Lessons Learned

<Sept. 24/12.> It’s been an interesting time. One just keeps learning lessons, doesn’t one? (Sometimes we are mighty slow learners, though, aren't we?? I sure as heck can be sometimes.)

Sooooo, here are a few of my most recent ones:

  • I’m convinced the time has come to stop putting up with really serious quantities of bullshit. Time to cut the crap. Blow the whistle.  Don’t you think??
  • Wherever you go, there you are. & not only are you always there, with your own neuroses & … things, so is the whole endless darn human display on … display. Neuroses & nonsense & grandeur & creativity & resourcefulness & greed & pettiness & greatness & lots of rather petty tawdriness. Laziness, too. The human parade is everywhere you go. The parade is always always always on parade. Everywhere you go. Go ahead & be idealistic & expect perfection among certain brands of folks…I’m just not holding my breath on it anymore, myself.
  • Remember that old Rick Nelson song ‘Garden Party’ & the line, “You can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself?” One of my most recent, very recent, insights is this: I know that I never seem to quite manage to live up to other people’s expectations of me. I am not well-off enough. Well-dressed enough. Pretty enough. Sophisticated enough. Smart enough. Sometimes I am just not enough. (Although sometimes, apparently, I am too much!) Well I’ve got this figured out, finally – how to play this little number, from here on in. I’m going to remind myself often that all I really have to do, & be, is the very best me I can be. I’m going to focus on being the best darn Janet McNeill I can possibly be. To heck with everybody else!
  • Guilt vs. resentment. In Gabor Maté’s brilliant book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts – Close Encounters with Addiction, I read on page 378 the author quoting a therapist: “When it comes to a choice between feeling guilt or resentment, choose the guilt every time.” Maté then adds, “It is wisdom I have passed on to many others since. If refusal to take on responsibility for another person’s behaviours burdens you with guilt, while consenting to it leaves you eaten by resentment, opt for the guilt. Resentment is soul suicide [italics mine].” Sounds like excellent advice to me, for sure, & a lesson I’m very grateful to have had passed along to me.
  • Finally, when someone strikes me as being very very cavalier about something that seems to me needs greater consideration, or dismisses as nothing something that looks to me to be a matter of some work or concern or consequence, I really need to go with my own intuitions about the situation, project or circumstance. They are so very, very often quite bang on, as it turns out.



p.s. while one is always on the lookout for men (or, well, people in general, I suppose) one can really trust (Results? mixed), this I have absolutely 100% confirmed semi-recently:

  • Men do not always read maps accurately.
  • Even nuclear engineers make quite grotesque errors on occasion. With rather devastating consequences, unfortunately.      (I am the mistress of understatement, am I not??)


‘Quote of the day with this post: “The most revolutionary thing one can do is always to proclaim loudly what is happening.” – Rosa Luxemburg 

Runners-up for Q. of the day:

“A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.” – George Bernard Shaw, Irish dramatist & critic (1856-1950)

“I was raised to sense what someone wanted me to be and be that kind of person. It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.” – Sally Field, American actress (born 1946)

“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.” – Carol Welch, author

“You must locate your deepest private feelings – philosophical, religious, spiritual – and then decide to live out these beliefs in a commensurate way, in public, as much as possible without compromise.” – Marv Davidov, peace activist (quoted in Nukewatch Quarterly, Spring 2012 issue) 

“Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.” – Benjamin Franklin, American statesman (1706-90). 

“You possess only whatever will not be lost in a shipwreck.” – Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali, Persian philosopher (1058-1111)

“Truth is the only safe ground to stand on.” Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“Holding onto a resentment is like eating rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.” – Anne Lamott in Crooked Little Heart

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein (some other great Einstein quotes here