Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I'll Be Kind Tomorrow

1) Grrr to the general contractor from yesterday's post. If you're thinking of building a house, I know lots of really nice GCs who are professional, experienced, and fair. I'd be happy to make a recommendation or two, and perhaps steer you away from the crooked ones.

2) It's getting easier to feel more positive Man 2 and Man 3. Not so positive that I'm as emotionally invested, but I'm feeling less grumpy today.

3) A call for help-- anybody know how I can get rid of these weird links that are now embedded in my text? Obviously, I'm not putting them there, and I find them obnoxious.

Monday, February 6, 2012

How I Know I Need to Be Kinder

Gentle Readers,

I'm back. Life has been generally beautiful, a tad frustrating, and mostly busy. Oh, how I'd like to tell you all of it, but that would be boring, unprofessional, and a bit whiny. Here are the bullet points, starting with the happy:

* First, I'm still riding a wave of creativity. Mom just got back from a buying trip to Canton, and came home with all sorts of materials and inspiration. Hobby Lobby and Michaels aren't disappointing either. Even though some of my projects fall short from the mark (for example, a toille skirt I made for church and some of the pinterest postings I've tried for myself), there are plenty of other things to inspire. I'm finding it everywhere-- a pair of jeans in my favorite store, browsing at the local bookshop, even food from a dinner party. Love!

* I'm getting back to my entertaining roots. Mum and I are planning an Alice-in-Wonderland-themed fete for some of her friends, and the only problem is there isn't enough time to get everything done we'd like to include. It's been too long since I've held a legitimate party.

* My nieces remain the most darling people in my life. Z has been working on a special Valentine for me, and I'm honored. P came shopping with me on Saturday, and I'm pleased to see her turning into a little Bohemian. We're gearing up for Baby H in just a couple of months, and I can't wait to meet her and see what kind of joy she brings to the Sego clan.

As for the not-so-happy, here are the grumplies, which can mostly be summed up with the statement: People are RUDE! Evidence includes, but is not limited to, the following:

* I've been dealing with the most churlish customer. First he was angry that we didn't get him a bid the same day he sent over the plans. Brother called for some clarification, but this man doesn't answer his phone. I suppose he prefers aggressive emails (nothing passive here). He has continued to insult me via email, and I'd really like to tell him to shove it, or to at least point out it's bad life policy to be rude to the information gate-keepers. He may think I'm simply a glorified secretary, employed mostly because of my last name, but 1) he's selling me short, and 2) someone needs to tell him that one should always be kind to secretaries and assistants, because we take care of the people we like first. Also, I'm rather disappointed in him because there's a part of me that holds certain members of society (that is, members of my church) to a higher standard, because we're taught to be kind. He really ought to know better.

* Another person in my life is leaving my feelings chafed and my heart bruised for treating me like a convenience. No one likes to be taken for granted. Do you ever feel like you're punished for being nice to someone? Oh, I'm not going to pretend there wasn't an ulterior motive-- I was looking for a friend. I'm selfish, I suppose. I thought if I were kind some of that might come back to me. And it is, but not from the focus of my friendshipping campaign. This chap (yes, of course it would be a boy) doesn't seem bothered in the least that I'm unhappy. I told him he was on my list. He said he knew, but hasn't done a thing to understand where I'm coming from. I guess he figured he ought to get out while the getting was good (otherwise known as right after I did something nice, pre-reciprocation).

* Sometimes I get put out because I deal with so many people with an over-developed sense of entitlement. See the contractor above. Also, see a young man I know who was huffy because he was asked to do something, but the request came via text rather than face-to-face appeal. It wasn't me doing the asking, by the way, but someone I care about. Said young man spends a lot of time texting, so I'd guess he's not morally opposed to it (for example, he loves to text other girls when he's hanging out with me), but I guess he wanted it to be a big to-do. Ugh. Pride.

Anyway, enough complaining. When I think about these men, my skin feels tight and my lips tend to snarl. But this will not do. And I know, I should probably just toughen up and be as helpful to my customer as possible, because "he's always right." Likewise, I shouldn't give with any expectation of reciprocation, even if it's friendliness. And as the third situation doesn't really involve me, I shouldn't get bent out of shape. But just not letting things bother me isn't really enough, I think.

The world can be so discouraging-- I know there are really good people out there trying to make it better, and I'm recommitting to being one of those kind. When people are rude, I don't just want to not have it get to me, I want to be nice in return. When someone makes it clear they don't want my kindness, I'll just go spread it elsewhere. Instead of being mad at someone for wanting more attention, I'm going to try to be more understanding. If I can't give enough attention to sate their appetite, then I'll renew my energy by offering attention to another lost soul.

I don't expect my personal quest to change the world in a big way, but I wouldn't mind adding the blessings of being a kind person-- that intrinsic, inescapable feel-good-ness-- to the joy I've been experiencing creatively.