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.