Every once in a while I think a gut check is needed. I’ve been in a bad mood lately. Maybe it’s all the negativity in the air. And life is stressful. Lots going on then the holidays, which are often a time of sadness for me. I know I have a lot to look forward to and much to be thankful. That doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days; days when I’m pretty much winging it and holding on by a quickly fraying thread. So I decided to make this list to remind myself I’m not an a**hole, or at least not one most of the time.
- I pick up after my dogs. I understand that their waste belongs in a bag in the trash not on the ground for everyone to step in.
- I open doors for people, thank them when they do the same, say excuse me and respect people’s personal space. I do these things, not because I’m southern or a lady, but rather because it’s the behavior that was modeled by others. My mom and grandmothers were all very kind and considerate souls. Some of that apparently brushed off on me.
- I stop at stop signs and drive slowly through my neighborhood. I do this because I’m obeying traffic laws, and I’m never in a hurry. But I do look in disdain at the cars on the street not parked in the driveways or garages of million dollar homes. I side eye the yard signs that say, “Drive like your children live here.” Why? I’m driving through city streets right outside downtown Charlotte. This isn’t the suburbs. This is not a cul-de-sac.
- I don’t litter, and I pick up trash a lot in my neighborhood. Sometimes begrudgingly, thinking why does this not bother anyone else? But I care about the earth. It doesn’t deserve to be treated in the way that most humans treat it.
- I honestly try not to judge others. I may not understand why some people do the things they do. I may not agree with or like it. But I am not perfect, not even close so it’s not my place to judge others.
- When my temper gets the best of me and I become a bit snippy to those I love, I’m always able to calm down, reflect and apologize. Having this awareness and the ability to step back has saved me so many times.
- I don’t always have to be right. I mean, I am a lot, but being right isn’t a prize that you win. And if it was a prize, it’d be a very lonely one. I can admit when I’m wrong (even if it’s just a whisper).
- I will do about anything I can to help an animal. It’s easy to be loving and kind toward animals. They make my life better. If I can repay that in any way, I will.
- I do not chew loudly or make weird sounds. It’s fine if you do, but you may always be a table for one.
- I don’t put empty things back in the refrigerator. What kind of monster does that? Oh yeah, men.
- I stand up for my beliefs. I’m not a yes woman. I’m not a sheep. And maybe this does make me seem like an a**hole sometimes. But I think it makes me brave.
- I try, some days harder than others, to leave the world a bit better than the day before. This could mean that I do a lot of little things or nothing at all. No matter what’s going on in my life or my mood, I believe in being better. I do not have a poker face so it’s easy to see when I’m not having it; although my resting bitch face may make it harder to interpret. But I’m just a real person with real feelings. And I think it’s okay not to hide them.
- I make lists like these, which must mean there is more kindness in my heart than coldness.
So this is what I could come up with half an hour. Tell me, what are you doing in your life to make sure you’re not the a**hole?
I love this and I love you so…I’m still so far behind in reading your blog but had to take time when this one popped up!!! You are an amazing with words. I know I fail on a daily basis but I do try to treat others the way I want to be treated…it’s not always reciprocated but I still try. I believe a smile goes along way, we never know what someone else is going through. Living by the Golden Rule is key…I love you so much!!!
Hmmm…the million dollar question my friend. However, here are a few reasons I feel I am not an a-hole:
1-I notice haircuts and new outfits. Why? Because the psych behind ‘looking good, makes you feel good’- it should be noticed.
2-I give eye contact and always with a smile. Why? Maybe I just need a reminder that happiness is a choice….or simply because I believe smiles are contagious…or maybe, just maybe that my smile can brighten someone’s day?
3-I practice patience and good listening.Like I said, it is practice and by mo means am I a master. Luckily I get to practice a ton since I have 25 eight-nine year Olds every day from 8:30-3:00.
Beth-your blog is just wonderful! Thank you for sharing:)
I absolutely know you’re not an a-hole! Love you.