18 July 2012

What Kind of Friend Am I?


According to THIS SURVEY at Real Simple, I am the responsible friend:

Congratulations, you’re the friend everyone knows they can depend on whether they’re in a minor bind (they can’t make a child-care pickup; they need help assembling a work report) or have a real emergency (they’re in labor and their husband is stuck out of town). "Pat yourself on the back for being a good friend," says Jeanne Martinet, author of Life Is Friends: A Complete Guide to the Lost Art of Connecting in Person.

"You’re very organized; you plan ahead and you have the ability to get things done," says Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., a psychologist and the author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend. The downside? "You may appear more capable and seem to have more free time than your friends who lead more chaotic lives."

That sounds good ... responsible is a good thing, right?

But what happens when you are not the friend who gives what your friend wants from a friend? Are you still a good friend? 

*If you followed that I am quite impressed*

Let's take me, for example, 'cause ... hello? It's all about me!!!

I am not the friend to look to if you've just broken up with your douche-bag boyfriend, and you're looking to verbally bash him while I cheer you on. 

Instead, I'll likely tell you that you picked him, so there must be some significant flaw in your ability to choose good men.

Looking for that friend to go shopping with?? *shudders* The one who will tell you how fabulous you look in that too tight, too short, slutty looking red dress that you have fallen in love with?

Yeah ... no ...

You'll want to choose a different friend for that outing, 'cause I'll tell you that red dress is too tight, too short, and slutty looking, and if you go ahead and buy it anyway, everyone will be talking behind your back about it being too tight, too short, and slutty looking.

People say they want honest friends - friends who will call them on their shit - friends whose word they know they can trust - but I don't think they really do. Not all of the time anyway ...

I may be the responsible friend, but know this: if you ask me to pick your kid up from soccer practice because it took you longer than you thought to finish up your grocery shopping, I'll make sure your kid has a ride home, but when I drop him off at your house?

I'll tell you how irresponsible it was of you to leave your kid hanging like that.

So, do you want to be my friend??


13 July 2012

3 Keys To Minimize Group Drama


Via tsukasa chronicles
I've spent the better part of the last two weeks cleaning up a mess - a mess that wasn't mine.

In all fairness, I didn't have to clean up the mess. I could have walked away. I could have left it for other people to clean up. Or I could have just stepped back and watched the likely implosion of something I've put a lot of time in to, but I didn't.

I am sometimes loyal (or is it co-dependent?) to a fault. This was one of those times.

I did, however, learn a few lessons and gain some insight.

(1) I should trust my instincts. They may not always be spot-on, but they are usually a pretty good indicator of future performance. I saw this mess coming at least 6 months ago, but didn't realize the full impact it would have should it turn bad. My instincts seldom let me down, especially when they are accompanied by logic and life experience.

(2) Transparency and communication are key in any large-group project. One person was allowed to manipulate the well-being of the large group. A few of us had bits and pieces of information that - had we made the effort to put them together - may have prevented the mess, or at least minimized its impact.

(3) The difference between loyalty and co-dependency is clear, consistently enforced boundaries. When there are no clear, consistently enforced boundaries, everyone gets caught up in the chaos and drama, and it becomes a group problem rather than the individual's problem.

This mess is in no way completely cleaned up. It will take some time, and there will likely be bits of trash found, hiding in cracks and crevices, for months ahead. 

Will the long-term results be worth the work it took to clean up the mess? I don't know, but at least now I've armed myself with an emotional hazmat suit to wear during the remainder of the clean-up.


08 July 2012

Sunday Secret



06 July 2012

I Am Too Old


To be living paycheck-to-paycheck

To be unable to finance even a used car because my credit is so poor

To have to stay "married" so that Cam and I can still have medical insurance

To have to depend on others

To not own my own home

To be working a job well below my knowledge and abilities for a salary I made when I was 30

To have lost just about everything - twice

To make such poor life decisions

To watch it all happen, but do nothing to change it

This wasn't my dream

This is not where I should be at almost 50-years old in my mid 40's

My expectations were much higher

I was fully capable of meeting those expectations

But I didn't

And I have no one to blame but myself*

*Sometimes I just need to get it out of my system - acknowledge that the only person who failed me, was me - and hopefully move forward

04 July 2012

I've Lost My Independence


This blog has always been the place where I could spill the oftentimes incoherent thoughts roaming my brain and organize them into something that made at least a little sense.

I have shared things here that I am ashamed of.

Parts of me that need to change.

Ideas that are unpopular.

Inviting others to pass judgement on me.

Then things changed.

Although I have met some of the people who read this blog, I've not shared my daily life with them.

Until Mike.

It's a bit ironic really - the man who learned so much about me through this blog is, in large part, the reason I feel like I've lost my voice here. No, he hasn't asked me not to write, he still enjoys reading my posts, yet I feel that I need to temper my words if I write about him.

It's because I care about how my words impact him and how my words might impact my reader's perception of him. I never had that concern with husband.

I suppose this shows growth in my character, but I don't like the conflict I feel. I've been proud to share what is my real life on a platform usually reserved for passive-aggressive rants and "Oh my life is perfect" mommy bloggers. This blog was a place that was all of me, not just the parts I wanted other people to see.

This new feeling of responsibility for my words and how they impact Mike has carried over to other topics and people too. I've wanted to talk about some challenges Cam has been facing, but find myself wondering if that is in his best interest. I'm also working on a very public project right now that has my dander up, but because my words could adversely impact that project (and all of those working on it), I've had to keep quiet.

I don't like it, but I'm wondering if it somehow makes me a "better" person ... at least in the eyes of those who might be negatively impacted by my words.