jennythereader: (* I Don't Want Your Morals: I Have My Ow)


Just because people around me act as if they are still teenagers is no reason for me to react as if I were still a teenager.


Since leaving East Lansing I've realized that a large part of why I was so miserable in high school wasn't the way people treated me, it was the way I reacted to that treatment. I let the horrible behavior of a few people make me so paranoid and over-sensitive that I assumed everyone wanted to be just as evil to me. If they weren't being actively evil at that moment, it was because they were setting me up, or because they didn't want to look bad in front of a grown-up, or they had some other reason to lie. If I heard laughter but not the joke, I assumed I was being laughed at. Beyond the paranoia and sensitivity, the other part of my reaction was the classic "hurt them before they hurt you." Not healthy then, and not healthy now.

I have to remember that the odds are good that the half-heard comments and stifled laughter are not about me at all, and even if they are, I need to look at the people it's coming from. Are they people who's opinions I give a flying f**k about? Chances are that they aren't. Easy to say, hard to act on.

Live by the Golden Rule, even if no one else seems to.


I've edited this a couple of times to improve phrasings. I'll probably make further changes. The most recent change was to move the picture from the bottom to the top.
jennythereader: (* I Don't Want Your Morals: I Have My Ow)


Just because people around me act as if they are still teenagers is no reason for me to react as if I were still a teenager.


Since leaving East Lansing I've realized that a large part of why I was so miserable in high school wasn't the way people treated me, it was the way I reacted to that treatment. I let the horrible behavior of a few people make me so paranoid and over-sensitive that I assumed everyone wanted to be just as evil to me. If they weren't being actively evil at that moment, it was because they were setting me up, or because they didn't want to look bad in front of a grown-up, or they had some other reason to lie. If I heard laughter but not the joke, I assumed I was being laughed at. Beyond the paranoia and sensitivity, the other part of my reaction was the classic "hurt them before they hurt you." Not healthy then, and not healthy now.

I have to remember that the odds are good that the half-heard comments and stifled laughter are not about me at all, and even if they are, I need to look at the people it's coming from. Are they people who's opinions I give a flying f**k about? Chances are that they aren't. Easy to say, hard to act on.

Live by the Golden Rule, even if no one else seems to.


I've edited this a couple of times to improve phrasings. I'll probably make further changes. The most recent change was to move the picture from the bottom to the top.
jennythereader: (Default)
I've realized in the last year or so that as a 5' 2.75" curvy woman I have two choices when it comes to clothing my particular body. 1) I can dress to accentuate my curves, or 2) I can dress to blur them. What I can't do is hide them.

So for everyday I try to wear boot-cut jeans designed for "pear-shaped" women. They fit properly at my waist, are snug on my butt and hips, but get looser as they go down my legs. This emphasizes the curves I like, but makes it unclear how big around my calves are. I look for v- and scoop-neck shirts that are loose but not baggy or the wrong length. Again, this draws the eye to the curve I like (my chest), while softening the line of my stomach enough that it isn't instantly obvious how much of it there is.

For special occasion clothes I kind of go the opposite direction. I buy very full skirts and very snug tops, usually in the form of dresses. The full skirts make it hard to tell how much is me and how much is the skirt, while the tops emphasize how narrow my waist is compared to both my hips and my chest.

Unfortunately I do still own and wear clothing that goes against my personal style preferences. Sometimes, I even buy them. I can't afford to replace my whole wardrobe, and when I do shop I'm limited to what's available.
jennythereader: (White Owl 1)
I wouldn't quite call it a nightmare, but it was absolutely unpleasant.

I was at Pennsic, enjoying a late afternoon of hanging out in my encampment. I wasn't camping anywhere familiar, or with anyone I knew, but dream-me was comfortable there.

Over the course of about 15 minutes the sky goes from slightly cloudy to black-ish green, and 2 funnel clouds form over the site as I watch. I hear a huge cracking sound and see a flash of light behind me, and I turn around to see smoke rising from a few hundred yards away and both a lightning strike and another tornado touch down. I hear screaming coming from all around me.

Then the dream jumped forward in time. I'm not sure how long, but it was well after dark.

There are so many people injured and so much damage has been done to the site that in most cases they aren't trying to bring the ambulances to them. I'm with a small group of people walking from camp to camp, looking for injured folks and for wagons to use to bring them up to the main gate, where the medical people are performing triage. And people are refusing to loan their wagons. We're trying to explain how important it is, that it could save lives, but they just won't listen.
jennythereader: (Default)
I wouldn't quite call it a nightmare, but it was absolutely unpleasant.

I was at Pennsic, enjoying a late afternoon of hanging out in my encampment. I wasn't camping anywhere familiar, or with anyone I knew, but dream-me was comfortable there.

Over the course of about 15 minutes the sky goes from slightly cloudy to black-ish green, and 2 funnel clouds form over the site as I watch. I hear a huge cracking sound and see a flash of light behind me, and I turn around to see smoke rising from a few hundred yards away and both a lightning strike and another tornado touch down. I hear screaming coming from all around me.

Then the dream jumped forward in time. I'm not sure how long, but it was well after dark.

There are so many people injured and so much damage has been done to the site that in most cases they aren't trying to bring the ambulances to them. I'm with a small group of people walking from camp to camp, looking for injured folks and for wagons to use to bring them up to the main gate, where the medical people are performing triage. And people are refusing to loan their wagons. We're trying to explain how important it is, that it could save lives, but they just won't listen.
jennythereader: (Blue Fractal)
I was thinking about this the other day, and I realized that when it comes to TV and movies, I have a set of default assumptions I make unless something in the show contradicts it.

1) Movies are set around the year they come out. TV shows air (more or less) in real time. Obviously, this doesn't have to be explicitly contradicted. Clothing/technology/other background elements that are clearly from a different time period is enough.

2) Characters are pretty much the same age as the actor playing them.

3) Characters are the same ethnic background as the actor playing them. I think lots of people have this assumption, which is why casting white actors as non-white characters is problematic.

Those first three assumptions are fairly harmless most of the time, although the third leaves me vulnerable to stupid casting choices in productions adapted from other media. The next couple are not so harmless. I'm trying to pull them into the light and take a closer look at them.

4) Characters are straight. Given that a substantial minority (the last number I heard is 10%) of people are not straight, any show or movie with more than a dozen people should have at least one gay or bisexual character. The fact that I assume any character the writers don't come right out and say is LGBTQ (I think I got the order of the acronym wrong) is straight isn't good because it minimizes the presence of gay people in the world.

5) Characters are cis-gendered. This is a bad assumption because it minimizes the existence of trans people in the same way that assumption 4 minimizes gay people.

I could probably come up with a few others if I tried, but this seems like enough for now.
jennythereader: (Blue Fractal)
I was thinking about this the other day, and I realized that when it comes to TV and movies, I have a set of default assumptions I make unless something in the show contradicts it.

1) Movies are set around the year they come out. TV shows air (more or less) in real time. Obviously, this doesn't have to be explicitly contradicted. Clothing/technology/other background elements that are clearly from a different time period is enough.

2) Characters are pretty much the same age as the actor playing them.

3) Characters are the same ethnic background as the actor playing them. I think lots of people have this assumption, which is why casting white actors as non-white characters is problematic.

Those first three assumptions are fairly harmless most of the time, although the third leaves me vulnerable to stupid casting choices in productions adapted from other media. The next couple are not so harmless. I'm trying to pull them into the light and take a closer look at them.

4) Characters are straight. Given that a substantial minority (the last number I heard is 10%) of people are not straight, any show or movie with more than a dozen people should have at least one gay or bisexual character. The fact that I assume any character the writers don't come right out and say is LGBTQ (I think I got the order of the acronym wrong) is straight isn't good because it minimizes the presence of gay people in the world.

5) Characters are cis-gendered. This is a bad assumption because it minimizes the existence of trans people in the same way that assumption 4 minimizes gay people.

I could probably come up with a few others if I tried, but this seems like enough for now.
jennythereader: (Default)
I've seen a couple versions of this floating around, but this is the one I decided to do. It might take me a bit more than 10 days, because I'll probably only do it on weekdays.

Day One: Ten things you want to do some day.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight qualities you think are awesome in other people.
Day Four: Seven (semi)interesting things you've pondered or thought about recently.
Day Five: Six things you are glad you did.
Day Six: Five books/movies/tv series/etc that you'd recommend.
Day Seven: Four silly quirks
Day Eight: Three pet peeves
Day Nine: Two things for which you're proud of yourself.
Day Ten: One secret plan.

