“Never argue with an idiot; he will bring you down to his level and win from experience.” ― Brad Slipiec
I think I’ve figured something out. Sometimes it takes me a while, but I know I’ll eventually get there, and things will change. In other words, I had a huge light bulb moment today.
Christmas was good, I had a nice time with family. The day after was ok. We had a pj day and I tried to make the most of it with my daughter. My butt was planted firmly on the couch while I tried so hard not to whine and complain about my high fever, aching body and splitting head ache. I seriously felt like I was hit by a huge truck. My daughter was a trooper even though we had to cancel our plans for the day. In fact, she kind of took care of me, making sure that I rested, checked my temperature and drank fluids. It was nice to be looked after for a change.
But today was different. Today I worked from home while my daughter was in tow. She played in the backyard in the snow, while I sat at the kitchen table. It was nice to see the kids through the garden doors, hear them playing while I worked away on my Mac. I was still sick with a high fever, but I felt somewhat better hearing them, and getting cool, fresh air when they would throw the door open to tell me some exciting news.
Then the chaos started. I began getting text messages that were demanding, argumentative and unreasonable. I found myself getting wound up while I tried to deal with this. I was ready to set my phone on fire. It was getting late so I called my daughter in for lunch, and found myself snapping at her, not being able to handle normal things such as her normal complaints about eating her fruit. And I felt myself getting anxious, irritable and frustrated with everything around me. The afternoon wasn’t turning out well and I was spiralling downward – fast.
The text messages continued, and the more I tried to reason with this individual, the more outrageous the conversation would become, to the point when I was told that this would be handled in person, rather than text. Fine by me, I thought. I’m a firm believer that things should be resolved either in person or by telephone (voice). Plus, I would then be able to share the evidence to support my point.
Well the ‘calm’ discussion I anticipated didn’t work out that way. The in-person meeting was high-tension and high-conflict. Something that I didn’t want to expose my daughter to, and luckily she was in the other room, out of ear-shot, or so I thought. It was absolutely impossible to reason with this person, and when this person left, I found myself tied up in a tight knot. What the heck was going on?
I went back to the living room and sat down next to my daughter. She wanted to do something together so we painted a kit that Santa got us for Christmas. Strangely enough, I found it extremely cathartic and felt my mood suddenly change. I was thinking to myself about what had transpired, why I was so uptight, and then, almost as if an answer to my questions, my daughter says to me “Mommy, it’s only clothes. Who cares. Just let it go.” I was stunned. I turned to her and said “Honey, you’re right. It’s only clothes and not worth all the arguing.” And she said “Exactly. There are other things that are more important – such as painting!” What wisdom from a seven-year old. God I love her.
And so while I continued to paint I thought about why this incident had gotten to me so much, and I figured out that when I’m tired, run down and sick, I’m more susceptible to the antics of idiots. I am more likely to engage in the stupidity game that they try to get me to play into. They get the better of me, but not anymore. I’ve learned their method of attack – hit them while they’re still down. Does this happen to anyone else but me?
Then I read a friend’s status on Facebook “woke up feeling stressed, then I decided to count all the ways I am blessed. Then the reality hit me – I need to chill and let my worries be.”
Damn straight. I do need to let my worries be. I do need to focus on what I’ve been blessed with, and not get distracted by all the nonsense that gets brought to me by idiots. Clearly this happens to everyone, especially when you’re not able to function at your fullest. The way around that is to focus on what good there is in your life, on your blessings.
So I have figured out that at the end of the day I can hold my head up high. I’m able to walk away from today’s incident knowing that in my heart I’ve been truthful and honest, and I’ve been loving and caring. I have done no wrong to anyone, and I have not been hurtful. As my daughter said “it’s only clothes.” There are way more important things that need my attention and it’s better to spend my precious time and energy on something life-giving, not life draining. And idiots can be life draining if you let them be.