Courtesy? Morals?

Today I have been thinking about how the world around me has changed. There is a caveat in that I live in the South (US) and mores are recognized more here. However, it is apparent that having seen, what I call, the “me first” generation there has been a drastic change in how people behave.

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The word “courtesy” has almost disappeared. Language has become coarse and  there is no place where it is not used. Words that were curse words had some power when they were used since they were used seldom. Today they have lost their impact as they are part of everyday conversation. I will have to think of some words to use when really upset like “prithee pox” and “egad.”

Considering others is on the back burner. Kindness is slipping away. I am also interested and amazed how sexuality has become a primary focus. I, for one, could care less about others sexuality. It is a part of life but do we have to consider it the most important thing about someone? There is so much more to a person than that.

Political Correctness has gone way overboard. If you and I don’t agree then anything I say makes me prejudiced and you are a “victim.” There are now more victims than people.

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In addition moral codes have changed to the point that there are none. Everything is decided individually and anything goes. Respect is a forgotten word.

Most of the people who I follow on Word Press are caring and concerned about others. Can’t we spread our concern and courtesy to others? Things are going downhill.

No worry allowed

anxiety worryToday I can feel worry creeping in. We have some problems in the house that need renovating and the cost is very expensive. The bid is not too high but the work required is extensive. I am anxious about the cost and wonder if we should put it off until we can come to grips with it.

It upsets me when I know things have to be done and require spending a lot of money. We are, after all, on a fixed income and retired. As we age there is the possibility that one of us will require care that is costly. We do have to keep that in mind. So spending money always gets me going.

Worry is so useless. It does absolutely no good at all. I am so good at it and can let it undermine any calm. This comes back to what I have said before about changing the things we can and not deal at all with what can’t be changed.

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I will sit down and work on a “do, don’t do” list. Maybe that will help me to get my mind around it. I am determined that I will not let this undo me.

Let go!

letting go 2Sometimes we struggle and struggle to make something work and it just doesn’t. I never want anything to defeat me. When this happens I feel so unsuccessful. Failure jumps in and causes me to show my frustration with whatever I was working on. I hate giving up.

I just have to learn that in some cases I am not defeated. It is not giving up. That is so hard to see. There are some things that we don’t need to succeed at. It may not be the right thing for us in the first place. We can get caught in wanting to fix things that are not ours to fix. There are things that cannot be fixed. This is a difficult lesson to learn. We can continue struggling and get absolutely nowhere.

The prayer from AA talks about fixing the things we can, letting go of the things we can’t fix and most critical the wisdom to know the difference.

Working in the medical field shows you clearly that there are things you can’t fix. I can’t heal the child with brain cancer or stop an illness from progressing. I can’t go home and night and obsess about those things or I will not be able to help the things I can help.

Sometimes it is time to let go and move on to the next thing. We just have to learn when to do it.

 

It’s the little things

Why-I-do-What-I-do-to-Spread-the-Joy-of-Creating-with-your-HandsLately I have an increased love of baking. It has resulted in extra bread at home and the problem is making sure that we don’t eat all of it. I am giving a good bit away and plan to keep doing that. There is something therapeutic about kneading dough. You can beat out all of your frustrations. Then there is the smell you get in the whole house when it is done.

Creating something that works out is a real boost. Just to be able to say to yourself “well done.” There are so many things in life that we can never see the results or have someone tell you it was a good job.

There are a few things that I like to do because they provide instant gratification. One is mowing the lawn. There is something about seeing the neat rows where the lawnmower has been that give me a lift. The smell of new mown grass reminds me of my childhood. My father mowed in the summer evenings when the days were long. As a child I was put to bed early but the open windows in my room brought in the smell of the mown grass. It brought a sense of peace and comfort to me.

happiness-quote-its-the-little-things-in-life-2065I also like making a bed. Just looking at the neat covers when done gives me satisfaction. I can leave the room knowing that it is completed. It doesn’t matter that usually no one else sees it. It is done for me.

Some things that give us pleasure are simple and it is so easy to skip them. Just taking the few minutes to make something look better can boost our mood for the day.

Find the small things that increase your joy. Don’t skip them out of laziness. They can make a huge difference in your whole day.

 

Dinner? Really?

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This is one of the things I saved in a file to enjoy. I once belonged to a group who met once a month. In the beginning we each took turns being hostess and offered a light supper for everyone. Initially this was easy and worked for everyone.

Then the trouble began. One person decided to become a vegetarian. Ok, not a problem. That can be managed. Then another became vegan. That began to cause some serious planning regarding meals. Then whoops! someone declared that they were not eating anything with gluten. Meals became a puzzle to plan. Soon some began to declare allergies to certain foods. That was the end.

We then changed plans and ate out at a place that had many choices. Problem solved.

I have no problem with those who make choices about the foods they want to eat. Each of us has to decide what should go into our bodies but having friends for dinner when there are so many taboo’s becomes impossible. I guess in today’s world we would have to invite people to dinner and call it BYOM bring your own meal. I don’t know any other way to manage all of it!

