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So this was a "bonus weekend" where I was supposed to be seizing the… - Vesta-Venus [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Vesta-Venus

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[May. 2nd, 2004|02:13 pm]
Vesta-Venus
So this was a "bonus weekend" where I was supposed to be seizing the day (of a time when I was supposed to be busy but that got freed up) and doing things I don't normally have time to do.

Saturday I slept in until 9:30. I know, I know - laziness - but getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep or catching up on my week's sleep deficit is something I rarely get a chance to do.

I did some Bible study. I played with my daughter. I worked out. I did some work at church. I had a chance to do some prioritizing of all the things I want to accomplish (around the house, with projects, etc.) I suppose nothing big and dramatic on that list, but all the things that give my life value.

And in the evening, I went to the theatre with Athena! I traded in my parents tickets for next week and we went just the 2 of us. Next week, GF and Tyr and Hunter can all go and I will be able to stay home with my Little One.

Athena and I so rarely get to see each other. (I think we saw each other twice in all of 2003.) This was our third get-together this year, but the other 2 were at a toddler party and at a games night where there is no real chance to talk. So, this was a real treat to have some one-on-one time with her. She told me all about her neighbours, her family, and the colds she's had on-and-ff for about 3 years now. It was good to hear her talk about her life and to really have the time to listen to her without other distractions.

I can't figure out if I really liked the play or not. It wasn't the comedy it was billed as, but a sometimes funny, often bleak slice of life. It was set in a poor 1968 Irish village right after the protagonist's father's funeral as he has flashbacks to earlier days and conversations with the ghost of his father. Actually, it was one of those plays where I wanted to play mediator and sit the characters down and explain to them where the other was coming from and really help them connect and listen to each other. It's the minister in me. I suppose those are the plays I like least - the ones where at the end none of the characters have grown, learned anything from their experiences, or come to any better of an understanding of each other. It seems like there are too many people sleepwalking their way through life like that for it to be real entertainment for me to watch it played out painfully on a stage.

But I did have an epiphany that I, at least, am growing spiritually as a person.


Two things happened last night. One, on the way to Athena's house, a car was driving 70 km on Highway 44 (an 80 zone). So I passed him. Unfortunately I could not pass the car in front of him too due to on-coming traffic. So, I pulled in front of him and then passed the other car when it was all clear. It was a 2-step passing job. On the Queensway, the guy who had previously been poky, caught up to me, drove with his high-beams in my rear-view mirror for a while, and then pulled beside me to drive in my blind-spot for 5 minutes. (No matter how I changed my speed, he adjusted his to be in my blind spot.)

The second thing was that at the end of the play, the people in front of us (a married couple in their 50's and a woman who was 80) turned to Athena and I to tell us off for coughing during the play. They told us we were rude and if we were that sick, we should have stayed home. I just said I was sorry. And then the guy went on about how I spit on him when I was coughing. I didn't necessarily believe him, but I told him that if I did that I was sorry for that too. And then they went on and on some more about germs, about how some people have no manners, etc. Every time, I thought they were done, they had more to say.

The surprising part was that I did not get angry in either case. I did not let that other car on the highway get to me. And when those people turned on us, I was calm in my reply. I apologised twice, didn't feel that there was anything left to say, and didn't feel the need to reply to any of their tirade.

On Thursday, one of things I asked Hedwig to pray for me was that I would let go of a lot of the anger and bitterness I've been feeling lately about a number of things going wrong in various areas of my life. So, for once in my life, I feel like I lived up to my beliefs. How other people act is their problem. How I re-act to other people's bad behaviour is my choice.

I remember a long time ago watching an episode of Duckman. (It was a cartoon about a duck - played by Jason Alexander - who among other bad personality traits had a terrible temper. It was more adult and obnoxious than the Simpsons. I almost used to fell guilty watching it.) Anyway, one episode, Duckman had been ranting more than usual. He told off some big, muscle-guy who turned around and picked him up by the neck. You thought he was going to get it, but the guy said he wasn't going to do anything to him because it must be punishment enough being him.

It stuck with me because I have thought that there is some theological truth in that silly cartoon moment. Mean people (even if they never receive divine retribution)have to live with themselves. And ultimately what kind of joy or spiritual peace is there probably in the lives of someone who would drive like a jerk for 15 minutes because someone dared to pass them, or someone who would berate complete strangers for 5 minutes over supposed rudeness?

There was a time in my life when I would have picked a fight with each of them. But what is the use? Their anger is their problem and I actually feel sorry for them if that is the psychological and spiritual reality in which they are currently living.

I am growing again - it's a really slow process - but it's worth it.
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Comments:
From: fairydarkfire
2004-05-02 01:35 pm (UTC)
Good for you. I am not sure how I would have reacted to the driving situation but I think after awhile I may have had a rude come back to the coughing situation.
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[User Picture]From: vesta_venus
2004-05-04 12:42 pm (UTC)
Credit God. Credit Hedwig constantly praying for me, supporting me, and encouraging me to go on. Left to my own devices the sad reality is that I am the kind of people who yells at strangers as my low-point last fall proves:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/vesta_venus/4735.html

Now, I have to be careful that I don't think I'm better than thses people - or that I'll never slip back into lashing out at people!!
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From: fairydarkfire
2004-05-04 03:46 pm (UTC)
That was very interesting reading. I must have missed it the first time around. :(
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[User Picture]From: vesta_venus
2004-05-05 07:21 am (UTC)
Actually, what I'd really like to do is learn how to be assertive without being angry.

Many times I have encountered people being ignorant, offensive, or rude to me or others and have done nothing. Whether I challenge people is governed more by my emotions than because it was the right thing to do in a situation.

so, in other words, when faced with conflict, I am a wimp who does nothing 90% of the time, unless I'm angry and then I sick to the level of the person I'm in conflict with.

There has to be a place where I can calmly and gently stand up for myself and others while not being angry myself.
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From: fairydarkfire
2004-05-05 08:22 am (UTC)
That would be a great place to be. Unfortunately I dont stand up to others. I have confrontation so I am no help to you.
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