The end of July is here. Which, for most of my adult life has always been a source of surprise and thankfulness. Why? Because for the most part, July sucks for me. Albeit to say; almost every bad, rotten, terrible, awful and crappy thing that has ever occurred to me in my life has happened in the heat of the summer.
Now, with only two days left, I’m happy to see it end.
This should be a time for celebration. A time where I’m excited and happy. Yet history tells me differently and the future is unwritten and unproven. Skepticism is my CODA during this time of year.
I do have solace though. The cicadas chirping in the trees, the occasional well intentioned card, the good vibes from those close to me and of course you. Yes, you, the person sitting there staring at the screen, reading my words and occasionally leaving comments or sending me a text. Those do make me feel better. Make me feel as if the world is not dead set against me or my intentions and goals.
Recently I had a conversation with an elderly gentleman and the topic of how people view one another came up, he said something to the fact “How a person views you is not how you view yourself and how you view yourself is not how you are viewed. That is perception. If you really want to know who a person is, their thoughts, dreams, goals, ethics and morals, all you have to do is look at how their family treats them.” Or words to that effect.
Sounds pretty heavy, doesn’t it? And you’ll never guess what we were talking about… okay, I’ll tell you. Shakespeare. We were talking about the bard and his characters and how he painted different pictures of them in his words.
I should say, this was my first meeting with this man and it was a great conversation. His words echoed in my mind in light of the recent events of this July. Events that I care not to divulge but I can speak in generalities about.
There are people in our lives that we get along with no matter what, then there are those who we occasionally get along with and then, there is a group of people that no matter what you do, what you say or how your actions speak to the contrary, you will always be judged and found wanting. People you will never please or become friends with. People who read too much into what you say, what you do and only see ulterior motives.
I used to care about that third group. But here on the eve of my 49th successful survival of traversing the sun on this spaceship, I am going to give myself the gift of stopping. Not living, but caring about how to win those people over. Of trying tirelessly to say and do the right thing. Of making a concerted effort to express concern about their lives and families when they care little or nothing of me and mine.
I know, this sounds cold and callous. But it isn’t. I’ve expended exponential amounts of energy on people who’ve never even tried to be polite or grant the benefit of the doubt to me.
Please don’t read that I don’t care about them. I do. If any of these people ever asked me for help, I’d be more than happy to help them. But I refuse to continue to go out of my way for them. To waste my time on them by beating myself up over any minor infraction of anything they feel I’ve committed towards them.
Call it… cutting the fat and leaning my life. After all, sometimes, you just have to let people go. If they miss you, or you them, then reassess your decision. I know there is little I can do to change the opinion others have of me and I know there is no way to change their minds in their feelings towards me. So be it.
This is my birthday gift to myself and them.
Have a great week.