Day #36: I Addresesed 3 Outstanding Issues


Here I am, addressing outstanding issues

If it hadn’t been been for 170 Days of Change, I might have handled all three of the following issues differently.

First, I probably wouldn’t have checked the email I got from the Garnet Hill Catalog, advising me that my refund had been received. Yet I did check it. And saw that $6.95 had been deducted from the credit I  received. That’s probably for UPS shipping, I said to myself, knowing that I’d taken my return to the post office, where I’d paid $4.95 for Priority Shipping. Thus, no money should have been deducted.

I called Customer Service to bring the error to Garnet Hill’s attention. “We’re terribly sorry,” the representative told me. Score one for the home team.

Second, I telephoned my pastor to ask him for the book I loaned him six months ago.  Yes, I called in the early evening, when I could leave a pleasant voice mail message, saying I needed the book for my own work. (A true statement.) Score two.

Finally, I didn’t take a very personal affront personally. Yesterday I learned that my stepmother had signed a new will the day before, disinheriting me.

How can I not take that personally? you will surely ask.

All my life I blamed myself  when my parents argued. I thought it was all my fault. Yet my dad has been dead for three years now, and I’m sweet, solicitous and kind to my step-mother.

For instance, two weeks ago I sent her a new book just released about Frank Sinatra, because I know she enjoys his music and might find reading about his life interesting.

Last week when I called to say I was planning to visit her Sunday afternoon, my step-mom angrily told me not to come. Yes, my feelings were hurt and I called back to share my feelings with her. “I don’t want to talk about it,” she replied.

What’s going on? I wondered.

Yesterday my brother told me that she had signed a new will. “Mom’s feelings are really hurt that you’re calling her your stepmother.”

But she is my stepmother, I thought, knowing the secret of my mother’s death had been buried deep under the floor boards in our living room. No one wanted to be reminded that my mother had taken her own life, when I was nine months old.

Today I realized that I can’t be in charge of people’s emotions. I can ask what’s going on, as I did last week of my stepmother. Still, sometimes the issue is larger than me. It’s time for me to stop seeing everything as an affront, even though it may feel that way. That realization feels like a home  run, if I’ve ever seen one.

I wonder: What, if anything, have you been offended by recently that might not have had anything to do with you?

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