Maybe I think different than most. I was always criticized by both ex-husbands because I put everyone else first...ahead of myself. Perhaps I did that too much, I don't know. It was and is who I am. It's too hard to change that part of myself. Even if we are giving people and are taken advantage of by takers, we are still going to give. It's the nature of the beast. I guess what we can do is be more selective in our giving. But what does that mean? Can those that are givers be selective? Is it in their nature? And can you be giving without being selfish? Are givers unselfish? The answer is maybe and it depends. I can say "no" on the giving part. I give to those that don't deserve it. I give to good people. I give to bad people.
I give to those that don't deserve it. I said that twice because that is what is very important to remember. If you give to those that don't deserve it...that instills positive change.
I give to those that have everything. I give to strangers. Sometimes I don't want to give anything to certain people. Many times it doesn't matter how many times someone hurts you, you continue to give to them.
There are many that think like me. At the same time, there are not enough? Does that make sense?
Have I stopped giving to someone? Yes.
Have I refused to give to someone or help someone? Yes.
What does all that mean? How do we process a balance?
My first ex said I constantly did things for others and was thoughtful, but never getting the same in return. I didn't expect anything in return. That is not what giving means. Giving isn't expecting receiving.
So if both ex-husbands hated the fact I was a giving person to others outside their little bubble, is it a problem that I should reevaluate? Two men, not just any, but two men I married...said the same thing. They didn't just mention it. They were upset about it. They didn't like it.
Eh. I don't even care. Will I care if it pisses off a new perspective man? Nope. It's a part of me. I might think about dropping them like a hot potato. One thing I have learned to change is I am not going to date or be with someone that is mad or upset or jealous because I pay attention to details.
What bothers me in the world, however, is that giving can be as simple as a kind word. Giving can be as defined as "noticing". We often get in our own little world and fail to open our eyes. Did we notice that our elderly neighbor had difficulty getting the sack of groceries out of her car? And did we rush to her aid? Did we notice that cute little kid peeking out at us from a rack of clothes at Walmart? And did we smile or wave at the little guy when he sheepishly waved to a stranger? Did we say "good day" to someone or just rush pass them in a huff? Do you greet your office every day with "good morning" or do you scurry into your office with your cup of coffee?
We aren't perfect.
Have I forgotten a special date? Have I stood someone up? Yes. I felt rotten.
Did I get involved in my own world that I rushed around and was thoughtless? Yes.
Did I forget my anniversaries? No. Did I forget the day my close relatives and friends passed away? No.
Did I forget their birthdays? No. I may have been late or early in getting a phone call or card in the mail, but it was important for me to say something. To notice. You see, my dad treated my birthday as a national holiday, so I got spoiled. That's what I do for Bug. That's how I feel. Your birthday is the one special day that is yours alone. So don't forget your secretary's birthday. Don't pass it by. Make an office list.
Every year, my sergeant made a big deal by giving us a gift certificate, card, and making the whole team bring cake and goodies, sing a song. My sergeant was a man.
Hell, that was awesome! Why? Because he was a man. He was thoughtful. And also both my ex-husbands forgot my birthday on more than one occasion. And he made the team pay attention even for that one thing he deemed to be special. It made a difference. It made a person special for one moment.
My mom is HUGE into birthdays and holidays. She rubs off on me.I get that those things are important and she raised us kids to do the same.
The police officers who are women will often bring goodies or meals into their teams. It's what we do. It's nature. It's our social up bringing. It's something we have let diminish in our society...kindness...gatherings...food gifts. There is still some spark of it out there. But how often do you hear about May baskets anymore? How many of us give cookies or pies to our neighbors just because? Do you get 100 fruitcakes during the holidays?
Most comments I hear are..."well that's something that my wife does...or a woman is supposed to do those things." No. It's up to all of us to pay attention. We all let the little things float by and disappear into the wind.
Even paying attention to the bird feeder at your house is important. Fill it up once a year and leave it empty. What do you think those birdies are saying when it runs dry? Bastards. That's what they are calling you.
My 95 year old grandfather never lets them run out. He pays attention. He also sent me a sweet birthday card. As did my aunts, my mother, my friends. But grandpa is on time and he never forgets and he puts $10.00 in there every year. Bless his heart. I notice. I would love him the same even if he didn't put money in there or even if he didn't send me a card. But I think he is extra special because he does.
My birthday has not always been a day of celebration and for many years, I have had to get the noise out of my head. It has taken a long time to think of it as my special day and my national holiday again.
After it was always a day of celebration and national holiday-ism by my family and close friends for years, it carried a dark cloud for some time during my adult life.
When I was a rookie, I received a message on my birthday from dispatch. I will never forget it. One of my favorite dispatchers called me and said, "I know it's your birthday. I'm sorry to tell you this. I just wanted you to know first before you heard it on the news that Jim died today while volunteering at an elementary school to help put up playground equipment."
Jim was my boss. He was also my friend. He had two very young boys that were his pride and joy. He shared a lot of personal stories with me. I used to be his secretary before he became my sergeant. He always made my birthday a national holiday. LOL. I'm sure he didn't plan to make memorialize it like that. Every year I remember his boys. Every year I would run into them on the street or on Facebook...like yesterday. I saw his oldest boy's post which made me smile when he remembered his dad and wrote about it. I wrote a message on his post. Why? Because that day is more important to Troy than any other. And I wanted to share the fact I noticed and I remembered his dad, too. We don't often know how we impact others, but a kind word can make all the difference.
Some years later, my birthday was again landmarked by something special. My husband of 20 plus years told me..."Happy Birthday. I want a divorce." It was the only time he remembered besides my 40th birthday. I actually remember on my birthday that particular day as well and I am thankful I am not married to that asshole anymore. The serial killer? I didn't matter to him, therefore it didn't either.
What is the point of this message? Oh, yeah. Pay attention. To the little things. Help your neighbor. Smile when you go to work. Stop being such a crab ass.
Wave to the little kid. Give that waitress a tip.
Send a card to those who lose a loved one.
Pet the damn dog once in a while. Geesh. We treat our dogs better than people.
Despite the fact that some strange or un-ordinary occurrences have happened on my birthday, it is still my special day. It is my national holiday. I celebrate people's birthdays. They are important.
Yes, BROTHER OF MINE, even Amazon.com remembered my fucking birthday. I still love you, tho.