Thursday, December 16, 2010

Over-active Tear Ducts and Holiday Cheer

This post is not what I had intended for today, but alas, blogging provides the freedom to post whatever, whenever.
Today, some things really hit home for me. I tell people that I have over-active tear ducts, because I'm an easy crier. Being an easy crier has not always been that easy. For example, I clearly remember my mother telling me to "turn off my tears" when we were fighting, or if I got in trouble. She thought I was faking. Little did she know that I have a condition that has traveled with me throughout my adolescence and now, my adulthood. I'm an emotional creature. Even when I'm watching a movie (or commercial) during which someone's emotions are brought to the forefront, I generally cry. I don't sob uncontrollably, my eyes tear, I feel the emotion presented, and that's usually that. Usually.
Today, something interesting happened. I am secretary-ing today, and early this morning, FFL sent around an email requesting a quick meeting of the secretaries and the coordinators. This meeting only consisted of two secretaries, two coordinators, and the FFL himself. He began the meeting by sharing with the group that he has experienced a lot of loss in his life. Initially, I think everyone at the table thought he was either sick or he had lost someone. He gently segued from this point to share with us how he dealt with these losses. It wasn't until some of his coworkers confronted him that he realized he was closing himself off to the world. His coworkers wanted to help him through his rough time, but FFL had been raised under the "Rock" mantra: he was supposed to be hard, cold, and emotionless. It wasn't until this time that he realized he should welcome help from close friends and family (or in this case, coworkers). He then took the time to personally thank each of us, by telling us how much we mean to him. Although he has a rough exterior, he does have a soft interior.
I was touched that he took the time to tell us these things. Because of those he had lost, he learned that he should thank those around him in the moment, because tomorrow is not a guarantee. He then continued by reading a passage he received:

Everyone Can't Be In Your Front Row
Life is a theater -- invite your audience carefully.
Not everyone is spiritually healthy and mature enough to have a front row seat in our lives. There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a distance.
It's amazing what you can accomplish when you LET GO, or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-going-anywhere relationships/friendships/fellowships!Observe the relationships around you.
Pay attention to:
Which ones lift and which ones lean?
Which ones encourage and which ones discourage?
Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going downhill?
When you leave certain people, do you feel better or feel worse?
Which ones always have DRAMA or don't really understand, know and appreciate you and the gift that lies within you?
When you seek growth, peace of mind, love and truth, the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the FRONT ROW and who should be moved to the balcony of your life.
You cannot change the people around you...but you can change the people you are around! [Choose] wisely the people who sit int he front row of your life. Just because no one has shown up who can love you on your level, doesn't mean you sink to theirs!"

This passage hit home for me for several reasons. The first being that I have always said that I am very selective about who I spend my time with and the people I choose to be around. I don't have many friends, and I don't mind it because the friends I do have were chosen carefully. So, for me, this passage had a personal effect. In addition, with my "plans" for improvement around here, this passage also made me realize that FFL is human. Although he has some interesting idiosyncrasies, and he sometimes approaches things differently, he is, as we all are, human. This helped me to see that the "plan" I have created for my improvement around here, involves my accepting FFL for the leader he is. Even though I am making great strides to separate my personal feelings from my professional position, seeing FFL in this light is helping to move my plan into action. This has helped me to take a step back and look at the way I treat people.

Although this is a somewhat somber post, it is all part of the process. This process is essential for me to move forward and to make necessary changes that will ultimately help me to carry out my other "plans" of action.

With that said, today marks the second-to-last day before the Holiday break. The college will be closed for two weeks, so that's exciting. The only problem is the restaurant is still open, so I suppose I'll have to work at some point.

Who knows, I may post later.

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