Two down, one to go.
Yesterday morning, Meghan woke up with a 101 temp, which (no surprise) turned out to be strep throat.
However (and I say this with all the passion and emphasis that I can possibly convey in a blog post) NO! VOMIT!
So now I’m just waiting for Nathan to wake up with a red-hot forehead and blazing throat. It’s coming. Wait for it…wait for it…
I’m going to come back to that passion and emphasis thing in a minute.
In the meantime, I’m trying to recover from 8 a.m. soccer games at a field an hour away and 59 people at my house for the Super Bowl (no exaggeration here – 25 adults and 34 kids) and a huge turquoise stain of unknown origin on the playroom carpet. It started out as this mysterious black powder and little black smudges, and when I sprayed carpet cleaner on the little black smudge, this is what happened:
Have you ever wished you could just hit the rewind button and listen to your friend who told you to vacuum up the mystery powder before getting it wet?
I tried an OxyClean paste, which ever-so-slightly turned it into a lighter shade of electric turquoise, but obviously didn’t do a whole lot of good. We’ll call the carpet superheroes and see if they can fix it, but I think we’re looking at brand new carpet.
(If anyone has any idea what this could be or how to get it out, please feel free to chime in.)
As much as we love hosting big parties, this will be it for a while. No parties while the house is on the market. I have a handyman coming this week to fix up all the things that need to be fixed up, and after that, we’re renting a storage unit and moving out all the
crap extra stuff in order to make our house a beautiful showcase of a home that some happy couple would be pleased to call their own.
I’m not thinking past the handyman right now. I’m not thinking about the inevitable temporary transitional housing. Nope. Not yet.
I’m getting to my main point of this post, I promise.
I’m just a little distracted by the big turquoise stain. It’s burned through my retinas.
The point of this post. Right. Here it is: Can we all just play nice and get along?
I’m really bothered lately by nastiness and meanspiritedness. I’ve seen it in person, and I’ve seen it posted anonymously on the internet. I’ve been on the receiving end of both.
Somehow the anonymity of the internet gives us permission to say things we would NEVER say to a person’s face. And typed words without vocal inflection and facial expression and nonverbal communication opens a wide, wide door to a place called MISINTERPRETATION.
This is where things get ugly.
The internet thing is interesting. I actually took an entire communications class in college called “Technology and Communication” that addressed this specific issue back in the dawn of cyberspace.
(Never mind how long ago that was.)
But whether we are in a grocery store or commenting on a blog, we need to play nice, ladies. We need to realize that EVERYONE HAS STUFF. Everyone has issues. We all have baggage. We ALL have things in our lives that are difficult.
Let me pause here and pull up a chair next to those who are really angry. Those who have been wounded and beaten down and are deeply offended by my words that, I promise, were not at all intended to offend.
Come on, I promise I won’t bite. Come sit next to me for a sec. Please?
OK. Here it is. My stuff is different from your stuff. My reality is different from your reality. But we both struggle. My struggle may not be as difficult as your struggle, and for that, I am genuinely sorry. I’m sorry you are having such a rough time. I really am. And I pray that you find the strength and the peace in the midst of your struggle to keep going and doing the best you can do. That’s all any of us can hope to accomplish. I’m not pretending to completely understand what you have been through. I’m not judging you. I’m not comparing your struggle to my own. I can only imagine what your life must be like.
But I struggle, too. And my struggle is no less valid than your struggle. So please don’t tell me that my life is easy. Please don’t imply that I am condescending to you because our realities are different. I can’t fully understand what you are going through because I haven’t walked that road.
Just like you have not walked mine.
That’s all I’m saying.
So can we please have a little more compassion? Can we please support each other and cheer each other on instead of tearing each other down because each of us thinks that we drew the shorter end of the stick – when in reality, we’re both left holding a stick?
In the (rewritten) words from that monumental cinematic classic, High School Musical:
“We’re all screwed up together…”
(Feel free to sing along.)
Or, in the words of my now-five year old reciting the rules of his preschool class:
“Be a hahd wuhker, be a kind fwend, be a good listenuh.”
(Translation: be a hard worker, be a kind friend, be a good listener.)
Good rules for all of us, I think. Robert Fulgum was right.
I especially like the last one. Be a good listenuh.
Can we all make a pact to do that today? To listen intentionally? To, as Steven Covey puts it, seek first to understand before being understood? Think how much happier everyone would be if we really, really tried to understand each other. If we really, really listened.
(Sidenote here: I really, truly thought that St. Francis of Assisi said the thing about seeking first to understand. Thank you, Google. But ya gotta admit that it’s a good quote.)
Let’s try it.
OK. Now that we’ve all decided to play nice, will someone please tell me WHAT DO I DO ABOUT MY CARPET?!?!?
Sorry ‘bout that.