Saturday, December 29, 2007

Temper & Impatience

This should have come before the new year. I've been trying to write it but I'm afraid I've lost well, the patience, with doing it. Still, even if I am setting goals belatedly, better late than never, right?

I'm working on improving my life in many ways. One area with which I struggle is in controlling my temper. Working on this is the next step in my efforts for self-improvement.

TEMPER AND PATIENCE. I remember it being an issue even as a child. "Watch out! Her face is getting red." It was the outward manifestation of inner turmoil. My temper has been an issue as long as I can remember. I think I've gotten better as I've gotten older, but you'd have to ask my family and friends about that. I try. My resolution is to try harder.

One of the important aspects in behavior control is understanding the situation around you. There are certain hot button issues that set me off. It would be help to avoid those situations that I know will trip me up.

For example: I don't like old people. Yes, I know. With God's grace I shall be old myself someday. My kids think I'm already there. Put me in a nursery full of screaming babies and I'm fine. Put me in a line in the grocery store with a couple of old people and I'm heading back to the meat department looking for the nearest butcher knife.
Mr. W: I'm cooking tonight. Could you stop and pick up some mushrooms and celery on your way home from work?
Me: No.
Mr. W: What? Why? I'll pay you back.
Me: It's not the money. It's Thursday.
Mr. W: What's that got to do with it?
Me: It's senior citizen's discount day at the grocery store. I don't GO there on senior citizen's discount day.

Get my point?

I'm not particularly patient on the roadways either. Couple that with elderly drivers and it is, for me, an explosive situation. There has been a lot of talk here and here about comments Jay Ovitorre made about Congressman Howard Coble. I'm not going to take the time (or patience) to talk about Howard's politics. However I would like to talk about Howard behind the wheel. My route into work takes me past Howard's home and there have been a number of occasions when Howard is driving on the same road, AT THE SAME TIME as me. Whether Howard should give up his Congressional seat is up for debate. As far as I'm concerned he should give up his seat behind the wheel of a car! He is dangerous. (I mentioned this to a close friend of Howard's who said it's not a matter of Howard's age. He's always been a lousy driver.)

Then there are the regular, everyday, inconsiderate folks I like to refer to as "the oblivious people." You know them. They are the people who stop their carts in the middle of the aisle whilst they peruse the shelves. They are the people who stop in the middle of the walkway to chat with their friends, without so much as a glance to see who they are blocking. They are the people who have those dog leashes with the buttons to retract the cord so that when you're approaching them on a pathway, they can pull their dogs in close but instead choose to let you have to leap over the cord while Fido chases a squirrel. They are the people (okay, it's only one person) who stands at the door looking out into the cold rain and says, "Boy! It's nasty out there! I'd hate to go out in this. Would you take this over to the Dean's office?" They are the people who hang up, without apologizing, when they dial the wrong number.

Morons, idiots, and jerks! I'm surrounded by them. But I shall try to suffer them, if not gladly, then perhaps silently.

Damn! I just blew resolution 1 didn't I?

You say you want a resolution...

I always take the time between Christmas and the New Year to hunker down, review my life, get a handle on personal issues, and resolve to make some positive changes. This year's end was a little different. I got quite sick this fall and I'm taking this time to try to recover from my illness; drink more water, exercise, eat better, and get some much-needed rest. This has meant frequent napping. I'm grateful to have the time off work and the support of my family to be able to do this.

I've also spent some time reflecting. What do I need to do differently to achieve my goals? How can I ensure success? One thing I thought might be helpful is if I were to publish my goals, my intentions, my resolutions, so that if you see me not engaging those, you can call me on it and set me on the straight and narrow path I've set forth.

So, today I am publishing my first resolution. Please help me by letting me know how I'm doing.

IMPROVE COMMUNICATION: I resolve to be more careful and more direct in my communication with others in order to avoid misunderstandings. This would include abandoning the use of words like "moron," "idiot," and my personal favorite, "low-life, scum-sucking, red-neck piece of sh**." I also will make a serious attempt to avoid the "f" word especially when coupling it with previous soon-to-be-banned words. I will try to use words to heal not to hurt. I will quit making fun of people by pointing out their mistakes. For example, whenever a blogger misspells something, I will say, "The sentiment is right even if this person isn't bright enough to articulate it in a cogent, coherent manner," instead of saying "F-ing moron. Can't even spell. You can't trust anything s/he says." We all make mistakes and I resolve to look past those mistakes and into the heart of the person.

I will carefully explain my positions, ideas, and beliefs then open myself to authentically hearing other points of view. I will take other thoughts seriously and not say unhelpful things like "F-ing idiot is clueless. How could any intelligent person think such things? I know. This F-ing moron isn't intelligent!" There is a wide-range of intelligence out there and we must support all people no matter how smart or not-smart they might be.

I will avoid sarcasm. I will strive to be more direct rather than making snarky comments expecting people to be able to reach past superficiality and understand the deeper meaning. After all, not everyone is able to make those kinds of deeper connections. I need to be mindful of those who might be confused by what I say.

I realize these are ambitious goals. I hope I'm up to the challenge I've set forth for myself.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Just Asking

Today at the special meeting of the Greensboro City Commissioners a vote was taken to go into closed session. When the members went into the closed session two members who voted against the motion for the closed session chose to not go into the session.

My question is this: How will they get important information if they don't attend the meetings?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

As ye sow.. shall ye reap. Let's try to remember that, shall we?

A Child Learns What He Lives
By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism,
they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility,
they learn to fight.

If children live with ridicule,
they learn to feel shy.

If children live with shame,
they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with tolerance,
they learn patience.

If children live with praise,
they learn appreciation.

If children live with fairness,
they learn justice.

If children live with security,
they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.

If children live with friendliness,
they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Monday, December 17, 2007

This makes perfect sense!

"Guilford County Schools has suspended 14 students alleged to be involved in a fight last week at Grimsley High School..."

Full story here.

So, what we have are 14 kids, out of school, with nothing but time on their hands. This sounds like a well-thought out plan.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Countdown to Christmas: Holiday Tip #2


This recipe was discovered by Bundle of Joy #3 and has become the favorite of this season. It is easy to make.

Oreo Cookie Balls

1 package Oreo cookies
1 (8 ounces) package cream cheese (softened)
1 package of white or chocolate bark

Put Oreo cookies in food processor and process until fine. Mix Oreo crumbs and cream cheese. Roll mixture into marble-size balls and place on cookie sheet. Put Oreo Cookie Balls in refrigerator until cold and firm (about 30 minutes, but it won't hurt to leave them longer). Dip in melted bark. Put cookie balls on wax paper to dry.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Countdown to Christmas: Holiday Tip #1

Is it hard to reach and fill the Christmas Tree stand?

Fill a pitcher with ice cubes. Crawl under the tree and pour the ice into the stand. Any "spillage" is easily picked up.