For the longest time, I never understood the purpose of pajamas. What exactly was the point of getting undressed in order to get dressed for bed? You expecting paparazzi?
Ironic that for my uber structured upbringing, I long for the days when I can walk around in just my skin. This winter finds me so very tired of being cold. So last night, I turned my back on such au natural sentiments and surrendered, climbing under the sheet and three blankets still wearing my comfy pants and t-shirt. Only when the bed had warmed did I get out long enough to lose the confines of my clothing. Then, just as quickly, I dove back into the warm spot I had just prepared for myself. It was glorious.
Moments like last night take my dream life to what I suspect was meant to be my true life as a resident on a deserted pacific island two over from the Swiss Family Robinson and one down from Gilligan. I can so see being perfectly content with a tan and a secluded beach from which to venture out into the warm tropical water of my own personal lagoon. Nice picture, right?
But here on Planet Earth, environments dictate how we work out the problems of survival and comfort. Seasons change and clothing follows. Snow flies, ice blankets the trees and wind chills freeze the joy out of the heartiest of explorers.
So what do we do?
We follow our ancestors example. We take defensive measures. We drape hides over our shoulders, find caves and build fires to circle around in hopes of drawing some warmth up into our collective frozen fingers and toes.
But here’s the thing. All that is cold isn’t the weather. Sometimes Jack Frost really is a person. Just like the other night, twenty other cars and I stayed stuck behind the one motorist who belligerently insisted on driving 15 mph on a two-lane road that let no one pass. I’m really beginning to think everyone has likely encountered someone who behaves like they have an ice cube for a heart.
I used to worry about people like that; a person who just didn’t like me. Have you ever known a person who never took the time to even get acquainted yet, grimaced any time you even ventured to say “good morning”. The older I get, the less time I spend worrying about what is actually someone elses problem. Like being outside in the winter, I know it makes sense to put on some protective clothing. So, as much as much as I might want to be otherwise, now I put on a sweater when I get the cold shoulder. Icy stares? I pull on another layer of cordial protection and keep moving. But like the slow poke motorist, sometimes that difficult person is someone that can hurt you…or at least stop you from moving forward. They almost seem to be pleased at the prospect of stranding you in their blizzard – emotional or otherwise. What do you do then?
Coming from a place of love inside yourself, I’m coming to understand I can draw on that furnace to continue on unphased by the Jack (or Jane) Frost that’s trying to trip me up. The irony is often times, the person seems genuinely frustrated that you’re not acting phased by their daggerish icicle intentions.
The other day at work we were all asked to go around the table and say something about ourselves that the others in the group might not know about us.
Fresh from that morning’s arctic trek into work, I heard myself saying, “Hi. My name is Dan. I’m a tennis freak and I did not play this morning”.
Having endured their own sled dog runs, everyone chuckled. But unrealistic or not, running around on the tennis court is exactly what I wanted to be doing. It’s just not time yet.
So rest easy my arctic snow rangers. While it is technically true that there is no guarantee Spring will come, she always has. Every year, year after year for centuries, she manages to single-handedly melt Winter. Paper covers rock. With that kind of track record, I’m putting my money on the fact that Spring is going to do it again. All of which got me to thinking about my current Jane Frost situation.
Everything in our Past moves to the rear at exactly the same pace our Futures come up to greet us. Bizarre to imagine how in another minute, my Past is going to hold the moment I’m about to live! My Past will forever bear witness to the words I’m about to speak in the next minute. And for just another few seconds, I have direct influence over what the Future is going to bring me as surely as what the Past will testify to. All of the sudden, my frozen adversary doesn’t really stack up to that much of a threat at all. They’re either going to implode or like Winter, melt. Either way, there are things I can do in the meantime:
If my gut is telling me there’s a problem, there probably is, so I prepare myself accordingly for how I want to respond before ‘it’ happens. I go out of my way to not make things worse by remembering to let my heart and brain take the wheel instead of my temper. We have all known people that seem to feed on getting reactions. Don’t be fooled into being their next meal.
Next, when it’s appropriate, I look for opportunities when I can be kind or helpful. Nothing confuses a frightened person more than the prospect of maybe being treated like you want to be treated. In those moments of confusion, you might just catch a glimpse of the real person underneath. Don’t we all just yearn to be understood and valued for who we are? But how often do we get denied that very thing so often we are brought to the point we refuse to do the same for others?
If the situation gets hot, I bring other people to the problem by going to them and asking for their guidance. Everyone appreciates being asked their opinion almost as much as they appreciate you not being a whiner. Maybe they’ve dealt with the same person or situation in their own past and can give you some insight into what they did.
