Tag Archives: relationship

Sorry isn’t for sissies

This is awkward.

  1. I can blunder in spectacular fashion at the simplest occasion and yet…today I’m bragging. So un-Canadian of me.
  2. Also if you feel all squirmy when reading this, like your undies have started crawling into places they have no business being, it’s probably because at some point you let the opportunity pass. You know the one where you apologize.

Every once in a while it’s okay to proclaim to the world that you kind of rock at something or bellow from a mountain top if you choose. We dismiss our positives and put more effort into being self-depreciating. Hands up if you do this. My hand is way up.

But not today.

I kinda rock, Part 1 – I am really good at apologizing. And doing it sincerely.

Not for things I haven’t done or said, but for comments or actions which were wrong or caused offense. I try to envision how my actions and words affect others and not hurt people, but sometimes I slip up. And I was taught, by a mother with a backbone, to own up and say sorry.

It’s tough. Like nausea-inducing-get the shakes-tough, but I swallow my anxiety and say that 5-letter word. Because for that moment it’s not about me, it’s about how the other person feels. Because of me. I don’t have to like someone to apologize. I don’t even have to respect them. But I will always have the cohones to face my screw-ups.

* Disclaimer Sorry doesn’t excuse violence, cruelty or vengeance. Also, don’t apologize for things you didn’t do – “Hello fellow Canadians and women in general. I’m talking to you.”

It speaks volumes for the sincerity of your apology when you make direct contact with whoever is hurt by your words and actions. Don’t send a note to Suzie two rows back to tell Johnny that you’re sorry. Man up, grow a spine and call, email or walk up to the person you injured and say it. “I’m sorry.” The satisfaction and self-respect you’ll feel is second to nothing else. That story can then end and you can move on without the niggling knowledge that you were wrong and hid behind your fear.

dsc 01881 Sorry isn’t for sissies

I kinda rock, Part 2 – I’m teaching my kids to apologize.

I will drive them to people’s houses, hold their hands while they’re making the call and have their backs when they are facing the person, but I will always encourage them to SAY it. And you know what? Despite any discomfort, they will do something nice for someone else; soothe another’s hurt.

Saying you’re sorry means living with no regrets. Do it. Say it. And then stop hiding your strengths. We all have them.

Friendship

Two of my closest friends live in different time zones. It makes keeping a friendship alive difficult, but so worth it as I was reminded during a recent visit with a girlfriend who moved west.

When I first met she was standing in her dorm room with mountains of open suitcases strewn around and no visible floor space anywhere. At all. I stared in awe, tried to manoeuver around the heaps with my backpack and satchel to introduce myself, she laughed, and a friendship was born. We met a world away from home, found enough in common to bring us close with just the right amount of differences to expose each other to new ideas.

 Friendship

Wales + University + Small town + Pubs = A great time.

And time hasn’t dulled the friendship although we occasionally need to be more proactive, which is such an exhausting word. Life is busy for all of us and it’s easy to suddenly turn around and find 20 years have passed. Sometimes you need a reminder of why friendship is so amazing. Make a list, meditate, journal, whatever works. Plus you can do this sober or slightly inebriated if you prefer. Grab a pint and a pen and let’s get started.

MY TOP 11 REASONS TO HANG ON TO A GREAT FRIEND:

  1. She laughs. I laugh. It’s good for the soul and a great abs workout.
  2. One time we went to Edinburgh for a long weekend and came back 2 ½ weeks later.
  3. Our duets are loud and legendary and we don’t even need to know the words.
  4. We’re like Lewis and Clark. I clip hedges while driving and she leaps out to clear the road of wandering sheep.
  5. We can send each other random messages with partially completed thoughts and understand where it’s all going.
  6. Plus, sometimes totally inappropriate emails that children shouldn’t see, but do, and ohmygod I’m so sorry, I’ll restrain myself.
  7. She thought it was the best idea ever to hike through a wild bison sanctuary because we were getting cold and tired and it was a logical shortcut. Sort of.
  8. Hopped on a plane to come to my wedding half way around the world.
  9. Then D had to go home for work so we travelled around France together for a few weeks. That’s right, I had my honeymoon with T.
  10. Our husbands both laugh at us and our kids adore each other.
  11. When her eldest asked why she hadn’t met me yet if I was such a good friend, T’s answer, for both of us, “Because your mummy is an idiot,” was perfect.

So here’s to no longer being an idiot. Keep your friendships, even when it’s not convenient or easy. And make the time because who else could possibly understand why asking for a doggie bag in Edinburgh is so funny. It’s worth it and you just may be forging bonds that last generations.

Cheers

dsc 4619 Friendship

You can’t like everyone

You can’t always like everyone you associate with so suck it up, deal with it and move on. Sound harsh? It’s a tough lesson to learn, but one which we would all do well to pick up on sooner rather than later. It’s a lesson our kids need to see us living too, for their own benefit.

This is where I throw in the caveats.

If there are negative people in our lives whose presence is detrimental to our physical or mental well-being, or that of our family’s, by all means cut them out. And be merciless if necessary. I refuse to subject my children to immoral, unethical, false people simply because they can claim a familial or past relationship. It can also mean breaking from ‘old’ friends, family or acquaintances.

Following a life changing and insanely fun overseas stint at university in Wales I came home and began to realize that I needed to be more honest in all my relationships. That meant that if making plans to see a friend became a dreaded chore, perhaps the friendship had run its’ course and it was time to release us both from unwanted ties. It’s difficult and sometimes painful, but I stand by the belief that it is fair to everyone involved. Honesty and openness without being purposefully hurtful are a more genuine approach to any relationship. You may not always like what I have to say, but you can count on me not to spout bull and always be upfront. Wow! Do I ever sound serious.

Back to learning to live and deal with acquaintances, colleagues, random people we cross on a fairly regular basis. While I will be the first to follow my preceding counsel, I have learned through many mistakes that I can’t make wholesale changes in my life simply because someone I see in a non-personal situation is not my best friend. Nor can I radically alter my children’s lives with regard to school, sports, or any other activities simply because one individual who has no direct effect on their well-being does and says things, or acts in a way I don’t like. Everyone has a role to play and job to do. It’s not all about me or my comfort zone and if I am to claim some maturity then I need to learn to accept that everyone isn’t going to like me, nor do I have to like everyone.

If you don’t like the coffee they serve at the rink, don’t quit hockey or skating, bring your own. If a check out person at your grocery store can’t focus for more than 5 seconds, pick another cashier. If someone you meet regularly doesn’t think the sun rises and shines over your head, find someone else to speak with. If you aren’t bosom buddies with every member of every association you frequent, so what? There’s room for everyone (make that most everyone) and most people have something of value to add to the lives of those around them; they just won’t all necessarily add value to yours nor you to theirs.

Making drastic changes out of frustration towards inconsequential things doesn’t help you live in society. It’s running away. I don’t want to teach my children to run away. They need to learn to stand tall, firm and deal with whatever or whomever life throws at them. We don’t live in a bubble and we won’t do them any favours if they notice their parents cutting ties simply because we don’t like…something. We’ll spend our lives running from one place to another, figuratively and physically.

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