1. How would my life be different today if I'd been diagnosed with ADD back in middle school, when it first started to have a major impact on my life? I don't really want a different life than the one I have, but sometimes I have this urge to kick either the counselor Dad was sending me to back then or the adults at my school. Or both. Somebody should have spotted that there was more going on there than smart, stubborn, and lazy Jenny not wanting to do the work.

2. How can I contribute to the world? I want to find a place to donate my time and/or my money, but there are so many worthy causes out there. Should I pick one or two and give everything I can to them, or should I give a little bit to everything that seems like a good idea?

3. What else can I save money by making at home instead of buying? I've started doing the math and keeping track, and so far the laundry detergent is worth it but the barbecue sauce was not. That's with me valuing my time at the same rate I get paid at work. If I didn't do that, the laundry soap would be worth it by an amazing margin instead of just a noticeable one, and the BBQ sauce probably would have been a deal.

4. Why don't any of the musical icons of my generation speak to me? I'm not even sure who they are.

5. What will I do with myself while I'm at Pennsic? I haven't made it to many classes the last couple of years. Hopefully I'll do more this time.

6. Should I try to go back to school this fall? If I do, where? How many classes?

7. Why do I prefer the male POV so strongly in certain types of fiction? The theory I've come up with is that it has something to do with suspension of disbelief. That is, I know how that works for me, so if the female character's experience strays too far from my own I have a hard time believing in what's happening. Since I don't know what the male experience is like first-hand, there are fewer things to trip me up and throw me out of the story.

[OK. These are probably interesting only to me. But the meme doesn't say the answers have to be interesting to anybody else. :)]
jennythereader: (Default)
I've seen a couple versions of this floating around, but this is the one I decided to do. It might take me a bit more than 10 days, because I'll probably only do it on weekdays.

Day One: Ten things you want to do some day.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight qualities you think are awesome in other people.
Day Four: Seven (semi)interesting things you've pondered or thought about recently.
Day Five: Six things you are glad you did.
Day Six: Five books/movies/tv series/etc that you'd recommend.
Day Seven: Four silly quirks
Day Eight: Three pet peeves
Day Nine: Two things for which you're proud of yourself.
Day Ten: One secret plan.

1. How would my life be different today if I'd been diagnosed with ADD back in middle school, when it first started to have a major impact on my life? I don't really want a different life than the one I have, but sometimes I have this urge to kick either the counselor Dad was sending me to back then or the adults at my school. Or both. Somebody should have spotted that there was more going on there than smart, stubborn, and lazy Jenny not wanting to do the work.

2. How can I contribute to the world? I want to find a place to donate my time and/or my money, but there are so many worthy causes out there. Should I pick one or two and give everything I can to them, or should I give a little bit to everything that seems like a good idea?

3. What else can I save money by making at home instead of buying? I've started doing the math and keeping track, and so far the laundry detergent is worth it but the barbecue sauce was not. That's with me valuing my time at the same rate I get paid at work. If I didn't do that, the laundry soap would be worth it by an amazing margin instead of just a noticeable one, and the BBQ sauce probably would have been a deal.

4. Why don't any of the musical icons of my generation speak to me? I'm not even sure who they are.

5. What will I do with myself while I'm at Pennsic? I haven't made it to many classes the last couple of years. Hopefully I'll do more this time.

6. Should I try to go back to school this fall? If I do, where? How many classes?

7. Why do I prefer the male POV so strongly in certain types of fiction? The theory I've come up with is that it has something to do with suspension of disbelief. That is, I know how that works for me, so if the female character's experience strays too far from my own I have a hard time believing in what's happening. Since I don't know what the male experience is like first-hand, there are fewer things to trip me up and throw me out of the story.

[OK. These are probably interesting only to me. But the meme doesn't say the answers have to be interesting to anybody else. :)]
jennythereader: (Blue Fractal)
These are from [livejournal.com profile] dulcinbradbury. If you ask, I'll give you seven words to expound upon.

future
My vision of the future has always been oddly farsighted. I have a much clearer vision of what things could be like for the world as a whole 100 or 1000 years from now than what my own life will be like 5 or 10 or 15 years down the road. As I've learned more about Attention Deficit Disorder I've discovered that this inability to picture my own future is actually fairly common among people with the disorder, and that it frequently leads to the same sort of paralysis I experience. If you can't figure out what your end goal is, it's hard to figure out what path will take you there, and it's just easier to stay on the one you're already walking. I'm learning that the common advice to "figure out where you want to be, and work backwards from there" isn't very useful to me. What does seem to be working better (if slowly) is to try each day to take one action that will make it better than yesterday.

