Ripples on a pond, Revisit

How high is your tolerance?  For what, you ask? Pick something.

Lately I have had a very low tolerance for bullshit.  I don’t have time to spoon feed advice to people and sugarcoat it.  If you ask me for advice I’ll help in whatever way I can.  But don’t call me just to whine and expect me to be supportive of your bad behavior.  And don’t get pissed off when I call you on it.  Because I will, and you won’t like it.

I guess tough love would be appropriate for my response to things lately.  There are times where you do need to be gentler and build people up so they can find their own strength.  But how long do you do that?  How long do you let someone keep pretending that they are trying to help themselves when all they are doing is lying to themselves and to you?

A friend got pissed off at me recently because I was not willing to listen to him whine.  He has bad luck with women.  Poor thing.  He self medicates with shots of tequila.  And a glass of wine with dinner.  And a beer or two at lunch.  The phone call in question he was taking cold medicine and admitted he had drunk more than usual that day.

At that point in the conversation, the kid gloves come off and I break out the brass knuckles.  Knowing you have a problem and not being willing to take the steps to fix it are the definition of stupidity and laziness.  Do not expect me to be forgiving and supportive when you are still poisoning your body and mind.

Yes, I am talking to someone specific and he probably won’t read this because he’s still mad at me.  Too bad, so sad.  Go cry to somebody else.  I will not lie to my friends when they are being stupid.  I will not lie to them just because they want someone to feel sorry for them.  If you are not happy with who you are and where your life is going, then get up and do something about it.  If you don’t think you can do it yourself, then go find some help.  And if the first try is not successful, guess what?  Try somewhere else!

People keep crossing my path who are broken is some way.  Okay, I get it.  I’m supposed to learn something from helping them.  That’s usually how it works.  In the process of helping someone else discover how to deal with their demons I learn something about myself and how to deal with my own.  Groovy.  I’m good with that.  Really.

But I have to wonder why so many people can’t figure out how this works.  When you drop a stone in a pond you make a ripple.  That ripple will move away, grow, maybe change in some way, and then come back to you.  Ten times out of ten what you send out comes back to you.  If you project negativity, you will get negativity back.  If you project positive energy, you get back positive energy.  It’s really that simple.  So why do so many people not get it?????

It’s been a week since my friend hung up on me.  And I can say that I have learned quite a bit because that used to be the quickest way to make me angry enough to rip your head off.  When he hung up on me last week I just laughed.  Laughed at how sad it was that he thought I was being mean to him when I told him to take his ass to an AA meeting.  Yes, I laughed out loud.  A year ago I would have blown his phone up with text messages about how much of an ass he was.

Perhaps that’s the lesson I was supposed to learn.  I had to see that I have changed even more over the last year or so.  It might not be a good thing though for my tolerance for bullshit to be as low as it is right now.  Although I did catch myself not running down another friend recently for some bullshit she did.  Learning to pick your fights is important.

I wrote a blog by this same title almost 4 years ago.  I was still discovering who I was in so many ways.  I know myself much better now, but I’m still growing and changing.  Somehow I don’t see my tolerance for bullshit easing up any time soon….

Success is not safe

Success means stepping out of your comfort zone.  Success means trying new things until you find what works.  Success means reaching for what you want with whatever means you have available to you without hurting another person.

Sounds a little dangerous, doesn’t it?  That’s because it is.  Doing something outside the comfort zone is scary as hell sometimes.  But it is necessary if you’re going to grow as a person.  So how do you do this?

Depends on what you want to succeed at.  Basically, you look at what you have, who you know, and where you want to be.  Use the resources you have to take the steps toward your goal.

YOU are the only thing holding yourself back.  If you are always giving excuses why something didn’t work, using negative words to complain about someone else’s work simply because they’ve achieved something you haven’t, you might want to rethink what you’re doing.

Complaining about the success of another person is very negative, rude, childish.  If you have confidence in your own work, there is never a need to diss another person’s work.  Whining about someone having more or better connections than you do is simply childish.  Get off your ass and make your own connections.

If you’re not willing to work for what you want, you won’t get very far in this world.  Don’t expect to ride someone else’s coattails to happiness.  Success isn’t safe.  If you want to make something happen, you have to get busy.  Just remember to be nice about it.

Dollars to Doughnuts

Something interesting happened to me this weekend.  I was shopping for jeans.  Not a big deal, I just didn’t want to pay half a paycheck for a pair.  Found what I was looking for at a ladies plus size store.  I’ve told ya before, I’m no Barbie.  Lots of curves here.

The strange thing happened at checkout.  I’ve shopped at this store before and hit the sales where you get a discount if you apply for a store credit card.  For reasons I’ll get to in a minute, I’ve been turned down.  This was one of those sale weekends so I figured, What the hell, it’s been long enough since the last time.  So the clerk ran my information through the computer.  Holy Schiznit!  I got approved!

Let me say now that I have never had an actual credit card.  Strange, you say?….. Consider this:  I was never taught a work ethic except for doing my homework as soon as I got home from school.  Mom worked sporadically until she got too sick.  Dad changed jobs a lot, always trying to find a way to make his love of radio profitable but to no avail.  So I didn’t have a lot of good examples.

I have had several jobs in my 40 years.  The coolest is probably working as an educator at Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Aggravating at times, but I got to pet stingrays and sharks on a daily basis.  I was in heaven.

I have to say that I see younger friends, sometimes children of my own high school pals, forging out into the world without a stinking clue how to sustain themselves without help.  Goddess knows I didn’t know how before I got married.  My ex didn’t know any better than I did.  When the marriage ended and I moved in with my aunt, she made sure to fill in the gaps in my education.

Let me give you some guidelines to lead you to financial stability at any age.  Feel free to pass these on to anyone who needs to know.   Yeah, that’s pretty much everyone on the planet.

Rule #1:  Find something that you love to do, can do everyday without burning out too fast, and find a way to make money at it.  You have to have income first of all.

Rule #2:  Learn to live on a budget.  This means you keep a list of all your bills that have to be paid and how much and when they’re due each month.  If you don’t know how much your power bill is you probably shouldn’t buy concert tickets.

Rule #3:  ALWAYS pay your bills first.  Plan for them.  If your phone is due on the 9th and you don’t get paid until the 10th, then you better have money from the paycheck before the 9th to cover it.  It’s paramount to maintaining good credit to get your bills paid on time.  If you can pay something ahead that’s even better.

Rule #4:  Save your money.  Not just for a rainy day, either.  If you are the only source of income for your house, how will your bills be paid if you’re out of work for whatever reason for a month?  Or two months?  You need to build up enough savings to cover at least 6 months worth of bills, not extra stuff, just bills.  I actually saw a bank ad that suggested taking 10% of your disposable income, that’s after you pay all your bills, and put that into savings.  It may seem like a huge amount if you don’t make a lot, or it could seem like it’s not much.  Either way you need to save that money.

Rule #5:  Schiznit happens!  This is that rainy day.  A chipped windshield may cost $200 bucks to replace.  If your deductible is set at $500 that means you have to pay for a new windshield out of pocket.  Them’s the breaks, Chickadee.  Stuff happens and we have to keep moving.  Lying down and waiting for someone to come along and fix it for us is not how the world works.

Granted, I’m no financial adviser.  I’m just a round white woman who got tired of being broke.  I’m rebuilding my credit slowly but surely.  I’m still tickled pink to get that department store charge card.  You gotta start somewhere.  If you don’t know where to start you won’t get where you want to be.