Refuse to be Passive

Frosty or Gracious? It’s like choose your own adventure.

In Life in General on November 23, 2010 at 10:35 am

Sometimes I forget that people I  know actually read this blog. Yesterday evening I was sipping a chair and chatting with a friend at Wild Earth Bakery and Cafe and she asked me if a person I had written about in a past post had ever asked me about it. I was a little taken aback, as I completely forgot about that blog post, but apparently she remembered it quite well. I love friends like that, the ones who bring up what I’ve forgotten. I tend to forget quite a lot. Occasionally that gets me into trouble, such as the time I forgot to pick up a friend for small group. Whoops. Thankfully she’s completely lovely and didn’t hold it against me. That’s something I need to learn–to show grace in all circumstances. I’m not perfect, so why do I expect anyone else to be? And yet, I do it all the time.

My sister failed to pick me up for work this morning. To be fair, she did text me to tell me she wasn’t coming for our workout, but then I texted her back asking for a ride to work as my car wouldn’t start due to the insane cold snap we’re currently in. Normally we car pool to work after hitting the gym or swimming. Today though, she didn’t check her messages, so I had to walk. It’s -27C outside right now, so I wasn’t thrilled. I now have mild frost bite around the edges of my eyes. As I walked to work I told myself that I’d be gracious towards her about that morning. She may not have showed, but she had given me warning– even if she’d never gotten back to me about picking me up for work. And yet, when she gave me her puppy dog eyes when I saw her, I pretty much snapped. I expect so much more out of my sister than I do out of others, sometimes even more than I expect out of myself.  She’s my sister after all, aren’t we supposed to be there for each other and follow through on what we say we’ll do?

Do you remember the “choose your own adventure” books from when you were younger? You could decide which paths the characters would take and then flip to the appropriate page to see what happened to them? For a short while, they were one of my favourite types of books. Today, I can’t help but notice that every decision I make turns my life into a “choose your own adventure.” Sadly, I often make the bad choices rather than the good ones. Someone once said to me that you don’t get people to change by instilling fear into them, but by convincing them that change is in their best interest–it will benefit them directly. I wonder if that’s not true of our reactions to situations as well? If I snap at my sister, does it make her want to be a better sister? To follow through on a more consistent basis? Rather, when she get’s there on-time in the mornings, shouldn’t I be saying, “Thanks for picking me up. I really appreciate you being on time because it means I don’t have to wait by the door.” Positive reinforcement. More flies with honey than vinegar, and all that jazz. I’m much better at this approach with friends and acquaintances than I am with family members. I tend to hold them to a higher standard, even if that standard isn’t always realistic. Oh self, why can’t you just be gracious to all? It would make life so much more enjoyable.

 

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