A Day Late ...
Updated: Feb 6
... and dollar short. Suddenly, it was Saturday and I had no blog to post. I can usually count on some topic of interest (at least to me and hopefully to you) to float up into my consciousness over the course of the week. But, this time, not so much. However, now I have something, late in the day, and to be posted on Sunday.
Regular readers will know that Paul and I share our home with five rescue cats. For the most part, they all get along really well. There is the odd spat but mostly they play, sleep, eat and groom together. Ruby was the baby until we brought home Chloe about two years ago. That has not gone so well. Ruby and Chloe have an agree to disagree understanding. As in I agree that you are bloody nuisance and you can choose to disagree at your peril.
Which got me thinking about the concept of being liked. Some people (and animals) just don't get along. People rub us the wrong way. Or they don't "get" us. Who among us has not encountered those who may as well have two heads for all the sense they make to us?
I'm not referring here to the very troubling xenophobia or out and out discrimination although I do believe there are echoes of both in the way we perceive different or other. Let's face it, we can be very protective of our comfort zone and often retreat back to it when encountering discomfort.
The older I get, the more enlightened and compassionate I become. I don't dislike people the way I did when I was a kid or a teenager. One, I don't feel particularly unsafe anymore nor do I suffer from the debilitatingly self-conscious navel gazing that befalls most teenagers. When I became a new mom, I hated all the other moms who seemed to have it all figured out already and went around lording it over the rest of us (in the light of day, I am willing to concede that that was probably projection and not reality).
Although I do still encounter people who quite simply don't like me. I don't know why. God knows, they might very well have good reason. But, here's the thing. I don't care. You know that saying, "What you think of me is none of my business"? So true. I'm not willing to bend myself into a pretzel or learn new parlour tricks in order to make myself pleasing to you. I am who I am and, well, I like me.
Perhaps I am an acquired taste. But aren't we all? That's the beauty of being unique. I do try not to be a dick. I use the manners my mother taught me, I am friendly and not purposely obtuse or annoying. I abhor meanness having been the victim of it too many times to count so I'm pretty sure I know how not to be mean. But, other than that, I do my thing and if it resonates with you, yay!
The beauty of letting go of caring is that it actually makes me more open to others. I find myself in a more welcoming frame of mind because I have nothing to lose. I don't need you to like me. I don't fall into a pit of despair and insecurity if it turns out I am not your cup of tea. I just go about my day and wish you well in yours. It also makes it easier to appreciate those who do get me. Granted, this may be a small cohort but then again, who needs "friends" in the hundreds or thousands? I thrive on depth, not breadth.
I am grateful for the friends and family I do have. I am open to meeting new people and taking the time to find out all about them. I am, if nothing else, ridiculously curious about others. And I appreciate it when they like me, too.
In that vein, I have sad news to report. Nate has died. I miss his flitting here and there. But am really so happy that we had our short time together. I so appreciated his company that I went out and found a new companion for my office.
Meet Marshall! Make sure you say hi when next you visit my office.