to finish what I was planning to ask earlier, how is your foot healing?"

"Oh!"  She looked startled and a little flustered and I saw realization dawn that my intention had been to express concern as to her well-being.  Then she graciously answered my question, pleased to have been asked.

2) Last night, while at a friend's house playing cards, I commented, as I nearly cut myself on a wayward finger nail, "I need to give myself a manicure ... And I need a hair cut."

To which one of my friends quickly replied, "Well, at least you have hair."

To which I replied bemusedly, "This is true."

I wasn't complaining or whining when I said, "I need a hair cut," I was simply stating that fact as it's been four months since my locks were last shorn and they are decidedly shaggy; not at all flattering.  But he interpreted it as a complaint/whine and responded from that context.

... ... ...

I'm not sure how I could have expressed myself differently in either case, and I'm not going to obsess about it (it's of no import in the grand scheme and besides, I'm dumping it here and letting it go).  It just goes to show that no matter what I say and how I say it, as many people as there are to hear it will be equal to the number of interpretations.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Life of the Party? Not.

So, in a few minutes I need to get my behind in gear to go to a barbecue.  While there will be people I know and love there, I'm vaguely ambivalent about going because the "what's going on with you" spotlight will inevitably shine on me at some point and I'll end up giving them what they want to hear, because some of them just can't handle my brand of reality.  That's where they're at and that's okay for them.

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It's not okay for me, though.  Not at all.  But I'll do it rather than drop a boulder into the center of the pond and face the effects of a micro-Tsunami.  I'm seriously past the point of being anything other than who I am, yet certain people at this gathering will fill certain loved ones' ears with their sputtering until Kingdom Come if I let it all hang out.

So, I'll be a good girl and play nice.  I'll say enough to keep it real and withhold enough to prevent backlash.  I won't be the life of the party, but I'll be there.  For this afternoon, that will be enough.

My Mentors Made Me Do It

First, I want to make it clear that I'm no stranger to blogging, but my public life blog is much more based on my calling in life.  This blog is, for all intents and purposes, my journal.  (Insert put-opon sigh here.  No, louder.  Thanks, that's much better.)

Here's the thing:  I used to keep a diary when I was a young girl; the kind with the lock on it that would not have withstood any kind of forced entry by one of my three brothers.  It was all very Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew.  And I have so just dated myself, but that's okay (see blog name).

In my twenties, I was much more into pouring my heart into poetry; I've got the pastel flower print-covered, lined paper journal to prove it.  In my thirties, I was intrigued by the idea of journaling and inspired by Oprah Winfrey's addication (that's addiction and dedication combined into one, multi-purpose word) to it, plus my talk therapist (bless her; she saved my life) wanted me to use it as a tool.  I just couldn't/wouldn't get into it, in spite of the variety of beautiful journals I bought for that purpose.

Now I'm in my forties, and I have not one, but two mentors insisting that journaling is THE way to get past what is blocking my full-potential growth in all areas of life.  They want me to journal about all the stuff that goes on in my head.

Let me tell you, that scares the living hell out of me, because putting what sometimes crosses my minds into books that the people I know and love could potentially get their eyes on is unthinkable; unthinkable, I tell you!  Not to mention, my hand would totally cramp up and I would go through way too many pens.

Then, it hit me like a hugely cushioned, wafer thin brick that wouldn't do any damage to my head (I need my head, you see):  I could create a blog in relative anonymity and dump my thoughts there; journal to my mentors' hearts' content (and maybe to mine) and do me some good in the process.

That's what this is.  Welcome!