It has been a mixture of good with the bad this week. I filed my tax return knowing I would need to pay taxes this year. I found out that there is another position I was supposed to apply for before jumping to a legal analyst position, oh vey. I gotta tell you the place I work for makes it really complicated to do anything and they have 20 different types of paralegal positions. There are no open exams for the position I will now need to apply for and I gotta tell you this whole process is frustrating me. In private I would be a paralegal already because there aren't as many hoops to go through but I would have less benefits and a crappier retirement plan. Choices. But there was good, the IRS accepted my payment arrangement and my work discovered they had been underpaying me for a few months. And above all, I get to spend the weekend with family.
I haven't exercised, I have been eating healthy during the day but then having a huge bowl of ice cream every night for desert (also sneaking in a few Oreo's here and there). My whole body is screaming to go for a run or take a walk or anything but sit at a desk staring at a computer screen or hovering over a legal document circling errors that need to be corrected or holding a phone to my ear discussing how to file something with a court clerk while also emailing a quick response to a question an attorney asked me. But I only have a few more hours left before I can finally enjoy some family time this weekend and I am really looking forward to laughing and dying eggs with the best kids around (my niece and nephew of course).
But before I go back to surviving this Friday, I wanted to discuss something that has been weighing on my mind a lot lately, kindness.
I have been watching a lot of cruelty lately. I don't know what happened to politeness or smiling but it doesn't seem to exist much. I remember a day when a gentlemen would offer his seat up to you on a bus, instead over the last week I have been pushed aside by guys just so they could grab the seat I was going to sit in, instead leaving me to stand. I don't mind standing mind you, but still, the rudeness shocked me. I see it in other places. I watch it on social media a lot. I have seen a lot of cruel words being said and thrown around. Even though you might later on delete that post, it won't be deleted from people's memories. Honesty, instead of being used as a good thing has become a weapon for some. They use phrases like, "I am just being honest," and seem to think it is a get out of jail free card. Honesty might sting a bit, it might take you back a bit but it shouldn't all out assault you with a cold hard slap across the face. And if it does you should be able to say that to someone without it turning into a HUGE war.
I am not a big fan of being cruel, whether that is intentionally leaving someone out of an event because you want to hurt their feelings (then posting pics of it and tagging a mutual friend/family member) or holding forgiveness over someone's head even after they have tried very hard to deal with a simple disagreement or using honesty to hurt others feelings or thinking that your opinion is always right or grabbing the last seat or even slamming a door in someones face because you didn't hold it open for them. I have a hard time swallowing those things and often have to bite down on my tongue to keep from saying anything. Some battles aren't worth it. Some people aren't worth it. Some people that is just who they are. They are angry, they are aggressive, they are fighting a battle against themselves and taking it out on the world. I do get it because I was there once, really angry and really bitter.
On the radio this morning I was listening to an announcer worry about if she should tell her friend to ditch a relationship or not. I agreed with the majority who thought that people aren't usually grateful for that kind of advice. So often we think our opinion is the only one that matters. It isn't. There are things that happen behind closed doors that even our closest friends don't know about and that is okay, we all need some sort of privacy. I think there is a gentle way of mentioning that something might not be right but full out right stepping into a relationship when someone is not being beaten or hurt in someway, well I think that is stepping over a line. We often want to give our advice without being asked and I find it better to be asked or to share a personal story, most people just want to be heard or to know you understand what is going on. Empathy. You can't try to fix someones problem for them and when they get frustrated at you for stepping over a line, then proceed to get angry. They needed a shoulder, not for you to put on a cape and play hero.
Humans like empathy. I like knowing that I am heard. Why do you think I write about my struggles with PCOS and weight loss? I wanted a place to be heard and I wanted other women with my condition to know there was someone who understands. I know blogging about infertility or the struggles with PCOS won't fix it, neither will talking to people I trust, but sometimes it feels really good to unleash that burden that gets held inside of me 95% of the time. I love advice as well. I ask for it. Nothing makes me happier than sitting down with someone I trust, some good food and a glass of wine to talk about EVERYTHING and get some great advice. But I ask for it. Some people don't and don't want it.
I know that maybe my actions have probably seemed unkind to some. I know that I have probably hurt people with my thoughtless words, especially in the past, especially when I was just learning to cope with my health condition, graduate college, gain a career and battle infertility. I don't do transitions well and there was a period of time I am sure I wasn't a great person to be around. I was also battling huge amounts of anxiety, severe anemia and raging PCOS symptoms, I wasn't comfortable in my own skin and that will make you angry. But I have worked hard to change that in the last year. I try to be understanding when it comes to unkindness. I really try to see things from others perspective, walk a bit in their shoes. I try to think before I say something to someone and worry endlessly on how to phrase things just right. I am guilty of judging. I am guilty of judging a situation before I have the full story. But I am not guilty of being cruel, I don't believe in being cruel and then being unapologetic about being cruel, that is the worst. I don't believe in using my health condition as an excuse to be cruel. I don't believe in being cruel because you didn't agree with how someone handled a situation. I believe in apologies, I believe in moving on, I believe in talking to that person, I believe in giving chances and I believe if you try your best every single day, that is what matters the most. Your intentions.
I have to tell you, in my life I have been blessed with amazing kindness. I have had dear friends that have given me help when I needed it the most. I have shoulders I can cry on and people I can have amazing dinners with. I remember moments when I was having a bad day and a complete stranger held a door open for me, making me smile or even complimented my shoes or dress. It made a difference. It changed my day around. How we treat people when they are in their most fragile state, that makes a very lasting impression. I am thankful and grateful for the amazing people in my life each and every day. The people that share their kids with me because I can't have my own or loaned me money when I wasn't sure how I was going to pay my rent or the one's that have wiped my tears as I finally faced infertility or gave me a couch to sleep on or brought me ice cream when my husband left for 9 months of training or even came out and looked at the horrible noise my muffler was making (and that was after we had just gotten in a huge argument) or even the coworkers that have given me amazing advice when I wasn't sure what I was doing. Those memories I hold unto for dear life on the bad days.
So that is what my random Friday post is about, kindness. I wish I could have written about my great workout week or awesome eating or even given you some new research I found on PCOS, but it has been one of THOSE weeks, so you will have to forgive me. Instead make that phone call, reach out to that friend you fought with over something stupid and don't type that nasty statues update. Remember that people have to be nourished, relationships need to be cherished and you have to give as much as you get in order for it to be healthy. It can't always be one sided, you can't make the other person do all of the work, or always be the judgmental one or always be the one who needs something or the one who makes all the plans or the one who is always to blame, sometimes you have to be the shoulder to cry on, the one who calls to make plans, the one who reaches out a hand when someone needs it the most or the one who says I am sorry and I was wrong. Our actions matter. So this Friday, today, like me, even if you have had a rough week, even if you are at the end of your rope, even if you are exhausted, choose kindness.