Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Loyalty, etc.

The holiday season is now officially in full swing. For many of us that means spending more time with friends and family not to mention cooking and shopping. But I think it’s also a time to reflect on our own priorities and values and generally become a little more introspective. I tend to spend quite a bit of time contemplating what is important to me.

I was given a bit of a push in this direction due to an unfortunate situation with a friend. It has really forced me to think about loyalty, trust and what it means to be an adult. I have come to the conclusion that sometimes we have to understand that loyalties can be tested and friendships can end.

I just wanted to share some of my own beliefs and priorities with anyone that cares to listen.

I believe that friends and family are important. I remind myself everyday just how lucky I am to have my children. I take joy in the baby learning to point to something yellow and proudly announce, “Ye-yo!” followed by enthusiastic clapping. I love listening to her yell “ All done!” when she is finished napping and awaiting rescue from the confines of her crib. I feel Claire’s pain when she tells me that she didn’t get to sit with her friend at lunch and was instead forced to sit with the ‘mean girls.’ Katie makes me laugh everyday with her amazingly quick wit. I am incredibly proud that my sons have turned out to be genuinely good and moral people that will go out of their way to help others.

I believe that sometimes it takes some work to be happy. It’s important to be willing to be happy and be open to all the possibilities that life has to offer.

I believe in trying to become a better person.

I believe in never purposely hurting others, even someone that you think has it coming. I have the opinion that everyone has enough problems. No one needs someone deliberately trying to hurt them.

I believe in learning from mistakes, but not dwelling on them. Learning from mistakes also means admitting that you have made them. There is no upside to blaming others for your problems. Sometimes the only good thing that comes from a given situation is the life lesson you can take from it. If you don’t see your own role and get caught up in playing the victim, then you have taken away the potential for growth.

I believe that sometimes we all have to force ourselves to do things that make us uncomfortable. That’s part of being a grown-up. Years ago when I was in school, I remember being almost paralyzed with fear at the thought of anatomy lab. I was more afraid of passing out and embarrassing myself than anything else. It was not nearly as difficult as I had made it out to be in my head. My biggest problem was not fainting; it was dealing with the fact that the cadavers were once someone’s mother, father, etc. I got through it and those thoughts were a reminder to be respectful.

I believe that it is acceptable to wallow in self-pity for exactly five minutes. Then it’s time to work on a solution.

I believe in having goals. If you don’t know where you want to go, how in the world will you ever get there?

I believe in forgiveness. I also believe that you can forgive but also not repeat the same mistake.

I believe in the importance of being polite and well mannered. I also believe that children need to be taught these skills.

I believe in firm boundaries. I have a clear idea of what is right and what is wrong. I have learned to stand my ground and I will not give on important issues.

I believe in compromise. Not all issues are equally important to both parties. Sometimes it’s important to put the needs of others before your own.

I believe in tolerance of others even if they are different from you and you disagree with their opinions.

I believe that parents should control their children in public places.

I believe that restaurant portions are too large for one person.

I believe that we should be careful about judging. It is incredibly easy to think you know how you would handle a given situation until you are faced with it. As Jack Handy used to say, “Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, you’ll be a mile from them, and you’ll have their shoes.

I believe in working hard and working smart.

I believe in honesty. It’s a lot simpler than trying to keep your story straight.

I believe in loyalty. You never ever screw over your family or friends. Ever. I once told a friend that her husband was smoking dope at work. Her husband said I was lying but I owed it to my friend to tell her the truth. She didn’t speak to me for months but was soon divorced. Her ex-husband continued to be involved with drugs and has been in prison for many years. My friend moved on with her life, got an advanced degree, has a family and is in a relationship with a man she loves. They met through the personal ad that I wrote. I’m really happy about that.

I believe in helping others whenever you have the opportunity.

I believe that children should have early bedtimes.

I believe that the notion of karma is not mystical or magical but just good common sense. Which person is more likely to have people to turn to for help in bad times, the person that lives a good life helping others or the one that is not bothered by hurting others? What goes around does come around. Think about it and don’t forget to pass it along.

I believe in reminding people of their great qualities. We all tend to focus on the negative feedback we receive. Maybe if everyone had more positive interactions, that could help outweigh the bad. The world could be a happier place.

I believe that people have the capability to change provided that they also have the will.

I believe in treating others with respect. I have also learned that there is no hope for being respected when you have no respect for yourself.

I believe Dr. Phil when he says that we teach people how to treat us.

I believe in persevering. My philosophy is that a yes is a yes and a no is a maybe.

I believe in communication. I think that adults should be able to discuss differences without arguing.

I believe in having enough foresight to see the potential for trouble in a given situation and having the sense to correct it before it turns into a problem. For example, a child that wants to eat spaghetti on your new sofa. This same concept is applicable in many areas of life. It is far easier to simply avoid trouble.

I believe that’s about all I can think of.


Sass said...

I believe that's one of the finer posts I've read.

I believe you and I seem to value many of the same things, share many of the same ideas.


aep said...

Amen! I would add...I believe in eliminating drama and negativity from my life.

J. said...

I like your beliefs! And while I think family is important, my husband says, "you can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family." (My in-laws can be pretty nightmarish.)

Lori said...

And I believe that you rock at writing personal ads and have the love of my life to prove it!

Anonymous said...

I have known you since you were what 20. You live your life as you have said in this post. At times you may waver but not for long. As it’s been said you can’t pick your family, but you can deal with the hand your given, you do that well and with in keeping of your values. Values are not something you put on when you need them you have them with you all the time.

You have to own up to life, it is what you make of it, not what is given to you by others. You, me anyone, we are in charge of our lives. Either by the ones we pick as loved ones or friends. Or by the one were born to! At any point we are in charge of how we deal with them. We have to take the owner ship of our lives not blaming its outcome on others.

Krissi said...

I loved this post, have been going thru some stuff of my own lately and it's nice to reflect upon that which makes us who we are and what we believe!

david wells said...

Great post.

I love watching my kids grow and learn as well, it comforts me. And I try to be friendly to everyone I meet, unless they do something to make me mad.

Creative Junkie said...

Wow - this was one post that definitely made me think today. And I have to say, I pretty much agree with just about everything you said, even though I have to constantly remind myself of some of them when I find that life and its problems are getting the better of me.

I'm stopping over from the Comment Club - I just bookmarked you!