dressing
Clothing is something I think about a lot more than I think people would guess from looking at me. The way you dress is most people's first clue as to what sort of person you are. I like to think of myself as a fairly interesting person, but the way I generally dress doesn't reflect that at all. I'd like to dress more interestingly in my everyday life, but I'm nervous about how people would react (based on a long time pattern of bad reactions from people around me when I've gone quirky in the past). Right now I'm slowly going through the clothing I already own and getting rid of the stuff that I don't really like. Once I've done that I'll build my collection back up, mostly with things that are a better reflection of who I am at this point in my life.

apple
Apples are Gramma Beard. They're love and happiness and safety and acceptance. They're the pie and applesauce that she made everytime she visited because she knew how much the guys and I loved them. They're the "baked" apples she made in the microwave with cinnamon candies. The smell of apples cooking with spices is the most homelike smell in the world.

ice
I have a love/hate relationship with ice. It can be one of the most beautiful things imaginable, and I love looking at the world after an ice storm has changed it into crystal sculpture. But I hate how the cold makes me feel. The cold that goes along with ice feels like a physical presence holding me back and weighing me down.

spun
When I was a child I could spend what felt like hours on the merry-go-round at the playground, being spun around and around until I was so dizzy the world kept moving even when I wasn't. Sometimes I didn't even bother with the merry-go-round, instead I'd find a bit of floor or level ground that was clear of obsticals and spin until I staggered. My favorite rides at carnivals and amusement parks were and are the ones that spin in multiple directions at once. My body can't handle being spun quite as well as it could years ago, but it's still fun.

pepper
Pepper comes in so many different flavors. Most people only think of it as hot, but it can also be sharp, or sweet, or smokey, or tangy, or any combination. I don't like food that's so spicy all the other flavors get buried in the burn but as long as it's kept below that level pepper is one of my favorite flavoring agents. Ground red pepper or red pepper flakes are usually my first choice when a dish needs a little more zing, and paprika is a favorite if the red pepper isn't quite right.

honor
I had to remind myself of the exact definition before I could write about honor. Of all of the different meanings of the word, this is the one that matters most to me: 8a : a keen sense of ethical conduct : integrity ~a man of honor~. I have my own standards of honorable behavior that I try to live by.

- I don't make promises I'm not completely sure I'll be able to keep.
- I don't lie unless I truly feel that the pain caused by the lie being discovered would be less than the pain caused by telling the truth in the first place.
- I try not to gossip, although the line between talk and gossip moves so much that it's a hard one for me to stay on the right side of.
- I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I've always liked the saying "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity," and usually add to it 'never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by ignorance or thoughtlessness.'
- I try to live by the Golden Rule, in all of its variations. (See the sticky post at the top of my LJ.)
jennythereader: (Blue Fractal)
These are from [livejournal.com profile] dulcinbradbury. If you ask, I'll give you seven words to expound upon.

future
My vision of the future has always been oddly farsighted. I have a much clearer vision of what things could be like for the world as a whole 100 or 1000 years from now than what my own life will be like 5 or 10 or 15 years down the road. As I've learned more about Attention Deficit Disorder I've discovered that this inability to picture my own future is actually fairly common among people with the disorder, and that it frequently leads to the same sort of paralysis I experience. If you can't figure out what your end goal is, it's hard to figure out what path will take you there, and it's just easier to stay on the one you're already walking. I'm learning that the common advice to "figure out where you want to be, and work backwards from there" isn't very useful to me. What does seem to be working better (if slowly) is to try each day to take one action that will make it better than yesterday.

dressing
Clothing is something I think about a lot more than I think people would guess from looking at me. The way you dress is most people's first clue as to what sort of person you are. I like to think of myself as a fairly interesting person, but the way I generally dress doesn't reflect that at all. I'd like to dress more interestingly in my everyday life, but I'm nervous about how people would react (based on a long time pattern of bad reactions from people around me when I've gone quirky in the past). Right now I'm slowly going through the clothing I already own and getting rid of the stuff that I don't really like. Once I've done that I'll build my collection back up, mostly with things that are a better reflection of who I am at this point in my life.

apple
Apples are Gramma Beard. They're love and happiness and safety and acceptance. They're the pie and applesauce that she made everytime she visited because she knew how much the guys and I loved them. They're the "baked" apples she made in the microwave with cinnamon candies. The smell of apples cooking with spices is the most homelike smell in the world.

