Can you do me a favour?

I am sure that many of you have been asked, “Can you do me a favour?”  Harmless right?  You might have been the person asking this yourself.  In most cases, it is a quicky, easy request that you probably would have done anyway.  However, what if it is something more than you thought?  This is one of the hardest favours to fulfill.  You don’t want anyone to be offended.  You want to please others and make sure there is peace.  The older I get, the more I realize that saying “no” is something that I won’t feel bad about saying.  Why?

I am not sure if you had the same upbringing as I had, but “no” was not in our vocabulary.  We would impinge on our own family time in order to make other people happy.  My mother’s theory was that God would pay us in heaven later.  I still knew that, in many ways, she wanted praise and accolades from others.  That took me a long time to understand.  She seemed to be very helpful, but like many others, we do want to be thanked and appreciated for what we have done.  It makes us feel better as human beings; being helpful to others.   My perspective on this subject has changed dramatically over the years.

I always loved helping people.  It got so bad that I would give up my time and the daily living of my life in order to accommodate the wishes of others.  I dated a hypochondriac that would have me with him in the emergency room at least three times a week for illnesses that never existed.  All he wanted was attention.  It was actually my boss at the time, who pointed it out to me.  I thought I was being helpful and a good girlfriend, where my boss pointed out that he was just using illness as an excuse to keep me from being at work and giving him (the unemployed) more attention.  The relationship ended.  That was in my early 20s.  I dated many “fixer-uppers”, hoping to save the world one person at a time, and then finally realized that I couldn’t fix people.  I could only take care of myself and make myself happy.  Enter Wiseguy.

My hubby of 20 years was (and is) always supportive of me.  I had given up on finding someone to spend the rest of my life with.  One night I finally asked the heavens / God / the universe / all other gods…”I just want to meet someone who can make me laugh.  I want someone to have my weird sense of humour.”  Then, I decided that I would give up.  There was no one on the universe like that.  Again…enter Wiseguy.

I met my funny mate.  I met the man who would make me laugh.  I met the man who never demeaned me or made me feel stupid.  This man always elevated me and backed me in whatever I wanted to do.  Feminism?  Yes…he always wanted me to be me and pushed me to believe in myself.  Now THAT my friends is what a true mate and friend is like.

Now, you many not have found your perfect match, or you may be working on the relationship you are in…but always remember that in order for any relationship to work, you need to love yourself first.  It may sound corny or weird, as we have been taught to love others, but loving yourself and taking time for yourself let’s you be more loving to others.

And…when people ask for favours, remember, in most cases, it is a one way street.  The “favour” you do does not mean that they owe you anything back.  You do it out of the kindness of your heart.  Do NOT expect anything in return.  If you do, you might be disappointed.  This is the old lady of wisdom speaking now.  I have done many favours for many people.  I have received some thanks, but in most cases it ends up becoming “Thanks, but what have you done for me lately.”  In other cases it becomes expected and routine that you will be there so it’s not appreciated.  Be mentally and emotionally prepared for that.  If you feel that you need the accolades and believe you won’t get them, then feel free to take a deep breath in, exhale out, and kindly say, “NO.”  It is one of the hardest things to say, but saying YES all the time and being miserable about it is not good or right for you either.

Old lady lesson (yes, I am considering myself an old lady and I’m fantastically proud of it):

  • YOU CAN SAY NO!  It hurts at first, but it’s not the worst.

P.S.  Hmmmmm, sounds like a good slogan for a t-shirt

IMG_2652

P.P.S.  Double Hmmmm…anyone out there is the t-shirt industry…”Can you do me a favour?”

Agitated, aggravated, annoyed, exasperated, irked, irritated…aaaahhhh!

Ever had one of those days when, for some reason, everything just seems to annoy you.  I mean everything.  The sun is too bright.  You hit every red light.  Your hot lunch gets cold.  Your phone rings too often.  You get phone hang ups.  You get everyone asking for something and there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  Worst of all, every question that anyone asks you just seems irrelevant (basically stupid).  Well, my day started like that and I was getting really angry and I had no idea why?

I slept wonderfully.  Last night I was baking banana bran muffins and blueberry muffins and they turned out fantastic.  So good and moist.  A miracle really!  I woke up well rested because I slept with the window open and there had been a nice, cool breeze.  No humidity whatsoever.  I had wonderful, happy dreams too.  Just super!  I had pre-made my breakfast the day before, so no need to rush to scarf down food before work. I even had all green lights driving in.  Got to work seven minutes early.  So why oh why, was I feeling so agitated?

My phone was ringing and, really, it’s my job to pleasantly answer it, but I felt like everyone calling today was just calling to irk me.  I had two hang ups within 20 minutes.  I had two from non-existent people…they said, not a word.  People coming to the office were looking for people who were either on holidays or on lunch, and they felt like hanging around and chit-chatting.  Grrrrrrrr…I was NOT in a chit-chat mood!  What the heck was my problem today?

I decided to Google my question:  “Why am I angry today?  Well, it seems that many, many, many people have searched this question before.  There are links to numerous websites that are really just dedicated to anger management.

I checked out a few of them.  Some explained that I was suffering from depression.  That was more for the “you wake up and feel angry all day, everyday” people.  Mine was just one angry morning.  Most had various forms of this advice:  feel your anger and then let it go.  That sounded silly….so I decided to try it.  I cursed (inwardly) and asked myself why I was angry and since there didn’t seem to be a good answer, I dropped it…like a hot potato  (good advice I found on Tiny Buddha).  Anyway, I oftentimes find that when I am frustrated I just let the powers that be take over for me and I will receive my answer in one strange way or another.  Today it was via Google.  Sounds crazy, but not as crazy as being stuck in a funk for no apparent reason. 

The most interesting thing was that, after I had dropped it, I did feel better.  Suddenly I remembered all the good things about today.  The sun was shining, brightly, and beautifully.  I remembered that my drive in to work was beyond fantastic.  It was like all the cars had moved out of my way to let me get through those green lights.  My breakfast was delicious, and eaten without interruption, so I got to enjoy a nice, hot meal.  Even lunch was great.  I had volatile spaghetti.  (Volatile because I usually end up with spaghetti splatter somewhere on my person.)  Yet, today, not even a speck of red and I was wearing a white sweater!  Miracle?  Maybe.  Changing my attitude actually changed everything around me (or maybe just my perception of it) but same happy result.

Oddly, the phone ended up ringing less and the callers were legit…no more hangups.  The favour asking, for some reason, had dissipated.  I was having a happy, feel good day.  I will have to remember the Hot Potato of Anger trick next time I’m ready to lose my mind and freak out on some unsuspecting soul asking for a favour. 

Either that or my favourite backup plan.  I read the children’s book Alexander, and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  (Maybe I’ll move to Australia.)