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2004-10-01 - 3:15 p.m.

I have this habit of spending a LONG time writing only to get nervous about revealing TOO MUCH in an on-line diary so I delete my entry. Horrible habit. If I didn't have so many kids who I am afraid one day might snoop and read my paper journals I'd write in those MORE. (But is ir REALLY Helpful for kids to read about a father's substance abuse, or a father's OWN upbringing of abuse, or a father's challenge not to be an abuser himself... or of a mother's passive agressiveness, or of a mother's ADD, or of infidelity of a parent... of the REAL reasons for the parents divorce... of a father's mental illness... or a mother's lack of empathy when one is ill, or of a mother's yearning to have a life separate from children? All these things will be FINE for my children to read about WHEN THEY ARE ADULTS... but until then would be destructive!) This journal feels LESS likely to ever be found by someone close to me. Anyway... I did enjoy writing this morn but deleated it all. I then enjoyed reading a few on-line journals I enjoy. I even followed recommended links and browsed a while... Baby now crying to be fed...OK she's attached so its slow typing now w/ the primarily one handed method.... more mistakes, less rambling. To be succinct:
I AM in the frame of mind reminding myself ACCEPT the things I cannot change, Change those things I can. I just pray now for the wisdom to REALLY know which things I can change, which I should accept... and what is neither: that which I can't change, nor can accept as it isn't MY issue. I have long ago come to the conclusion and have lived my life in respect to the philosophy that there are some things not to be accepted simply because I, and those I care for are worthwhile persons deserving of respect: so violence and abuse are NOT issues worthy of even debating about. I always repeat the following mantra to myself and others: Don't take on other people's issues! ITs such stablizing advice. I am at a point (As I have been) where my issues are so clear to me, and OTHER people's issues in my life are clear to me as NOT mine... but now I am challenged mostly with the fact that OTHER outsiders think I MUST address problems which a. either don't actually exist OR b. ARE NOT MINE.... hmmm... what can one do when others feign a reality which is not true? AS a manager of a group home I used to advise my staff "If someone is left with an impression of you... even if it is not based on REALITY.. you can't ignore it, as people's impressions take on a life of their own and they are REAL to the perceiver... THEREFORE... even if they are MISTAKEN, you STILL HAVE TO RESPOND AND DO SOMETHING TO RESOLVE THE PERCEIVED PROBLEM BECAUSE PERCEPTIONS ALONE CREATE A REALITY! " I am now trying to heed my own advice. IN a nutshell.. even if it is based on mistaken impression, a reality has been CREATED such that I now have a WHOLE BAG of POPCORN so to speak.. to deal with.... (Even if it is based on only the fact of one kernal of truth....) I'm trying to absorb this as reality, rather than be in denial about it. Rather than focus on the unfairness and injustice of this... I have to now RESPOND accordingly. Rather than be a victim due to naivity and letting things HAPPEN to me... I have to be PROACTIVE and alert rather than reactive and passively unaware. That's the hard part: Is listening to the advice of others wise, or is it too passive when my instincts tell me otherwise? I have conflicting feelings regarding moving forward and that is in part due to the fact that ONLY I know what the reality REALLY is about my life, and in the end IT JUST DOESN"T MATTER... as the PERCEPTIONS of others has created something I have to now respond to. I am struggling as to whether I just respond to the INVENTED LA LA LAND... as it's been created, or whether I fight to present the REALITY as I REALLY KNOW IT. My advice when I was a manager was to CHANGE behavior so that the perception changes. Well that's easy in the work scenario where one employee is upset as another is "ALWAYS VERY LATE"... even if the offending employee is only late by 5 minutes once a week.... if they make a HUGE effort to NOT be late at all, or make an specific effort to communicate to the other employee about WHY and APOLOGIZE to the person upset by that behavior when they ARE late, and acknowledge they have a problem and are working on it... then the tension and discontent of the employee often is diffused and problem resolved. That's an EASY example... either be on time, or communicate more clearly if you can't be on time on occassion and thus w/ commnuicaton there is tolerence and understanding. In my personal situation now, the popcorn kernel which is at issue ISN"T EVEN MINE!! I ALREADY RESPONDED TO IT AS STRONGLY AS REASONABLY POSSIBLE! So I'm left at a dilemma of not SEEING MUCH ELSE I CAN DO! I THINK THE ONLY OTHER POSSIBLE course of my action which was suggested was NOt REASONABLE... based on the kernal... but HIGHLY REASONABLE AND UNEQIVOCABLY THE ONLY RATIONAL THING TO DO IF IN FACT THERE WERE A POPCORN BAG..... but I am left here only with the one smoldering kernal.... Keeping in mind my advice to my employees I now wonder at the fact none of them ever got angry with me when I made THEM do work to respond to the popcorn based on only kernals.

I THINK I just had an insight. PERHAPS THe only way to deal with this particular dilemma is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what I ususally think: Hmmm.. Instead of "Not taking on other people's issues" MAYBE I NEED TO LITERLALLY DO THE OPPOSITE.... PERHAPS ONLY IF I NOT ON ONLY TAKE ON ANOTHER'S ISSUE, but PRETEND IT IS MINE, and THEN ask the other peson to HELP ME WITH IT... MAybe that is the only way to resolve this.... hmmm.... a perhaps brilliant inversion of what intuiively makes sense. But nonetheless it might work. Something like this... intead of talking to the pruported late employee about how they have to assume there is a REALITY that's been created (whether fair or truthful or not) that they are late, as the manager I'd be going to the one UPSET about the lateness and advising them "In order to address your concern about X being late all the time... why don't you Go to X, explain YOU HAVE A PROBLEM RUNNING LATE ALL THE TIME, and ASK THEM TO HELP YOU BY GIVING YOU ASVICE ON HOW TO RESOLVE IT" Hmm..... it is twisted, but just might work. They say one of the best ways to LEARN is to teach someone else.
Hmm... so in this case, I perhaps can PRETEND the kernal of truth is my crap (instead of someone else's) and then I CAN SEEK HELP for it... as if it were mine... and maybe in the course of HELPING, others can learn and deal with the crappy kernal too.... and just MAYBE THEN those who think that the kernal is a whole damn bag of popcorn will be satisfied and stop throwing spices on it and let it alone.
If not, I feel like I'm not only caught up in the bag, but will be eaten up along with it....

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