That year, as has been the norm for many years now, I also took my birthday off as a personal holiday. When I returned to work the following day, one of my colleagues said to me, "So, do you feel older, wiser, and more mature?" To which I laughed and said, "What? As opposed to younger, stupider, and less mature?"
I've been thinking about that a bit lately and wondering if I am becoming wiser and more mature. (Certainly I'm older. There's no not becoming that. You just do obviously. But the other two aren't givens, are they?) I'd like to think I am. But then again, it may just be that living and working in this town has so beaten me down, I'm too tired to fight for my voice any longer.
What I do know about how I've changed, and perhaps even "wised up", is this:
- I no longer say every little thing that pops into my head to everyone within hearing. Some comments, retorts, opinions, etc. are best left unsaid, or only shared with a select few.
- I don't have to have the last word. Sometimes, it's just best to let it go and walk away.
- I don't feel compelled to constantly point out other people's quirks, boo boos, mispellings, and flaws. At least, I try not to.
- I've found that when I do focus on the aforementioned, I become judgmental and I end up not liking myself for often being too harsh and petty.
- When others focus on the afore-aforementioned with me, I begin to lose respect for that person. (That's not to say I'm not open to unsolicited opinions or criticisms, but some stuff is just so patronizing and--what was that word a friend of mine used the other day? Oh yes--pedantic and know-it-all, it's tiresome.)
- I don't do perfectionism anymore. Particularly because being a perfectionist means, nothing I do or anyone else does will ever be good enough for me. That kind of attitude is equally tiresome and lacks graciousness.
- Empowering people is not a threat, but a gift and it shows a level of self-confidence in oneself and confidence in others that results in people who want to play together and play together well.
- Life is too short, therefore, I wish to fill mine with love, laughter, and good friends. Toxic people just aren't worth it, no matter who they are or what the setting is.
Photo copyright: Thinker on a Rock by Brian Flanagan, D.C. Confidential (Janet M. Kincaid, 05/07)