“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late”
– Benjamin Franklin –
As week’s come, the last one was a monstrosity! I spent every single free second I had on finishing a project, time I now wish I had spent otherwise, but that’s another story. I am already too gloomy as it is, so here’s what I managed to learn in a week filled with chaos (let’s always focus on the positive, shall we?):
During the least fun times you learn the most about yourself
Such a cliché, but so true. That’s what hardship is for: to form personality. My last few years have not been so great. I know I shouldn’t complain, because there are people whose problems outweigh mine by millions, but even so I can honestly say I haven’t really enjoyed my life during the past, say, two to four years. Maybe even longer. But bad times make you stronger, and when you are faced with yourself, all you can do is try your best and learn.
When in severe stress, write out your Worst Case Scenario and adopt a plan
Stress is awful, it makes you act in strange, un-humanlike ways and your brains can get fried by it, not even to mention all the sleepless nights you get on the side. I was under super-stress last week: I had to finish a pub quiz (the project I mentioned before) with two friends, but one of them kept sending me more and more info with only two days to go and the other one was MIA (she was ill, it later appeared). In the end, I wrote down my worst case scenario and went from there. Not because I actually thought it would all come true (it didn’t), but because I couldn’t sleep wondering if it would.
I learned how to use a car wash
Don’t laugh! I’d never gone to one before, as I’ve always cleaned my car myself. But at the gas station I received a discount ticket for their car wash and I thought: why not. I mean, it’s November. It’s literally freezing outside. I don’t want to be out with a bucket and a cloth to wash my car whilst freezing my fingers off. Or my nose. Or both! (Or is that: “or eleven”?).
In the end, it was hilarious. I went with my mother and we had a blast. Until she left to pee about ten seconds before her car was done :’)
You can like someone and still disagree on fundamental topics
One of my new clients is pro Trump. I am not. She is also pro Wilders, the “Dutch Trump” (if I may call him that for now). I am not. We disagree on very fundamental topics, but somehow I do like her. She’s kind, she’s generous, she’s talkative, and she’s trustworthy. So you see, even if you disagree on important matters, you don’t have to hate each other. People are more than their thoughts, they are also their actions.
If others treat you badly it says more about them than about you
There seems to be a new trend in how people act towards me. When I tell someone I don’t like their behaviour I usually get one of these two options thrown back into my face: 1) The Big Denial or 2) It’s Really All Your Own Fault. When someone tells me I hurt them, I try to apologise and usually explain where I came from. I might not be the best at that, but apologising is difficult as is and even more so when the other party has upset you, too, but you decided to clench your teeth to keep the peace. It feels really unfair, though, so I had a nice, long chat with my mother (who else to comfort you, right?), and she told me how people treat you is their problem, not yours. She’s right. I did all I could do to be fair to myself and others, and if I don’t get the same respect in return it’s not my problem. I am not a terrible person because someone else treats me like that. They are. For treating me like that.
Growth is like a really long journey: sometimes you need to take a break and rest before you can continue on
It’s so easy to fall back into old, familiar behaviour. When I am upset, stressed, tired or all of that I find myself back in self-loathing mode, including hurtful actions towards myself. Stuffing my mouth with junk food and candy, is one. Telling myself I am worthless is another. Seeing the world as one dark, evil place with no refuge is yet another one, and I can go on and on and on. And on. I wondered why, if you grow as a person, it remains easy to revert to old ways every now and then. But life, and growth, is like a long journey. Imagine you’re on a road trip: if you don’t stop every so many hours or stop to spend the night somewhere, you’ll end up all worn out. Life is exactly like that: if you want to keep evolving emotionally, you have to take a rest every now and then. Reload, then get back on track again.
My paper is as wise as ever: If you overcome yourself, there are no losers
I think this captures my worries of this week: “What to do with my thoughts? Am I really such a bad person? How do I handle this awkward situation?” The answer is simple: you try your best. And then when you decide to hold back on the lashing out, you know you did well. In the end, you are your own worst enemy. But instead of fighting ourselves, maybe we ought to try to befriend ourselves.
I haven’t apologised yet for not posting a lot last week. Things were hectic and I choose the wrong way to divide my time. So I am sorry for being quiet.
Having said that, I know the future will be hectic and full of changes, too, so I might have to change my posting schedule around. Although I assume none of you will mind ;)
This week’s Earworm is a beautiful song I heard on TV, as background music of a film. I don’t remember the movie, but this song caught me, because at that moment it said everything I was thinking.
By the way: happy birthday to my beloved furry friends!! Even with their “deficiencies” they managed to make it to 2! :