I didn't quite cover all the ground I intended yesterday, because there was so much more that I wanted to say but couldn't quite get my head around the words. I keep coming back to my walk with the sharp-shinned hawk in hot pursuit of a mockingbird, which successfully thwarted its pursuer (the mockingbird emerged at high speed from the shrubbery; the raptor did not).
So this visual with Fr M's voice stayed with me yesterday; among those things he asked was: who was the greatest blessing to you this past year? Who posed the biggest challenges?
My short list of the former is not very short at all; a dozen names popped into my head and if you gave me more than a minute, I could probably come up with another two dozen or so. But the latter....ah, the latter. It is damnably complicated to love a difficult person, isn't it? Said person (if it's a loved one) thinks you hate him or her, especially if you acknowledge that person is wrong, or needs to take corrective action (I admit with a rueful chuckle that I am frequently that person).
I was thinking about some one else, some one who has been going out of her way to apologize to me lately, and I did not lie when I told her, "you are fine." Because she is. I know she took some things I said as an affront, but I was simply dealing with my family as my family needed to be handled. I am a tough room when it comes to my kids--probably harder than anyone else on the planet, because I have to be.
But not everyone gets my hard edges. If you are not here or paying attention 24/7 or living the dream, you aren't going to. But you do have to let me deal with my kids; cutting them slack because it's the easiest and most expedient thing for you is not going to do either of them any favors--in fact, the older one banks on people giving in to him.
So applying what Fr M's message, and I think this is a pretty good resolution, going forward this year, I am going to apply a little more compassion and a little less temper and impatience. I've definitely come a long way in the last year in this department, but it's the one area of my life that demands continuous and obvious improvement.
Because being a difficult person ain't easy....