I Walk The Line

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt from 03/27/15: “I Walk the Line.” Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?

I am not perfect, and I would never claim to be. I attempt to be a decent human being by exhibiting  honesty, trust-worthiness and the authenticity of  being myself. I am generally liked or disliked because I don’t kiss ass, I don’t do phony very well and I will not embellish or misrepresent myself or my feelings, like many people I know are willing to do. There is no in between. Whatever I don’t say my face will usually say for me. As my dad would tell me when I was younger, “You might as well wear a sign.”  I don’t like to be lied to and, in my work, lying to people gets you in trouble as it does in real life –  people remember what you said or promised and will call you on it, leaving you discredited and untrusted. Over the years as I have matured, I have learned that honesty can be delivered with care, rather than with a sledgehammer, and can help someone hear you with less conflict. Sometimes honesty elicits anger from the other person, but also respect for your candidness.

I try to be considerate of others’ time, space and their peace. It would be easy to let my door slam as I come and go from my apartment, but I tend to be cautious because I noticed how aggravated I become when I listen to my neighbors let their doors slam all day long. One thing I don’t tolerate quite as well, though, is constant dog-barking. This will usually cause me to yell out my window, mostly likely on a nice day when not only do I have my window open, but the annoying dog owner also has his window open. I  try to be considerate of my co-workers, as I work in a room with two, soon to be three, people along a hallway with other offices. I take my personal calls outside and try not to shout when I am on work calls because that is all you can hear, and it is easy to get distracted. I try to park my car in the lines. I try hard to be like Boyfriend, who is thoughtful, considerate, organized and caring, though he has been on the receiving end of complete opposite behavior for a good portion of his life from many people, especially his family. He picks his battles and saves his energy for other things, which I have yet to master. You can’t win against an under-handed narcissist…

If you are a friend in whom I can trust and depend upon, I am loyal until you break that bond. Although I am argumentative at times, I actually don’t like conflict and try to get along with people. This is the result of being a kid in a conflict-ridden household with parents who tried to get you on their side. Even as an adult, this continues today, and I get the what-for if one parent thinks I am on the other parent’s side. However, I have experience doing conflict resolution in my work and with co-workers rather successfully. I am better at solving others’ problems than my own. I believe that you should say what you mean and you should mean what you say, and that you can do it without being mean. I don’t always succeed but I try, and try, and try again, even when giving up would be easier. And I don’t expect others to be perfect either, I just expect them to try to be cautious, or considerate or even conscious that their actions affect other… is that too much to ask?

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

It’s a great life if you don’t weaken…

Growing up, I remember my Dad saying, “It’s a great life if you don’t weaken.” I looked up the origins of this saying, and found that it was featured in a cartoon a long time ago, that has been attributed to John Buchan, a Scottish novelist, unionist and Canadian politician, and that it has been used as song lyrics, first by Maurice Chevalier and later by the Tragically Hip. No matter where my Dad got it from, I can relate to it and the words have stuck with me.

courtesy of izquotes.com
  1. I work in social services and have in some variety for the past 15 years. I have worked with youth, family, elderly, homeless, mentally ill and drug addicted people. As I mentioned in a previous post, I like helping people and I am someone who helps other whether I am at work or among friends. This does not mean that my job(s) has been easy, that I have not gone through burnout, and that I don’t have days when I fantasize about winning the lottery and walking away from the world of social services, and work, forever. I try to have more good days than bad, I do the best I can to do my job, and I try to not bring others’ problems home with me, which is a lot easier than it used to be. I have a set schedule now rather than a few set days and a mostly fluid schedule, which means I am usually done with work at a certain time but my day lacks flexibility. I don’t have to take phone calls once I am off the clock, which fluctuated when I scheduled my own appointments and was trying to get in touch with working parents.

“It’s a great life if you don’t weaken.”

Some days I find it hard to get up and go to work to deal with others’ problems and dysfunctions while I am dealing with stress and dysfunctions in my life and coupled with the reality that life is not getting better or easier for most people, me included.  I struggle with the limited time I have in the evening and on weekends to relax and do things that keep me sane, after I help Boyfriend with daily apartment tasks, such as dishes, cooking, shopping, cleaning, laundry, playing with the cat, and getting enough sleep. Exercise, writing, watching baseball, talking with family/friends and playing tennis are things that I enjoy. The tough thing is that if I take time to write, I am probably not going to exercise, play tennis or do much else, especially during the evening. It’s a juggling act for me, and I know this sounds like nothing for someone who also has kids, but this is enough for me. On good days, I feel like I can do what I need to do, I relish in getting all of my home and work tasks done and I believe that things will, and can, get better.

I doubt that I am the only one who feels this way. Life can be great and yet we all have days when we not only weaken but we want to hide under the covers and not come out. I find strength in the support I get from Boyfriend, who has a bad back and other injuries that ail him but he never complains. I find strength in our one-year old cat who loves us and brings us her toy mice in the night, and in the clients who are truly grateful for my assistance. I find strength in my ability to get up, even when I don’t want to so I can fulfill my responsibilities. “It’s a great life if you don’t weaken,” and I try my best to keep going.

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell