Remember when this was the swan song for the Idol contestants?
So, if you know me at all, you might know that I have three major pet peeves:
1. When people talk over each other. I just think listening is such a lost art and when you interrupt someone, you’re basically saying “what I have to say is more important than what you have to say”. And sometimes that might be true. But that doesn’t make it polite. Or right.
2. When people don’t do their jobs (or worse) push their work off onto me. I do try to be a team player, and I think I succeed for the most part. But it drives me CRAZY when people have a habit of pushing work off to someone else, when it is clearly in their job description.
3. When Christians take a stand on something in popular culture and find a way to make it inherently evil in a legalistic way. Usually this is done by over spiritualizing something or arguing over semantics.
So, today I encountered all three of these types of situations. I left quietly seething with frustration and trying desperately to turn my attitude around…with little success, I might add. As I often do on my way home, I called my mom.
We chatted for a few minutes and I asked her about her day (she’s currently visiting my sister, Lindsay, in Texas and helping out because Linds is pregnant again and not really feeling the best). Turns out that today she made five meals, cleaned the entire apartment and when I called she was supervising Karis’ bath time. Then she asked me about my day.
After I mumbled something about it being a particularly irritating day, but it was “fine”, she paused for a few seconds and then said, “Do you want to talk about it?” I told her about all the rough patches in my day, how they made me feel (the pitch of my voice going up with each consecutive situation) and finally finished my little tale of woe. She listened patiently, agreeing with me as appropriate, and then smoothly offered a little counsel on she deals with these kinds of situations when she encounters them.
We eventually hung up (when there’s a wet and slippery toddler in the tub, time is limited) and I made it home in much better spirits.
And it hit me…there’s no one that can calm my ruffled feathers better than my mom. So, I sat for a moment contemplating why that was. I think it comes down to a few things:
1. She listens better than anyone I know. And I know she’s not just being silent…she’s actively listening to me, caring about what I’m saying, and processing what I’m relating to her.
2. She has a peaceful spirit that just pervades her speech. And it’s not put on. Not at all.
3. Her example of service and love to others points me back to Christ every time. I think about what I’m talking about, sharing, or venting about and then I think how trival that situation is compared to the eternal perspective. It brings me around and centers my focus on what’s right…not what I feel.
4. But most of all, I know she loves me just for being me and that means that whatever she says comes from a place of wanting to be helpful, not wanting to criticize or judge.
I love my mom and am SO thankful that she’s a constant presence in my life. But it really makes me think–what do people think when they talk to me? Am I an edifying friend in these kinds of situations? I hope so, though I’m sure that’s not always the case. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some sort of tonic for these kinds of things?!? Somebody should get right on that…