I started out making two lists. Things I love and things I hate. Like/Dislike. Things that give me joy, things that cause me grief. I found that many things (and people) are on both lists.
People who end friendships or relationships without an explanation: Most of us have probably either said this or had someone say it, "I really like you. I just don't want to date. Let's just be friends." It usually happened in person, unless the person was too chicken, then they'd call. If teenagers twenty or thirty years ago had the nerve to at least say something, why can't we as "mature" adults do it today? You know, break it to me gently. Let me down easy. But I really still love those people. I can't help it. I still miss them. Still wonder if it was something I said or did that made them dismiss me from their life and leave me like a wounded puppy by the side of the road. I hate that.
So when we did this breaking up over the phone thing, chances are someone else in the house overheard or eavesdropped on the conversation. We didn't have phones in our rooms. The closest we got to having any privacy was covering the mouthpiece and whispering. We didn't have texting, tweeting, instagram, Tumblr or however else they communicate today. Try asking a kid who they have been texting for an hour and a half and they'll say, "a friend." I have liked learning some technology, even though I'm pitifully inept. I like having a cell phone, ancient as it is. I think it's called a stupid phone because it's not a smart phone. I don't like texting and driving. I don't like that it's too easy to be misunderstood by high tech communicating. It didn't take Satan long to weasel his way into technology. Pornography married technology. Cheaters, swindlers and hustlers use it to scam people, mostly elderly, out of money. I hate that.
Kids: They monopolize our time, money, thoughts, and conversations. Just listen to a new mom talk. She can't do it without rambling on about how her sweet baby takes a three ounce bottle, burps, spits up, sleeps and poops. It doesn't change much as they grow. Then we brag about how mine is the only one in preschool who can count to one hundred without help. That would have been my Rachel. I'm sure I told at least a dozen people who were nice enough to smile and nod. Or how the Choir director puts her in Advanced Choir, before she really should be, because she's so good. Rebecca. Or a teacher says she wishes all the students were as polite and quiet as James. We adore them and want to make sure you do too. But that which gives us the most joy, has the capability of causing us the greatest heartache.
Jobs: Even if you are lucky enough to love your job, some days you'll hate it. Ever have a co-worker who thought it was their job to work your nerves for eight hours straight? What about a boss who thought you should have the ability to be in six places at once, doing six different things? If you've held a job more than a week, you've probably thought, "I don't need this. I quit." Then it occurs to you, "Oh, I forgot. I do need this. I can't quit." We would have all walked off a job if only we didn't need it. As my brother says, "Every job sucks in it's own special way." Jobs provide more than a paycheck though. They give us a routine, a purpose, a feeling of pride and accomplishment. We get to socialize and make friends. We become part of a little community. We are teaching our kids to have a work ethic when we go to work even when we are tired or have a headache.
Getting Older: Creases where there used to be smooth skin, bellies that were tight and flat become soft and cushiony, fillings that were put in teeth when you were twelve all crack and break, eyes grow dim, hair grows thin. Physically, getting old is not pleasant. Fortunately, there are advantages. We actually get smarter. With age comes wisdom. We learn a few things about life. Lessons we can pass on to anyone who will listen. I've learned to filter my words. I haven't mastered this yet, but I'm much better than I used to be. Don't gossip. I've learned that when you hug someone, let them be the first to let go. You never know how much they need it. When someone talks to you, make them feel like they are the most important thing in your world. Look them in the eye. Don't check your phone. Turn the tv down. Give them 100% of your attention. Trust your instinct. You really do have a little voice inside your head, but usually it just gets ignored. Listen to it. It is God giving you direction. I've learned that people will hurt you. It's inevitable. I've learned to forgive them. It's also inevitable that I will hurt people. I hope they can forgive me.