ice
I have a love/hate relationship with ice. It can be one of the most beautiful things imaginable, and I love looking at the world after an ice storm has changed it into crystal sculpture. But I hate how the cold makes me feel. The cold that goes along with ice feels like a physical presence holding me back and weighing me down.

spun
When I was a child I could spend what felt like hours on the merry-go-round at the playground, being spun around and around until I was so dizzy the world kept moving even when I wasn't. Sometimes I didn't even bother with the merry-go-round, instead I'd find a bit of floor or level ground that was clear of obsticals and spin until I staggered. My favorite rides at carnivals and amusement parks were and are the ones that spin in multiple directions at once. My body can't handle being spun quite as well as it could years ago, but it's still fun.

pepper
Pepper comes in so many different flavors. Most people only think of it as hot, but it can also be sharp, or sweet, or smokey, or tangy, or any combination. I don't like food that's so spicy all the other flavors get buried in the burn but as long as it's kept below that level pepper is one of my favorite flavoring agents. Ground red pepper or red pepper flakes are usually my first choice when a dish needs a little more zing, and paprika is a favorite if the red pepper isn't quite right.

honor
I had to remind myself of the exact definition before I could write about honor. Of all of the different meanings of the word, this is the one that matters most to me: 8a : a keen sense of ethical conduct : integrity ~a man of honor~. I have my own standards of honorable behavior that I try to live by.

- I don't make promises I'm not completely sure I'll be able to keep.
- I don't lie unless I truly feel that the pain caused by the lie being discovered would be less than the pain caused by telling the truth in the first place.
- I try not to gossip, although the line between talk and gossip moves so much that it's a hard one for me to stay on the right side of.
- I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I've always liked the saying "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity," and usually add to it 'never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by ignorance or thoughtlessness.'
- I try to live by the Golden Rule, in all of its variations. (See the sticky post at the top of my LJ.)
jennythereader: (A Classic is a Book that has never finis)
For some reason I've been thinking a lot lately about one of the major messages from Louisa May Alcott's book Little Women and its sequels. The message is basically that you need to find a balance in life between work and play, and it's most clearly expressed in Chapter 11 - Experiments. Here's what I see as the money quote, from the very end of the chapter: "Have regular hours for work and play, make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life become a beautiful success".

I feel like I'm not doing a very good job finding that balance. I get my eight hours of paid work in everyday, but it doesn't feel particularly useful. In theory I'm making a difference to people's lives, but that difference is so abstracted from what I do that it's hard to see. I put in another hour or two of work at home making dinner most evenings, and try to do some other random chores around the house then too, but I'm so drained by my unsatifying day job that all I want to do when I get home is collapse. So most days when I'm done with work and chores that's all I do. I plop myself in front of my computer and proceed to not accomplish anything for 3 or 4 hours. I'm not knitting, I'm not writing, I'm not embroidering, I'm not crafting, I'm not even playing Sims. I'm just bouncing from website to website, reading a little then moving on.

One of the few websites that has really been speaking to me is Down To Earth. Rhonda blogs about homemaking as her vocation, and makes it sound appealing in a lot of ways. There's definitely a significant part of me that would like to go that route. It seems like the days I feel most accomplished are the ones that I spend going back and forth between household projects and personal ones. I go to bed at the end of a day like that and I'm both physically and mentally tired, but feel satisfied, not drained.

I don't know... I said these weren't very articulate thoughts. :)
jennythereader: (A Classic is a Book that has never finis)
For some reason I've been thinking a lot lately about one of the major messages from Louisa May Alcott's book Little Women and its sequels. The message is basically that you need to find a balance in life between work and play, and it's most clearly expressed in Chapter 11 - Experiments. Here's what I see as the money quote, from the very end of the chapter: "Have regular hours for work and play, make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life become a beautiful success".

I feel like I'm not doing a very good job finding that balance. I get my eight hours of paid work in everyday, but it doesn't feel particularly useful. In theory I'm making a difference to people's lives, but that difference is so abstracted from what I do that it's hard to see. I put in another hour or two of work at home making dinner most evenings, and try to do some other random chores around the house then too, but I'm so drained by my unsatifying day job that all I want to do when I get home is collapse. So most days when I'm done with work and chores that's all I do. I plop myself in front of my computer and proceed to not accomplish anything for 3 or 4 hours. I'm not knitting, I'm not writing, I'm not embroidering, I'm not crafting, I'm not even playing Sims. I'm just bouncing from website to website, reading a little then moving on.

