The Last Week: Some Things I've Learned in the Last Year

Friday, July 26, 2013

Here we go, the home stretch! The doctor checked me out on Thursday and said my cervix was effacing, no dilating, and he hasn't dropped yet. Of course, as is usual, the doctor said it could come any day now, but I'll probably see you next week, but I could see you before then...Eh, ya know. Stay off your feet, drink lots of water, keep eating. I am very grateful for such a healthy pregnancy, even if it has been the most uncomfortable physical thing I've ever experienced. 

I seriously can't wait to meet him. 

Some of the things that I've learned about pregnancy, and life really...and I say some because there are a lot of things that I've learned. I've learned how to be less selfish and more self less, I've learned to love my husband in a whole new way, I've learned to listen a lot better (bed rest has not been easy)...I've learned what it feels like to be responsible for someone that is incapable of taking care of themselves...I could seriously go on and on and on...

But that's not what I want to focus on. What I'd like to focus on are the things I've learned in dealing with other people, and how to be happy when the world around me seems to be trying to bring me down. 

Everyone has an opinion, and most people are going to tell you what it is whether you asked for it or not. And the funny thing about those opinions, they often express them to you as if their's is the only right way. If you disagree, they get offended and butt hurt! It's kind of ridiculous. 

I have a funny feeling I've mentioned this before, probably because you can't change people and so whether you're graduating college and deciding to stay home and teach piano lessons, or getting married a month after you turn 20, or not getting pregnant right away (not for lack of trying), or getting pregnant and everyone telling you how to give birth or how to raise your child....................people are going to tell what they think about it.


So here's what I've learned and what has made the hurricane of people's opinions bearable and allowed me to live happily. If any of you are having trouble with this, I hope what I've learned can help you too. 


If you're married, your marriage is between you, your spouse, and God. It is hard to make everyone happy, your in-laws, your own family, your friends, those who you have a responsibility to (church, work, etc)...But when it comes to your family, as in the family you chose to create and become a part of, that's all that matters. First and foremost, focus on the happiness of yourself, your spouse, and if you believe in God then Him too. If your happiness clashes with the happiness of anyone else besides those three, brush it off. 

It's hard to brush it off. I want everyone to be happy, but when it comes down to it, you can't make everyone else happy. If your happiness is in your own hands, so is theirs. They need to realize that, and unfortunately, even if you point that out to them (I don't recommend), or even if they know it, just like it's hard for you to brush it off it's probably hard for them to apply what they know. 

So first and foremost, try to make yourself and your family happy...then if you can, focus on the rest of the people in your life. Usually when you have harmony in your home, your family, your life, you'll find that you have the time, energy, and the desire to then try and make everyone else in your life happy too. Sometimes you'll fail, but at the end of the day remember that their happiness is in their own hands as your happiness is in yours. If someone is making you unhappy, forgive and forget, brush it off. Life is too short to be upset over imperfection, when we're all imperfect. Hopefully they'll do the same for you...and if not, brush it off. 


There is a time and a place to share your opinions. If someone is asking for it, of course give it! If you're all having a discussion, then of course share it! If someone is talking to you about their opinion, and you disagree, it's okay to share that too because they are talking to you (if they don't want to hear your opinion, then they shouldn't have started up a conversation with you). 

But as we all know, people aren't perfect. I consider these three rules kind of the etiquette rules for opinions, but I find them rarely followed. People are going to tell you what you think whether you ask them to or not. The other crucial rule of etiquette with opinions should be that you don't force it on someone. If you are disagreeing with someone, you are probably not going to change their mind so don't try. When giving your opinion, give it with the attitude, consideration, and mindset that it is your opinion, and they don't have to agree with you, or even take it with a grain of salt. 

This rule should definitely apply to facebook and other social media outlets along with real life face to face human interaction. On facebook, you have your own wall, your own page. This is where you can post your opinion, with the mindset that it is yours and no one else has to agree. If you don't agree with someone's opinion, unless they've forced it on you, if it's on their wall then you have no right to aggravate or start contention or argument by forcing your different opinion on them unless they've specifically asked for it. If someone's opinion upsets you so much, then either don't be "friends" with them, or write your own opinion on your own wall. 

Now of course, this is my opinion! These are rules that I've tried to live by (of course I've failed at times, who is perfect? Certainly not me) because when I've encountered people who don't follow these etiquette rules of opinions, I've been upset and frustrated. When people don't follow these rules, it feels like they are deliberately trying to hurt your feelings. Sometimes that's true, but most of the time their only motive is to share their opinion...they just don't realize that they're being extremely rude and hurtful. This also applies to people who force their feelings on you, people who expect you to do what makes them happy even if it conflicts with what makes you happy. Of course it matters whether they are trying to make you feel guilty or not, if they are that is very wrong...But if they're not trying to make you feel guilty, it just so happens that's what they've accomplished, just brush it off. Like those giving their opinions, give them the benefit of the doubt that they just don't realize how rude they're being. Remember life is too short, you can't make everyone happy, and you can't agree with everyone. 

Follow the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. No one likes it when someone forces their opinions or feelings on you, so don't force yours on anyone. 

I Know Nothing, Keep an Open Mind

The older I get the more I realize how much I don't know. My opinion is just that, an opinion, not a fact, not a truth...and so are everyone else's opinions. Of course you can still argue and disagree with facts or truths, but you would be wrong. Disagreeing with opinions are okay, because opinions aren't necessarily facts or truth. But remember that you know nothing, just like I know nothing, and keep an open mind. You never know when someone will say something that makes you rethink what you thought you knew or believed, and possibly change you for the better. 

But again, you are more likely to keep an open mind if people are respectful about sharing their opinions and feelings. So, according to the golden rule, if you want others to keep an open mind to your opinions then you need to be respectful when sharing yours as well. 

Always Learning

You can't learn if you're not paying attention or analyzing yourself, your situation, and what happens to you. You should always be focusing on yourself and how you act, react, behave, what you say, how you say it, what you believe. You should always strive for continual learning in everything, whether it's schooling, hobbies, or just becoming a better human being. And you don't just have to analyze yourself...evaluate others (don't judge, it's very different). Look at what they do, how they act, do you like it or do you not like it? You don't just have to look at people that you like or can learn from anyone and anything. Take what you don't like, and try to make sure that you don't do it yourself. Take what you do like, and try to apply it to your life.

You CAN'T Change People

No matter how much you would like to you can't change anyone but yourself. So if they don't understand that their opinion is not wanted, or that they are being rude in the way they are expressing their thoughts and opinions, or are trying to make you feel like you have to do what they want to you to do so they can be happy, just brush it off. Let it go. Why worry about what you can't change. This is easier said than done, but after about a years worth of practice I feel like I've gotten pretty good at it. And I have a funny feeling it will be a daily battle for the rest of my life, to learn to let it go, to brush it off.

So start today. Right now. Start with one thing that someone did or said that bugged you today or yesterday or a year ago, and brush it off. Then tomorrow, if it's still bugging you, brush it off again. When you can finally let it go, give yourself a major pat on the back and then let go of the next thing. Choose to be happy, and choose to be a good person that follows the golden rule. 


Again, I feel like I've mentioned these things before, and I probably have...but being pregnant has given me a whole new insight into myself and other people. If I have mentioned these things before, then I've relearned them. Always learning right? Doesn't necessarily have to be new things that we're learning. 

I'm so excited to start this new adventure! I'm quite done with the pregnant part of the adventure, and I'm ready to have him in my arms, to love him, talk to him, sing him lullabies, take care of him...on the outside. I'm so excited to learn how to be a mom, wish me luck!