the blame game

When I was a teenager so many moons ago, I was told I had a goiter.  This was a surprise to me, since, at the time I did eat fish and I lived near the water,  but didn’t think about nutrition at all, and didn’t know what it should feel like to have a goiter.  My mother, of blessed memory (and here is one of them!), upon hearing this, said, “Well, that’s why!”  My query back to her was, “Why, what?”  And her answer was “That’s why everything!!!!”

The funny thing is that you wouldn’t say that my mother was a funny person.  She enjoyed life but didn’t give herself too much credit.  She took her job as housewife very seriously and considered herself fortunate that she didn’t have to work out of the house.  She probably had more common sense than anyone else I know, and she could really read people very well.  If you know my father, you might say that it would be amazing to be like him; dynamic, funny, a human magnet.  He could sell sand to the Arabs,  and probably could make world peace.  I could talk about the time he stopped a fistfight at a restaurant, but that’s for another day.  Since my mother has been gone these past 3 years,  I realize how much more like her I am, and I hope this is one of the ways I hope I am like her.  It is always valuable to have something to point to when things go wrong, but, ultimately, it is never really the point.

When I started the medicine, not only did my goiter go away,  but I also lost lots of weight.  Instantly.  Curiously, in fact, I remember now that I wasn’t such a young teenager at all, but it was actually right before my wedding.  I had lost so much weight that my wedding dress was large on me and I had to have it taken in right before the wedding.  No, I can’t imagine!  Years later, when my weight was going back up, I looked to find out if my goiter had returned, so I could blame that.  It hadn’t.  Interestingly enough, my cholesterol had gone up, and after years of trying to fight it naturally, and I finally went on meds, the weight went down, so there was something really to blame besides getting old and less active.   I think that I had instinctively held that pattern of universal blaming, even as illogical as I knew it to be.   The danger of not accepting blame, as if it is catchy.  The buck stops here, but I don’t know if it ever does without really paying attention.

Ironically, my mother learned how to demand things for herself as she turned to the other side of 50.  All of a sudden, things that were not a problem became HUGE.  She started returning food at restaurants; too dry, too wet, too everything.  These poor waitstaff, having to suffer for my mother’s newly gained sense of entitlement.  I don’t know what was the impetus for the change; metaphor for change of life?  Nothing was good enough could ever make up for it was always okay, good enough?  I will one day, perhaps, tell the memorable story of my mother and our quest for flowers for our wedding.  But now, back to blame.

I’m going to throw in a link now for no other reason than I remembered that I like it so much:

Wizard Academy faculty Jean Carpenter Backus (at left) says there are 4 stages of marriage:

1. Infatuation
2. Disillusionment
3. Power Struggle
4. True Love

People who have been married a long time always smile and agree.

It seems to me the same 4 stages occur in the average employee’s perception of their job.

Things usually work out if you can just hang on.

Hang on.

It’s this stage of disillusionment that so easily turns to that blame game. And the reason for that disillusionment is in the word itself; false expectations.  So when we aren’t honest about what marriage is about or what life should be filled with or how we are responsible to help people and, if we’re lucky, they’ll be there to help us when we need it, then we’re lost from the beginning.  Readjustment of expectations is always necessary, but so much harder if there are false expectations .  Another quote that is now my favorite:

“Now and then
it’s good to pause in
our pursuit of happiness
and just be happy.”

Guillaume Apollinaire

If you follow the rabbit hole of this link, you’ll see some more amazing truths, especially here. Another time, perhaps, I will talk about my newfound respect for marketing.  But for today, I will end this rambling by saying that having dreams and goals is essential, for marriage, for marketing, for life, but if they are not tempered by communication and shared vision, then they will lead to blame and loss.  I am still learning this, not the hard way but not the easiest.


One response

  1. Pingback: excuses, excuses « But Mostly Hers

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