One of the few websites that has really been speaking to me is Down To Earth. Rhonda blogs about homemaking as her vocation, and makes it sound appealing in a lot of ways. There's definitely a significant part of me that would like to go that route. It seems like the days I feel most accomplished are the ones that I spend going back and forth between household projects and personal ones. I go to bed at the end of a day like that and I'm both physically and mentally tired, but feel satisfied, not drained.

I don't know... I said these weren't very articulate thoughts. :)

Thoughts

Jan. 12th, 2012 01:52 pm
jennythereader: (White Owl 1)
When I was being evaluated for ADHD last week the counselor kept asking me about anxiety. I told her I didn't really think I had a problem with anxiety.

Later though it occurred to me that could be a question of perception. If anxiety is a constant state for me, would I even really be aware of it? I know I'm usually fairly tense, but what I don't know is if I'm unusually tense.

Is the fish aware of the water it's swimming in?

Thoughts

Jan. 12th, 2012 01:52 pm
jennythereader: (White Owl 1)
When I was being evaluated for ADHD last week the counselor kept asking me about anxiety. I told her I didn't really think I had a problem with anxiety.

Later though it occurred to me that could be a question of perception. If anxiety is a constant state for me, would I even really be aware of it? I know I'm usually fairly tense, but what I don't know is if I'm unusually tense.

Is the fish aware of the water it's swimming in?
jennythereader: (Bernard: *Pace*Pace*Pace*)
I go in for my Attention Deficit Disorder testing tonight.

I'm really not sure what result I'm hoping for.

If I come up positive, that means I have an explanation for why I haven't been able to put my talents and gifts to better use over the years and maybe a way to do something about it. But it also means that my brain, the part of myself I've always been most proud of, has something intrinsically wrong with the way it functions.

On the other hand, if the results are negative it's proof that my brain isn't broken (that way at least). Instead, it leaves me as just a general screw-up.
jennythereader: (Bernard: *Pace*Pace*Pace*)
I go in for my Attention Deficit Disorder testing tonight.

I'm really not sure what result I'm hoping for.

If I come up positive, that means I have an explanation for why I haven't been able to put my talents and gifts to better use over the years and maybe a way to do something about it. But it also means that my brain, the part of myself I've always been most proud of, has something intrinsically wrong with the way it functions.

On the other hand, if the results are negative it's proof that my brain isn't broken (that way at least). Instead, it leaves me as just a general screw-up.
jennythereader: (Professor Cat *)
I started listening to this awesome podcast today. A Way With Words

It's got me thinking a little bit about the quirky phrases that litter my own speech. Most of the time I'm not even aware that they might be odd until somebody asks me about them. Even then I'm never sure if it's family lingo, something I picked up from an old book, or something that is common in Michigan but not here in New York.
jennythereader: (Professor Cat *)
I started listening to this awesome podcast today. A Way With Words

It's got me thinking a little bit about the quirky phrases that litter my own speech. Most of the time I'm not even aware that they might be odd until somebody asks me about them. Even then I'm never sure if it's family lingo, something I picked up from an old book, or something that is common in Michigan but not here in New York.

Grudges

Dec. 6th, 2011 12:44 pm
jennythereader: (Let Your Boat of Life be Light *)
Over the years the idea of not holding grudges has become very important to me. I feel that staying angry about something that happened a long time ago is a waste of energy and time. It's like continuing to eat a food that makes you sick just because someone else forced you to eat it once. I wasted my teen years that way and I don't want to feel like that ever again.

That isn't to say I automatically forgive and forget when someone hurts me. That would be quite a bit stupider than I try to be. What I try to do is to let go of the emotional anger and hurt, while still remembering that this is a person who causes pain. I let the wound heal without forgetting how I got it.

Picture it this way: if you slip on the ice on a particular bit of sidewalk you might get angry at that moment, but you don't stay angry. There's no point to it. Instead, you remember that patch of ice and are careful when you walk on that part of the sidewalk. If it turns out that even being careful and watchful isn't enough to keep from falling then you may start taking a different route when it's an option. That's how I try to treat people who hurt me or others. I limit my interactions with them as much as possible, and tread carefully when I can't avoid them.

I don't always succeed at letting my anger go. But I think it's a goal worth striving for.

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