Monday, March 12, 2007

Reminders

Yesterday morning I came home from church and wrote a short post designed to vent my spleen as anonymously as possible. I had had a committee meeting at 8:15 and a class to present at 9:30. Thanks to DST, it felt like both started an hour earlier than indicated by the clock, and people were functioning on little sleep -- many of us having endured restless nights wondering if clocks were set correctly and would go off on time.

I had spent a lot of time preparing for both meeting and class and made every effort to arrive well in advance. It was another person's delayed arrival that knocked everything off kilter, and by the end of the morning I was awash in self-pity. Objectively speaking, there was no reason for my overdone angst: all had gone well and many compliments had ensued. I was the only person who had had a completely different vision of the morning, so I was the only person who even suspected how much better it might have been.

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Fast forward to Major Evening Event at which a colleague of mine was being honored for a decade of brilliant and caring work. Over and over again, speakers marvelled at her understated demeanor, her modesty, and her broad range of achievements.

Another colleague sat next to me and muttered angrily thoughout the evening. Similarly honored several years ago, she had been stung by an unfortunate oversight and, not only has she not forgotten it, she has been busy constructing an Everest-height scaffold of resentment. To that she has added any number of frustrations, and her general demeanor, of which she is completely unaware, is one of bitterness and resentment.

It was an experience to sit between those two women. One sees possibilities and good in all things, works tirelessly, and never draws attention to herself. The other always finds the splinter, never forgets to remind you of the hours she put in over the weekend, and somehow manages to deflect attention from even the most significant honoree of the year to herself.

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Sorta put my morning and my reaction thereto into perspective.

5 comments:

Cynthia said...

I was able to catch your vent viz bloglines, and all things considered, your reaction was natural and relatively understated. The timing of the reminder brought on by your two peers though is a strong coincidence.

Carol said...

I'm wondering if you would have noticed last night's reactions as much had you not experienced what you did that morning. And I wonder if a less insightful and caring person would have noticed or processed any of the things you did. Another testament to the good in you, GG. I agree with Cynthia as to the juxtapositioning of the two events.

Quotidian Grace said...

I caught the vent via bloglines, also, which gave more background to this post.

I can't imagine having a committee meeting on Sunday morning so early-- DST or no DST!

As for the observations from your dinner later that day, it was a divine "nudge", not a coincidence.

Hope all is better today!

Presbyterian Gal said...

Yup, I'm with QG about the "nudge". Good that you noticed it because after the "nudge" comes a head conkin'. And you want nothin' to do with what comes after that (she said from experience)

Kathryn said...

What are bloglines?

Letting things go is so difficult. The gentle reminder which you received last night is one that we could all use.

I've been thinking about moving to a cave lately - probably nobody but me would notice.