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I am sure that we have all come across people who are so closed minded or unsmart (I know that is not a real word but I really don’t like to say stupid..oops, said it anyways) that there is almost no point in having any type of conversation with them. Or at least any conversation that involves them changing their own personal narrow minded point of view.

My kids are especially lucky to have been gifted genetically on both sides with stubborness. But even with all the stubborness in my immediate and extended family, when push comes to shove with my family if you actually have a good point you can reason with them. Sometimes you can even get them to agree with you.

Then there are people who are brick walls. They are as thick as one and as deaf as one and talking to them is actually like talking to a wall but the wall is probably more intellligent.

red bricks wall
(Photo courtesy of ezioman)

As you guys can guess, I had a frustrating experience with one of “them” the other day.

I have been debating about whether or not to write about this because I don’t like to label or judge people. I also don’t like talking negatively about people or making fun of them. I debated about it quite bit and decided that the point I will get to in the end is important enough to make.

So back to the story. I was working the other evening. The ER tends to bring out the worst in people whether it be patients, families and even the staff. People are stressed, feel ill, worried, anxious and of course impatient. I am generally patient but I am human and sometimes things do affect me. For instance the 10th time in 5 minutes someone asks me the same thing. I digress though.

The other evening there was an old woman in who was in pretty good shape for her age. She came in with her two grown sons. Forget about the fact that they were told numerous times that each patient can only have one person with them in the ER and they kept ignoring the guard and finding their way in.

That wasn’t even the problem. The sons’ mannerisms, manner of talking and choice of words really bothered me. Where I worked that evening is a kind of closed cubicle with me on the inside and the doctor and patients at the mouth of it. Basically a really unsafe scenario because if a patient gets violent I am cornered.

At one point one of the sons got into a shouting match with the doctor and said “So what should I do? I should slaughter the doctor?” As you can see really inappropriate.

IMG_9038
(Photo courtesy of Neeta Lind)
When they came over to me for blood tests, I started a conversation with the son while I was taking care of his mother. I first bought up the insight I had had about myself just a few days earlier when I had realized how some phrases I use I should be more careful about. I then tried to gently tell him how his choice of words was really not appropriate. I ended up talking to a brick wall.

Now I understand that when people are under stress they are less receptive, but that was not the issue here. This was just a very angry, slightly unsmart and close minded person. After about a minute or two I just gave up. Especially after he said that things only started moving for his mother in the ER once he started yelling and saying things like he had. (Little did he know that I held up sending his mother’s blood tests for a really long time because of that comment. Yup, the stubborn not nice part of me rears its head once in a while. I am sure I will have to pay for that karma at some point.)

Initially I found myself getting really upset at his guy. I mean come on man, I am giving you my time and words of wisdom, don’t you think you can just listen and take it to heart? I joke but being honest I think it did bother me that I really had a good point to make and something that if he took on board would make his life better and less angry and confrontational and he wanted to no part of it. He barely even acknowledged my words.

I also don’t like the bullying attitude where people think they get their way better or faster by yelling. Which is probably why I said something to begin with.

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination......365/365

Don’t get me wrong. As much as I would love to educate the world and help everyone live their lives better, I know that I am not going to change everyone. I also know that I don’t know everything. Not by a long shot.

That doesn’t stop me from trying because I have found that pointing something out to someone in a friendly way often makes them pause and think before they do the same thing in the future.

And then there are times that I just give up when I see the conversation is going nowhere except for getting on my nerves. A conversation like I had with “that” man. Times like that are really just a waste of your breath because the person is either too wrapped up in themselves or not intelligent enough to have a meaningful conversation. Or maybe they really are very narrow and close minded and see the world only through their own point of view.

We see the inability to carry on a productive conversation with all kinds of people and often times with people who are hateful or rascists. I had gotten a rather hateful and shocking comment on a previous post of mine. A comment that I chose not to air on my blog because the person writing it just spewed hate and one sidedness.

What I have learned from both that incident and the work incident is that there are just times where no amount of reason, goodwill or nice words will help. There are people who don’t want to hear a point of view other than their own and have no interest in change.

