Bending Over Backwards
Linking with Imaginary Gardens for "Open link Monday"
"Suffering isn't ennobling, recovery is." ~Christiaan Barnard
I am not an agile person physically. I could never do a back bend and land on my feet, nor even do a forward roll or somersault. Yet when it comes to the matters of the heart and relationships, I will mentally do an acrobatic dismount off the high beam followed by a cartwheel and the splits. All the while smiling as if it is an easy feat, but inside I will be groaning with pain. It is a behavior that I have acted out for years. So like a heavy oak branch, it is a habit that will not be easy to break.
One night a few weeks ago I had plans to go to dinner with a dear friend of mine. I have been sharing my car with my son who was home with my car and she was going to pick me up from work and then take me to my ride so that we could meet up at a farther location to go out to eat. As I got into her car I realized that she was having a bad day due to a bad phone call, and very much in a hurry to get to our destination.
In her presence of frazzled behavior, I found myself wanting to hurry to diminish the stress that lingered in the air. I rushed out of her car to my apartment, hoping to get my keys and a couple things to head out to my outing with her. Once I got into my apartment in a whirl of haste, I found another predicament.
My son was not feeling well and hoping to be taken to the store to get soup and medicine. Knowing that this would make me late and my friend even more annoyed. I reacted with animosity as I scurried around the apartment grabbing my purse and my keys to head out the door. Of course this made him upset, because I was not going to tend to his problem at the moment, so magically I had another agitated person to deal with.
I dashed in my car with more stress than I entered the apartment with. I was now carrying the load of two people's dismay, and it was stealing the peace right out of my hands. As I drove away, I got the big idea of calling a friend of mine that helps me out a lot. I asked him if he would call my son and take him to the store for me. The friend commenced to call him, but there was no answer. I then asked him to try to text. Unfortunately, that was at no avail. In the process of urgently asking him to keep trying to get ahold of my son, I found him getting more and more annoyed. The next thing I knew, he practically hung up on me.
It had become an eloquent little mess that I could not have planned if I had tried with all my might. By the time I reached the restaurant I had 3 aggravated people to contend with. Fortunately my friend calmed down at the restaurant and we had a nice time, and everyone else eventually got over it, as they always seem to do.
Later that evening as I laid in bed thinking back over the day, I realized how ridiculous the whole thing was. Each situation perpetuated the next. My effort to prevent one person from being upset made the next person mad. It was like a snowball that got bigger as it rolled. Only I was the ball rolling down the hill trying in vain not to upset the scheme of things.
It is funny how life has a way of teaching us what we need to know. I don't need to take gymnastics or psychology to understand that no amount of magic and tricks up my sleeve can keep everyone happy all of the time, but my lifetime habit has been to do just that. Do whatever it takes no matter how awkward or painful to avoid controversy or dismay. It holds good intentions, but usually becomes problematic for both me and those I am related to.