To retain your own person hood, you might have to raise your game to the point of letting the difficult person know what they just said or did is not acceptable. “I’m curious. I would never treat anyone like you just did me…is everything OK? Is there something I can do to help?” My artsy-fartsy sophisticated friends smile and say, “Oh, Dan…poor clueless Dan…” But hey, isn’t putting yourself in the other person’s shoes at the heart of any successful negotiation?
But if all that doesn’t work, you might be left with only one nuclear option. Leave them. Don’t go swimming in their toxic swimming pool. Their problem may be one that requires professional help very few of us can offer. Cut your losses. Jack Frost is no longer your problem. They are their own so don’t get guilted into thinking you’ve failed because you couldn’t save them. You haven’t. Being savior of the world is over-rated. It’s not your job. Stay calm and cool. Treat them from a place of tough love and compassion, but after that? Adios!
The world is not going to end because you now choose to avoid an ice king or queen. Nature will take care of it. Spring will come. Time deals with all things in due course. Spend your energy accordingly. The season you find yourself in at the moment may dictate you wearing layers. But at the end of the day, underneath it all, you have what you need. You are in your own skin. And when the layers come off? There you are.
Lose the pajamas. Because underneath, there has never, ever, in the history of the world been someone precisely like you. You already have what you need inside. And if you don’t? Your inside knows how to access it. That makes you one-of-a-kind. Any art dealer will tell you that makes you valuable. And that my friend, is the naked Truth.
Read M ore About dealing with difficult people
– coworkers or otherwise –
Dealing with difficult people is a bankable skill worth having – useful in so many ways. Difficult people come in all shapes and sizes with just as many ‘issues’.
I am not a trained mental health professional and I don’t play one on TV, but the one thing we can all agree on is there’s always more to know.
Have fun poking around the following resources and see what you learn.
5 Ways to Cope With the Co-Worker From Hell
By Jennifer Gruenemay, Special to Lifescript Published November 14, 2013
Dealing With Difficult People
by kyle langford
Defusing Hostile People
Work911.com By Bacal & Associates
How to Deal with Difficult (Even Impossible) People
By Deepak Chopra – Oprah.com – June 11, 2010
INTERSTATE 94 REOPENED AFTER WRECKAGE CLEAERED FROM PILE-UP
(Thursday, January 23, 2014)
“Interstate 94 was reopened this morning after cranes and tow trucks worked through the night to untangle a crush of more than 40 semis and cars that collided in near blizzard conditions near Michigan City, Ind., killing three people, including a 65-year-old man from Chicago. As many as 20 people were injured, some airlifted to hospitals.”
Jerry Dalrymple lived in the Beverly neighborhood on Chicago’s Southwest Side. His sister, Deanna Dalrymple – who lives next door to Jerry and his wife Mary Ann – said he was driving to his lake house in La Porte, Ind., and his wife originally was supposed to go with him at first. Instead, Mary Ann stayed in Chicago so she could do a favor for Deanna on Friday. From what she’s been told, Deanna said it appears he was one of the first people involved in the crash, and his car was hit by a semi; either from the side or the rear. Deanna described Jerry as a family man first. He had four children, and four grandchildren. He also had a dog – a black lab named Sparky – who was always at his side, including in his car at the time of the crash. Sparky also died in the wreck. Jerry also played the organ at his church. He planned to retire at the lake house, where he enjoyed boating on Lake Michigan.
Source: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/01/24/beverly-man-among-those-killed-in-i-94-pileup/; photo source: Facebook.
“Also killed were a husband and wife from Grand Rapids, Mich. The coroner’s office identified them as Marilyn J. Wolma, 65, and Thomas D. Wolma, 67. They had been coming home from Wisconsin after caring for an ill relative, according to LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan said.”
A Grand Rapids, Michigan couple were two of the three people killed in the chain-reaction crash on I-94 Thursday.
Thomas Wolma, 67, was pronounced dead at a local hospital and his 65-year-old wife, Marilyn, was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities say the couple was traveling home from Wisconsin after caring for a relative. Marilyn Wolma was a third-grade teacher who retired in 2008, but continued to fill in as a substitute teacher, according to WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids. “In one way I feel empty just knowing she will never grace us with her presence in these halls again,” fellow teacher Bernice Wisnieski said. “It’s a loss for us, it’s a loss for the children, but at the same time she gave so much to the children, she gave so much to us that we are so much better off having known her.” Friday morning.
