Monday, August 15, 2016

Why You Gotta Be Like That?

My daughter told me about this great podcast called You've Got Issues with Anna David. The host and guests talk about trivial things that irritate them and then break those little things down to get to the deeper issues behind them. And that is like my absolute favorite thing to do.

So, today, while driving to the airport with my husband, I decide it would be a fantastic idea to listen to the episode in which they discuss obnoxious drivers because this is one of his biggest petty issues. And of course one that I'm always trying to delve deeper into. "Why do you think it bothers you so much when that driver does that? How is it affecting you?" It always comes down to arrogance and a sense of entitlement, but we haven't cracked why those are such triggers. I'm still working on it. 

I also love to point out to him when he does the very things that enrage him if another driver does. Why yes, I am a complete asshole about 75% of the time. He loves me anyway. 

So, we listened to the podcast, laughed, agreed with a lot of what they said, and then I dropped him off and headed home. Let me preface the second half by saying, I rarely get irritated by other drivers' actions. I get irritated by all kinds of stupid petty things but usually driving isn't one. 

Except this one super-petty thing...

Here's the scenario: You're driving along and the person in front of you is going a tad slower than you'd prefer, so you move into the left lane to pass them. They speed up. Okay, cool. So you speed up a little more. They speed up a little more. And the race is on.

Depending on how enlightened I am on a particular day, I react differently to this. Sometimes, I simply get back behind the car. No big deal. I just wanted to go faster and now we're going faster. That is what happened today, by the way, cause I was very zen. 

However, the other day on the 82 bypass between Elm Road and 46--which is now 65 MPH, fyi, for those of you who didn't know--some douche decided that he was going to speed up as I tried to pass him. Whatever, dude, it doesn't call your masculinity in to question if you get passed by a woman. I think nothing of it. In fact, if you'd been going 70, I never would have wanted to pass you. But you were going 60. SIXTY. 

But now you wanna go 70. Cool. Imma go 75. Really? Your little car goes 75? Awesome.  It's on now mofo. I had to accelerate to an unreasonable speed to pass this car, and as I passed him, he flipped me off...and then exited at East Market. Seriously?? SO...his sole purpose in these shenanigans was to keep me from passing him. What. The. Fuck?

Has this happened to you? Are you a person who won't let people pass you? Never mind, I don't want to know if you are, because it will irreparably change my view of you. But seriously, what is going on here? I don't get it. I just don't understand. I don't care if people pass me. It doesn't make me feel inadequate. I never make any judgments about the people I pass. I simply want to go faster. I'm not trying to infringe on your personal space or emasculate you, I just want to go faster than you're currently going. I didn't even think you were an asshole for one second until you started this bullshit. 

Phewwwwwwww......exhaling all that nonsense out and...

Okay, I'm done. It can't always be rainbows and butterflies (heyyyy, Adam) here, I gotta vent occasionally. Thanks for indulging me. What petty issues drive you nuts? I wanna talk about them!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Uninvited

I had the good fortune to preview Lysa TerKeurst's new book Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely. Lysa's writing goes straight to my heart. She's real. Transparent. She writes about losing her temper, yelling at her kids, fighting with her husband, drowning her sorrows in chips and queso and learning to say no. If you have heard her speak, you know she delivers all this wisdom in the most delightful sweet-as-pie-Southern-belle voice. I. Love. Her.

Her books Unglued, Made to Crave and The Best Yes address issues I regularly pretend to deal with and offer sound advice as well as the perfect amount of, "Me too, sister," to keep readers engaged.

When I heard about this latest book, I couldn't wait to hear what she had to say. I've written a time or two or 12 about my issues with feeling left out.

I'm not sure where it comes from. Being the youngest child and not getting to go along on adventures with my older siblings? Maybe. Being home-schooled and not having many friends? Possibly. Honestly, it doesn't even matter anymore where that feeling comes from. What matters is that I don't like feeling that way and don't want to anymore.

Here's the thing: In the past, if someone left me out, or I perceived that I was being left out, I immediately erected a big wall between my heart and the offending person. Not exactly an emotionally mature or responsible way of dealing with situations. Especially when the slight was more in my head than the other person's actions.

I'm still pretty gun-shy and keep my circle super-tight, but I've been trying. (#4 Always do your best.) And I realized the other day that sometimes in my haste to protect my own heart, I've been guilty of committing this detestable offense against others. Worse, I can't claim it was unintentional because it was totally my intention to keep people I perceived as disingenuous as far outside my circle as possible. I didn't engage with them. I didn't entertain them. I certainly didn't invite them. I left them out.

There's a face...more than a face...a posture that all three of my kids assume on occasion. I tried unsuccessfully to capture it. If you meld the three of them into one: Chloe's sassy face, and P's scowly face, and Lil's slumping body and disgusted face, then you kind of have an idea. Imagine they're melting, disgustedly, but somewhat at their own hand.
Sass. For. Days.
The untrained eye might not detect his scowl. Look closely.

She's melting. Literally.
In this moment of realization, that's how I felt. Kind of like melting into a puddle of self-loathing. Mind you, there are some colorful expressions I'd use to describe my demeanor upon hitting this moment of clarity head on, but Imma keep my language PG, when I talk about LT and her books.

Now, since I've also been practicing making positive changes rather than ruminating over my shortcomings, I simply decided to do better going forward. Stop taking things personally (#2), own my own behavior, step outside my tight little circle and be vulnerable. Let people in even when they chose to shut me out. Remember that the best antidote to meanness is kindness...even when the last thing you feel like being is kind. Be. Kind. Anyways. That's a good mantra.
So, back to Lysa's book--which will surely leap off the presses and onto the NY Times Bestsellers list--and feeling less than, left out, and lonely. Well, if you have ever felt like that, you'll definitely want to check it out. And please tell me: Do you ever feel left out? How do you deal with those feelings?