Monday, 3 November 2008

Thank you

cloudy, cool, temps 10

Snow still sticking around...spent most of the day in bed. Was going to just veg, watch a movie, read. But had forgotten that the publisher had sent hundreds of book pages to sign. 600. So I watched School of Rock (hilarious movie - love Jack Black) and signed my name.

Thank you so much to all of you who wrote about my last blog. I want to tell you that we think Maggie is a little better, with the adjustment to her medications, but we also know that might be wishful thinking. So it's 'watchful waiting'. And some healing thoughts. Thank you for all your kind thoughts. Your messages were deeply meaningful to Michael and me. It think it's impossible to overstate the importance, the comfort, that comes with knowing you're not alone.

The other issue many of you wrote about - and chose to email me privately and personally - was the issue of being mocked and belittled. And how hurtful and insidious it is. Again, it was comforting (though perhaps that isn't very generous of me) to know that I'm not alone in that either. How many of us struggle with it? With the guilt of being made to feel we're to blame, or being irrational, or over-sensitive...or my personal favorite - the ones who make us feel ashamed and accuse us of being bullies because we have the audacity to stand up and say something.

Thank you, thank you for your personal stories. I'll be responding, if I haven't already, to all of you. The other thread that ran through some of your responses was the genuine guilt of knowing that after being in a negative, cynical, harsh environment it began to rub off...and the horror of realizing we'd turned into those sorts of people ourselves. I know I've been guilty of that in the past.

When I made a huge change in my life about 15 years ago and decided I was becoming the sort of person I wouldn't choose as a friend, a woman gave me some wonderful advice. And it's simple. And it's something I try to follow. this is what she said.

Choose your friends wisely.

I know I can be impressionable...less so as I grow older, but it can still happen. If I hang around with selfish, self-centred, complaining, entitled, negative people (many of whom are also very smart, fun and funny, bright and full of laughter - very attractive) then there's a chance I'll become like that. If they gossip and say mean things about others, before long I might too.

So I decline that temptation. Now I try to set myself up so that I'm more than likely to be the kind of woman I respect. And I do that by having friends I respect. Choosing to be in the company of women and men who are kind and compassionate, who are tolerant and don't need everyone to agree with them. Who respect a dissenting voice but have the courage to voice their own opinion...not pick a fight, not with a view to swaying the other or debating, but simply stating what they believe. And leave it at that.

And you know what - there are tons of you out there! And I'm so lucky to have found you.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...


So very sorry you had a bad experience on the panel. You have a good attitude that will carry you through this. You have given yourself your own best advice, if that makes any sense.


Anonymous said...

...and I hope your beloved dog recovers to give you many more years of companionship.


hilary said...

Dear Louise,
I've missed your blog the last few days, and am so sorry to find you in distress about your dog. I know how you feel -- I had to make the awful decision for both my cats this past year -- litter brothers and my companions for 15 years. Little white Sass used to sit on my shoulder in front of the woodstove and his big brother, Jasper the ginger, used to bring me small sticks for the fire, carrying them in his mouth like a dog. So I am especially missing them now when I cosy by the fire. Sending healing thought Maggie's way, for what they may be worth.

Also pained to hear about your unpleasant and undeserved panel. Hoping to make you smile, I might mention one "rural direction" you didn't in a previous blog:

"Turn right where the school (or the store, or the post office) used to be. Huh?

Thinking of you and Maggie,


Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Sharon,

Thank you - for your supportive words to me, and for Maggie. Fortunately she seems better today - leg less swollen...we know it is just a matter of time, but perhaps we have a little more time than we feared.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Hilary,

Your healing thoughts are worth the world - thank you. Very powerful and very appreciated. Perhaps that's why Maggie's feeling better.

And thank you for being so supportive and sympathetic about the stupid 'ole panel.

Loved your directions...must use them sometime - I can hear Ruth giving them to someone she doesn't actually want to see.