Sources: January 24, 2014|By Adam Sege and Rosemary Regina Sobol |Tribune reporters: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-01-24/news/chi-indiana-crash-fatal-20140123_1_interstate-94-indiana-state-police-ann-wojas; http://www.nbcchicago.com/weather/stories/5-Things-to-Know-Fatal-I-94-Pileup-Indiana-241840421.html; http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/01/just_cars_flying_everywhere_ad.html; PHOTO of crash site:1f330fa5f5bf0146: http://imgick.mlive.com/home/mlive-media/pgmain/img/grandrapidspress/photo/2014/01/-1f330fa5f5bf0146.JPG
THREE PEOPLE CONFIRMED DEAD IN SHOOTING AT SUBURBAN BALTIMORE MALL
(Saturday 25th, January 6, 2014)
Authorities say that three people were found dead at the Mall in Columbia outside of Baltimore, including the suspected shooter, who police said likely acted alone. Police have identified the two fatalities as Brianna Benlolo, 21, of College Park, Md., and Tyler Johnson, 25, of Ellicott City, Md. A report indicates the shooter was Benlolo’s ex-boyfriend and that Johnson and Benlolo were engaged.
Sources:BY BETH STEBNER / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, PUBLISHED: SATURDAY, JANUARY 25, 2014, 12:03 PM
UPDATED: SUNDAY, JANUARY 26, 2014, 9:57 AM; http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/shooting-suburban-baltimore-mall-report-article-1.1591124 and mall photo (Credit:GREG TOPPO / USA Today): http://www.wcnc.com/news/national/At-least-3-killed-in-shooting-at-suburban-Baltimore-mall-241965251.html
CW2 EDWARD BALLI
(January 23, 2014)
U.S. FATALITIES IN AND AROUND AFGHANISTAN NOW STAND AT 2,111
The Patriot Guard Riders have been requested to Help with the Dignified Escort and Flag Line for CWO-2 Edward Balli.
Balli, 43, was born and raised in Salinas and was a career military officer, according to his uncle, Tony Virrueta, a spokesman for American Legion Post 31 in Salinas and a former U.S. Army Ranger himself.
“He really died doing what he loved,” Virrueta said. “He was so proud of his service and he was so proud of his role in defending our country.” Virrueta said that Balli was a pilot of unmanned aerial vehicles for the Army and was forward-deployed at the time of his death. “From what we were told today, it appears that his camp was overrun by the enemy. He succumbed to a stomach wound,” Virrueta said. Balli was on his fifth tour of duty at the time of his death. Previously, he served two 15-month tours in Iraq before being transferred to Afghanistan. Balli was a member of the Army’s elite Air Cavalry
appears at http://www.patriotguard.org/showthread.php?386256-CWO-Edward-Balli-42-Monterey-CA-23-JAN-14 and statistics from http://icasualties.org/oef/
Here’s some dessert for your day…shaken, but always stirring.
Click on the pic and check out my blogging buddy Bluebird Blvd. My thanks to her for getting me up and dancing to the point where my headphones were slipping off my head.
SOURCES, PHOTO CREDITS and ATTRIBUTIONS:
Banner Coastal Redwood Forest by Eric E Photography is used with permission.
McCall Mens Pajama Pattern via betsyvintage: http://betsyvintage.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=12962; From the Back: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8371/8511535544_6a7ac339d3_z.jpg; Go-back-guys: http://philosophers-stone.co.uk/wordpress/2012/10/go-back-guys-its-a-trap/; Take what you need – Sally Abbas, a WordPress blogger: http://sallyabbas.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/tumblr_mb57s3ftim1qihodeo1_500.jpg; Winter Clock (Winter clock « Stefana Danciu photography): http://d2tq98mqfjyz2l.cloudfront.net/image_cache/1384441273672960.jpg; a_vegetarians_guide_to_talking_to_carnivores:http://media.salon.com/2011/08/a_vegetarians_guide_to_talking_to_carnivores.jpg; robert lawson, jack frost on a roof ad, 1955: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bOrHkDM2MxA/Uo2r2X6TbuI/AAAAAAADBWU/gVeVAeYlL0k/s1600/robert%2Blawson,%2Bjack%2Bfrost%2Bon%2Ba%2Broof%2Bad,%2B1955.jpg; Floating sourced from getty_rm_photo_of_man_in_pool: http://men.webmd.com/ss/slideshow-mens-beach-body; Always Forgive Your Enemies Oscar Wilde: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/277745501990214915/; Success it’s now always what you see (posted by Lucy Wong) – http://101educare.blogspot.com/2012_09_01_archive.html: https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/430387_429606580431057_217377458_n.jpg