Cherish those who matter

Life, as usual, throws curve balls whenever it feels like it. My husband has been peaked for several day and now there has been another family crisis. Nothing health wise, thank God, but the usual drama. It is something that can be dealt with and will be but it has brought about some upheaval.

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Maybe, because I am a nurse, if something bad happens but no one is going to die I am ok. Life constantly has ups and downs and we just have to learn how to cope with them. I have found that one of the things that helps the most is having a strong friend/family base behind you. If you have someone that you can count on to hold you up when you are sinking it makes all the difference.

For me, that is why my family and my friends are so important. I work at keeping those bonds strong and it does require work. If we don’t connect with those we love we are making a big mistake. Someone said “don’t let the path become overgrown between your houses.” That’s not totally accurate but close.

cherish loved ones

We do have to spend time maintaining our relationships. It doesn’t matter if they are face to face, on line, mail, whatever. People’s lives are busy and it is easy to get pulled away from those you don’t connect with.

Take the time to nurture the relationships that matter. They are your lifeline.

Finding the center

This week I have been on a bread baking binge. I’m not sure why but there is something therapeutic about it. I don’t use a mixer with a dough hook so I spend time folding the dough. It feels so good in your hands and gets rid of any frustration. I continually learn how to make different and better breads.

I made sourdough with garlic and rosemary, a normal white bread and a breakfast bread with brown sugar and cinnamon on top. I won’t eat all of these but will share them with friends and neighbors.

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It is a process learning what things give you satisfaction and peace. I do love baking but don’t need to be eating all of it. I am also not interested in making things to sell. I just enjoy the process.

I have been working at doing the things I need to do to maintain my peace of mind. Things happen always but we can get through if we have developed habits that help us. The past week have been trying on several levels but I am moving one.

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Persistence is, for me, the most important thing. I can be such a procrastinator…putting things off and not doing what I should. It is so much easier to find something distracting…like watching the Great British Baking Show….than meditating. But if I don’t I suffer for it.

Keeping on track is so important. Keep working at it!

The drought breaks

Today was a better day.  Just lots of errands and some gardening. I hope the problems are past. We have started getting some rain which is terribly needed. Everything here is terribly dry. I have felt so sad for the farmers. So many of them don’t have the huge watering equipment and their crops have suffered. I hope that the rain has been in time for them.

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The weather has been unusual. It has been way too hot for the end of May. It seems to be cooling some now and I hope this will continue. Summer here is long and I can’t get outside for long in the heat. I end up with a very red face and have to guzzle water and take a cold shower. Oh well, this is our home and I love it.

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Now that I have someone to help me I can do more of the gardening I love instead of just keeping up with clearing vines and pruning azaleas. I have grown some flowers from seed that I harvested last year and they actually came up. WOW!

Apologize?

“It is a good rule to never apologize. The right kind of people never want apologies and the wrong kind take advantage of them.” From the TV show “The Orville”

On one level I agree with this quote. The wrong people can take advantage but the right people deserve an apology. Sometimes you don’t know which you are dealing with. When thinking about this I came to the conclusion that if in the wrong I would rather apologize. In some ways the apology is for me and the other person.

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Being able to ask forgiveness makes me feel better. It also shows respect to the other person.  It takes away some of the guilt I am feeling. However, I don’t like to apologize for something I did not do. This is where I draw the line. In my life I have been accused of wronging someone when it wasn’t me. In spite of the fact of my insistence that I was innocent I was never believed. That is hard to live with.

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I just couldn’t resist this one

The other interesting idea is the non-apology apology. Have you ever used this ploy? For example, I might say I am sorry you feel that way. It sounds like an apology but really I am just stating how I feel at the moment. It is however, the truth. This can work if you are in a sticky situation. Most of the time it is taken as an apology. It is one way to end any dispute and restore good feelings.

 

What are your feelings about apologies?

 

Decisions, decisions!

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. Amelia Earhart

decisions-research

One of my husbands favorite things to say is “no decision is a decision.” He believes that we should gather all the information we can at the time and then move forward. To just do nothing is actually a decision. This thinking makes complete sense when it comes from one who spent two years in combat. No decision could kill you.

Sometimes our decision is right sometimes not. It doesn’t really matter. As they say “hindsight is 20/20”. Most of the time we must just gather as much knowledge as is available and move on. We often blame ourselves later when the choices become clear but remember there were things you didn’t know at the beginning.

The thing we don’t always do is to gather information. Yesterday I wrote about irrational decisions. We are so easily swayed by a bias from our life history. Not considering all the options is heading toward a mistake. To see clearly we must know our own sets of bias and be able to push them into the background. It is so easy to jump to a conclusion and not take the time to see the whole picture.

I often have to stop myself from an “assumption” and you know where that gets us. The word “assume” tells it all.

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Decisions are not just about major things but can also be snap judgements.  It is so easy to make up our minds about other people without all the information. We can lose out on some great connections this way.

Decisions may not always be easy and we will make mistakes just don’t beat  yourself up about it. We have to accept our messes and move one. To feel guilty and dwell on them does no good.