Early Afternoon Thoughts ~ The Day You Think You Are Too Old To …

When I flew up to Montana several years ago to conduct my Mother’s memorial service, I stayed at her house.  On the coffee table was a book whose title I believe was “Getting Old Isn’t For Sissies“.  As I glanced through the book one statement struck me and has stayed with me since.  Part of the statement is the title of this post:

“The day you think you are too old to do something, is exactly the day you should do it …” 

That has governed a lot of my thinking over the past few years.  I love the statement “I will get OLDER, there is nothing I can do about that.  However, I refuse to get OLD.”

At my current … ahem …. age,, I know that I’m no longer 21, 31, 41 or even 51 … but I have developed a love for life and living that I pray I never lose.  That’s why, when I saw this video today, it really struck a chord with me.  I have admit I laughed and laughed while watching this.  This fellow is amazing and so are those around encouraging him.  He’s certainly not lost his love of life!!!


(sorry that it’s a link…for some reason it won’t embed!!!)

Which got me looking for some of my favorite quotations and some new ones…

Getting older is no problem. You just have to live long enough.
Groucho Marx
The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.
Madeleine L’Engle
Part of getting older is realizing that you can integrate all these different areas of your life, rather than the adolescent mindset, which for me lasted a long time, which says, ‘It’s all or nothing.’
Chris Robinson
The minute you’re born, you’re getting older.
Doris Roberts

This one is probably one of my favorites:                                                                                           Do not regret growing older.  It is a privilege denied to many.  ~Author Unknown

The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.  Doug Larson

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years.  We grow old by deserting our ideals.  Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.      Samuel Ullman

I still have a full deck; I just shuffle slower now.                                                             Author Unknown 

What are some of your favorites?

Dark Matter In Space And Life(2) ~ Late Night Thoughts

There was a slight (?!) pause between the last post and this one (OK ~ I regard 24 hours as slight…in posting time anyway.) However, I had a delay in getting an answer to what was wearing me out.

However, here is where I’m standing at the moment. Exactly how can someone be told what the bitter anger, resentments and “persecution” is doing to them and to those around. How can you show someone – who can not see the examples around them – that things can and should be different.

As I was searching for answers, I stumbled over the answer right in front of me. There is no use “telling” someone what their anger/bitterness/resentments are doing to themselves and/or others. Doing this could result in an enormous argument with denial and even more anger. Instead of helping, it creates more barriers to any change or epiphany to create a sense of what needs to be done.

I would love to say that this is the “WD method of handling people” and market it. However, it really is a combination of a number of ideas that I’ve heard/read/ripped off/been told over the years. In this problem, it involves two parts: 1) the I part and what I will call 2) the directed question part.

Often, when someone has a problem with another person, they tell them so by using a “you-statement,” for example, “you didn’t …..!” While the statement may be true, by phrasing it that way, the listener is likely to get defensive, and begin to argue. They might reply, “I couldn’t because the deadline was unreasonable!” or “You are always pestering me…..!”

Another approach to the same problem is using an “I-message:”

When you interrupted me speaking
I felt angry because
I was feeling unimportant.

While this disguises a “you” statement, it allows the thoughts/feelings of the person to be expressed in a fairly non-threatening manner. Hopefully, it will cause the other person to think and not simply react. However, there has been some rethinking about these statements. (But wait ~ there’s more!) The point of the statement is to get the other person to see the problem from a different non-threatening point of view. However – there is a tendency for these statements to come across as stilted, childish and somewhat patronizing ~for adults anyway.

Situation 1: Mark is yelling at James because James changed the channel on the television from MTV to VH1. Mark is calling James names and telling him to turn it back or else Mark will pound him.

Traditional “I” message:
James says to Mark: “I feel angry when you call me names and yell at me and I want you to stop it.”

The above statement would warm the heart of almost any trainer/consultant over the last few years. What I think it would NOT do is change anything in the situation.

New “I” message:

James says to Mark: “Hey, Mark. Cool out, man. I’m starting to get angry. I don’t like it when people call me names and threaten me. I didn’t know that changing the channel was such a big deal. Can we work this out like friends?” (no doubt a sanitized version of the actual conversation)

(And as a bonus ~)

I thought these kind of statements were easy ~ I was given this example from the Ohio Commission of Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management. I would be interested in answers. Aside from the fact this brought up a huge set of memories (not so pleasant) that, frankly, surprised me.

Jerome is walking to his locker when an older student bumps into him and then begins yelling at Jerome about being stupid and clumsy.

Jerome say to the older student:
(ten bonus points if the end of the statement does NOT involve Jerome hitting the other student or both of them getting expelled/suspended.)

Now, the second part that could be used is (as I said) what I’m calling the “directed” question. These questions are somewhat probing and yet, non-threatening. These are more difficult to phrase. This is actually what I’ve begun to use with the problem I’m facing. I want SE to see for them self what their behavior is doing to them self and those around.

These type of questions take thought and some planning.

—more on this tomorrow (within 24 hours I promise!)

Early Morning Thoughts ~ "But They Made Me…" (part 2)

On Tuesday I started a post on choices and the ones we know we should make — even though we might not want to. What seems to be gaining prevalence is an inability to accept responsibility for those choices. What started the posting was the news report about a major AIDS/HIV organization suing the manufacturer of Viagra for causing people to participate in unsafe sex. My reaction was quite simple – gay or straight, we are personally responsible for the choices we make. We know about unsafe sex, we know that putting our hands through glass will cause cuts, we know that pouring a hot drink into our laps (or our children’s laps) will be painful and may cause burns. To stand and say that someone/something made us make the wrong choice is a weak argument at best.

But what about the subtle choices…the one’s that don’t seem that obvious? This calls for going within, and listening to what is within us – regardless of our belief system. It’s the listening to the inner self that allows more guidance on the subtle choices. I’m not sure that the four outcomes statement we learned in Science class applies to subtle choices:
I know that the subtle choices can cause a great sense of insecurity and unease. And that’s because the outcome isn’t readily known. I have to admit that what I am familiar with can not provide an answer that is guaranteed. And I have to focus on, what is for many of us, unfamiliar territory in making those decisions. Of course, I want to avoid the unexpected and undesired outcome, but there is almost no guarantee that can be avoided … unless,
I make it a guidepost to weigh options carefully – and to listen within as I make the choice.

Listening within sometimes is quite difficult. With all that is around, and all the demands on time, energy and personality…I have difficulty hearing/listening to what is within. To what sometimes is the infuriating small voice that gently prods, softly leads and sometimes merely points. And, alas, it’s also the realization and acknowledgement that the choice I make is totally my own and I have to look honestly and openly at the results.

When I force a choice on someone, or have a choice forced on me – the outcomes are seldom desirable or worthwhile, And quite frankly, if I’m having a choice forced on me, or forcing someone to make the choice I want them to make – it usually comes down to manipulation. The manipulation may be subtle (and usually is) or overt and annoying. However, I always have the choice to no longer “play the game” and usually can make the choice I feel is the correct one. Remember, I’m talking about the subtle choices – not the ones such as a work situation where it’s the “my-way-or-the-highway” kind of “offer.” (Although, there sometimes can be interesting ways to turn those situations.)

A speaker once said that the subtle choices ultimately should fall into three categories:

Good … Better … Best …

Tomorrow, a look at those categories and an introduction to poor Mr. Quimby who has been degraded and made fun of, but actually had the right idea about making choices.

More tomorrow…

fourth illustration – Listening Within by Morte137 http://www.deviantaart.com/view/35250977