Ok. I was all showered and laying in bed, but something is bothering me. I even got up and changed my pillowcases, which usually makes me feel better, but it was a no go. Not even my Ambien has knocked me out yet. That's never a good sign. I keep a journal by my bed so that I can write things down. I keep lots of stuff in there; to-do lists, blog ideas, shop ideas, things to say to my ex-husband next time he actually answers the phone when I call. I'm weird like that. I have to get things off my mind and written down so I can remember to say/do/think them the next day. I scribbled a whole danged page on this crap. Hopefully after this I can rest peacefully.
So here it is. People can be so nasty! Unprovoked and everything. It has to be a crappy existence to be that miserable. Ok. The beginning. I was hanging out in the forums on Etsy doing some networking and chatting. One of the kind of etiquette things you do is to make sure when you promote yourself, to look at the other people's shops and comment on their stuff. Kind of a give and take deal. I have no problem with it and would probably do it whether it was expected or not.
Now, remember when your mom always said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything"? Yeah. Some people didn't get the memo. This chick gets on, posts her items, and starts talking trash about other people. She was critiquing rudely and just being downright mean. Then she starts asking why we all waste our time promoting other people's shops when we had ourselves to look out for. Really? Wait, really? I. Don't. Get. That.
Someone asked me the other day why I feature other people's shops in my blog and not my own. I mean, I'm no saint. There's links to all my sites in the sidebar...Anyway, this person was being sincere and not at all mean-spirited. They just wanted to know. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think there's anything wrong with promoting yourself. I'm sure I will on here at some point. I sure do everywhere else. However, I believe in karma or whatever you want to call it. What goes around comes around, pay it forward, do unto others, and gee, I don't know, BE NICE! What good does it do anyone to be ugly? And why do people think that it's ok to be that way? Does no one punish their children anymore? People are seriously growing up thinking it's ok to be like that.
Ugh. Anyway, that's not what I was taught. My parents led by example on how to treat other people. I suppose I was really lucky in that regard. Even in my divorce, when I want to be nasty and vindictive and bitter, I can't. It's not right. He's being generous and kind most of the time. Besides freaking leaving me. It's a hard situation for us both, but hard is not an excuse to be a jerk. When I was telling my parents about how we were splitting things, etc., I told them that I wasn't going to be difficult and drag things out and make things harder just because I was in pain. You better believe I fought my ass off though. Don't think I didn't. I kicked and screamed and clawed. I sobbed, cried, yelled, begged, reasoned, bargained, guilted, and generally pulled out all the stops. I still haven't totally given up on the idea. There comes a point when you have to let go though. When acceptance becomes necessary. There's a difference between being nasty and letting yourself get walked on.
Ok, focus. So I was telling my parents that I wasn't going to be nasty and stuff, and my dad just looked at me and said, "I wouldn't expect you to be. That's not how you were raised." It was simple, but it's so true. It really struck me. I did everything I could. I fought for what I wanted; for what I thought was right. But when it comes down to it, you have two choices in life. You can be miserable or you can be happy. And you can bet your boots it's a choice. If you start blaming someone else for your feelings and attitude, it's a cop out. What happened to just doing what's right because it's right? Integrity? Decency? Kindness?
Ok, focus for real. This is a sore spot for me. Obviously, since I just went on a page long rant. I just want to make a point though. If you want to be selfish and do something that truly benefits yourself - help someone else. Smile at someone. Say something kind. Hold the door for a mom with her kids. Let someone in front of you in traffic.
I'm not saying I'm this calm, serene, pleasant person all the time. I'm so not. I'm bitter, sarcastic, angry, and downright grouchy on my good days lately. But that's me. That's not someone else's fault. So no one else should have to pay for my problems. And I find that if I make an effort to just do the right thing, I feel a lot better at the end of the day.
Really. This time I will focus. So, why do I promote other people's shops? Because they work hard and they deserve it. They put part of themselves into the things they make. Because making someone else's day makes my day. Plus I need all the good karma I can get after all the awful things I think about my soon-to-be-ex :)
Your attitude will make or break a relationship, a business, a family. The only way you can truly be a successful human being is to share your good fortune. To be grateful for what you have, no matter how much or how little, and let that show through the things you do. Of course, there's the whole "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" thing. It's true. You usually get back what you give tenfold. But how much better would things be if we all did what's right just because it's right? If we were all kind and nice just to be kind and nice?
Some days I think it will kill me, but it makes me a better person. I don't ever want to reach a point where I'm not actively trying to be a better person. I ordered myself a (handmade!) bracelet that has my new motto on it: "Be calm. Be strong. Be grateful." It's been my solace, my downfall, my mantra, my yearning, and my heartfelt plea for the past few months. But you know what, I'm ok. I will live the rest of my life knowing that I conducted myself in a way that I can be proud of during the darkest time of my life. And believe me, that's what makes life worth it.
I'm a little calmer now. Breathing a bit deeper. The Ambien-induced hallucinations are setting in. I'm not trying to preach or be holier than thou. I'll be the first to admit that I'm the last to be perfect. But I try. And you know what they say...It's the thought that counts.
So give someone else a boost. Share the love. Put a good word in. Think of something nice to say. Be encouraging. It may not be today and it may not be a year from now, but it will come back to you when you least expect it. At least, that's what I'm counting on. Run your life and your business in a way that will stand up to scrutiny and in a way that you can be proud of, no matter what comes. Because, in the end, that's all you can really do. Everything else just happens.
Waste Not, Want Not
2 weeks ago