To build sturdy and safe structures takes training and practice. I wouldn’t want to live in a house that was built by someone without experience, without help and advice from others who know what they are doing. Likewise, I wouldn’t want to cross a bridge over a swift running river or drive on a highway overpass that was built without trained engineers and skilled workers.
I have never built an actual wall or bridge. Not a wall you can paint or hang a picture on or a bridge over something that you can walk or drive on. But I have built a lot of metaphorical walls and bridges.I have lots of experience with those sort of structures.
I built walls usually because I was unsure or afraid of something or someone. Sometimes they were built because of stubbornness or spite or just because I didn’t want to do something. It took a long time for me to realize it was not a wise or loving way to live. It is difficult to break bad habits and to unlearn unhealthy thought processes and practices. Friends and family can help; often it takes professional help.
Building bridges takes lots of work and cooperation. The greatest hindrance to bridges is pride. Not just the pride of the builder but also the pride of those the builder is trying to reach. Building walls makes barriers. Communication is difficult when a wall has hurt someone. When someone has been shut out by a wall they often become defensive or hardened and in turn they may reinforce the wall on their side. Time and patience may breakdown the wall, but sadly, there are times that can’t be done.
It has been my experience that bridges are harder to build. They take more thought and time and consideration and the help of others. When they are completed and reconciliation happens it is wonderful, but some bridges may have a locked door at the other end. That happens. All that can be done is to accept the decision of the person with the key. Keep the bridge in place and clear of debris and open for travel. Forgive as you wish to be forgiven and move on.
I never put off until tomorrow what I can do the day after. Oscar Wilde
I always have a list of things to-do. Some things like dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, doing laundry, cleaning the litter box…stuff like that always get done every week. Everything on the weekly list is scratched off and the list thrown away. I always make a new list every week because it feels so good to draw a line through the things on the list and throw it away. Ta-da! Done!
Then there is the list of things that need to be done but I don’t like doing them. Like cleaning the floors and rugs. That is a bother because all the furniture needs to be moved and when the cleaning is done it all has to be put back. I think about this chore quite a while before it gets done. But not as long as I think about taking curtains and blinds down to clean them because when that gets done then the windows need to be washed. Can’t put clean stuff on dirty windows. You know that, right? And there is the need to clean kitchen cabinets and the pantry closet. Oh, and let’s not forget all the other other closets. Do I need to add that it takes me some time to start these sort of things? There are other things for this list but I don’t want to think about them.
Now to the reason Monday Musings is being posted in the evening instead of the morning. It’s because last night while thinking about what to write, which is a challenge and takes energy, I fell asleep. Then today, I had to do laundry, and other stuff, then I got on the computer and you know how that is…lost in internet land. That got wearisome, so I went for a walk and that made me hungry so I had to eat. And now, here I am typing away to get this done while it is still Monday.
I have always been something of a procrastinator but I am beginning to develop it as an intellectual art form. This takes a lot of thinking and pondering and wondering and considering…you get the drift. And as to the drift; that often leads to a nap. It is very challenging being intellectual, it takes a lot of energy and can be quite tiring.
It seems I am a bit like Oscar Wilde. But it is still Monday where I live.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou
Friday I went to get my COVID vaccine. I had an appointment but I expected to have to wait and had accepted that fact. The articles in the paper made it sound like getting the vaccine was unpleasant and took hours. Wrong!
I walked in to the building, followed the signs, and checked in. No lines. A woman asked me a couple of questions, I signed a paper and was told to see the man in a blue jacket. He told me to please sit in chair #5. I walked over to the chair and before I could sit down he came over and said someone was ready to see me. He showed me over to a table and introduced me to the nurse. She asked a few questions, gave me the shot and a card noting the day and time and what the injection was. Then she told me I could make an appointment for the second vaccination at another table. I went there and made the appointment and was told to go to the back of the room and sit for 20 minutes and if I felt okay and wasn’t having any side affects I could go. I left in 20 minutes feeling fine.
I was there less than an hour, maybe in part because I filled out the paperwork on line the day I made the appointment. But the best part was the people. Everyone I interacted with was smiling and friendly and they seemed to be genuinely happy to see me. They took their time. They answered questions. I never felt rushed or that I was just a thing they had to take care of and be done with. All the clerks, aides, and nurses were happy people and that made me a happier person.
Maya Angelou was right. I will always remember the people at the site and how happy they were and how that made me feel; happy to be there and to be me.
“For me, losing… isn’t failure, it’s research.” Billie Jean King
In life sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Of course, winning is everyone’s goal and first choice for the outcome of any event or circumstance. However, where there is a winner there is also a loser. That’s just a fact of life.
When we win life is good, we feel good and are happy. Not so much when we lose. Being the loser makes life a bit difficult, and we feel bad and sad or mad. But failure isn’t always a bad thing. It’s all about our attitude.
Often, we learn more from losing than winning. We learn where our weaknesses are and what we need to focus on to be better at what we do. We learn where our strengths are and how we can use them in the future. If we are smart, we learn how to lose graciously, and most importantly, remembering what it feels like to lose…we win graciously.