So sometimes it is better to just walk away and remember that there are people who cannot be reasoned with. Or at least people who don’t want to be reasoned with. You cannot help anyone who does not want to help themselves. Remember that the only thing you can do is to change your own reaction to them and their behavior. And you can be thankful that you yourself have the capacity and desire to reason.

Have you ever been in this kind of frustrating situation?

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I am sure that we have all come across people who are so closed minded or unsmart (I know that is not a real word but I really don’t like to say stupid..oops, said it anyways) that there is almost no point in having any type of conversation with them. Or at least any conversation that involves them changing their own personal narrow minded point of view.

My kids are especially lucky to have been gifted genetically on both sides with stubborness. But even with all the stubborness in my immediate and extended family, when push comes to shove with my family if you actually have a good point you can reason with them. Sometimes you can even get them to agree with you.

Then there are people who are brick walls. They are as thick as one and as deaf as one and talking to them is actually like talking to a wall but the wall is probably more intellligent.

red bricks wall
(Photo courtesy of ezioman)

As you guys can guess, I had a frustrating experience with one of “them” the other day.

I have been debating about whether or not to write about this because I don’t like to label or judge people. I also don’t like talking negatively about people or making fun of them. I debated about it quite bit and decided that the point I will get to in the end is important enough to make.

So back to the story. I was working the other evening. The ER tends to bring out the worst in people whether it be patients, families and even the staff. People are stressed, feel ill, worried, anxious and of course impatient. I am generally patient but I am human and sometimes things do affect me. For instance the 10th time in 5 minutes someone asks me the same thing. I digress though.

The other evening there was an old woman in who was in pretty good shape for her age. She came in with her two grown sons. Forget about the fact that they were told numerous times that each patient can only have one person with them in the ER and they kept ignoring the guard and finding their way in.

That wasn’t even the problem. The sons’ mannerisms, manner of talking and choice of words really bothered me. Where I worked that evening is a kind of closed cubicle with me on the inside and the doctor and patients at the mouth of it. Basically a really unsafe scenario because if a patient gets violent I am cornered.

At one point one of the sons got into a shouting match with the doctor and said “So what should I do? I should slaughter the doctor?” As you can see really inappropriate.

IMG_9038
(Photo courtesy of Neeta Lind)
When they came over to me for blood tests, I started a conversation with the son while I was taking care of his mother. I first bought up the insight I had had about myself just a few days earlier when I had realized how some phrases I use I should be more careful about. I then tried to gently tell him how his choice of words was really not appropriate. I ended up talking to a brick wall.

Now I understand that when people are under stress they are less receptive, but that was not the issue here. This was just a very angry, slightly unsmart and close minded person. After about a minute or two I just gave up. Especially after he said that things only started moving for his mother in the ER once he started yelling and saying things like he had. (Little did he know that I held up sending his mother’s blood tests for a really long time because of that comment. Yup, the stubborn not nice part of me rears its head once in a while. I am sure I will have to pay for that karma at some point.)

Initially I found myself getting really upset at his guy. I mean come on man, I am giving you my time and words of wisdom, don’t you think you can just listen and take it to heart? I joke but being honest I think it did bother me that I really had a good point to make and something that if he took on board would make his life better and less angry and confrontational and he wanted to no part of it. He barely even acknowledged my words.

I also don’t like the bullying attitude where people think they get their way better or faster by yelling. Which is probably why I said something to begin with.

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination......365/365

Don’t get me wrong. As much as I would love to educate the world and help everyone live their lives better, I know that I am not going to change everyone. I also know that I don’t know everything. Not by a long shot.

That doesn’t stop me from trying because I have found that pointing something out to someone in a friendly way often makes them pause and think before they do the same thing in the future.

And then there are times that I just give up when I see the conversation is going nowhere except for getting on my nerves. A conversation like I had with “that” man. Times like that are really just a waste of your breath because the person is either too wrapped up in themselves or not intelligent enough to have a meaningful conversation. Or maybe they really are very narrow and close minded and see the world only through their own point of view.

We see the inability to carry on a productive conversation with all kinds of people and often times with people who are hateful or rascists. I had gotten a rather hateful and shocking comment on a previous post of mine. A comment that I chose not to air on my blog because the person writing it just spewed hate and one sidedness.

What I have learned from both that incident and the work incident is that there are just times where no amount of reason, goodwill or nice words will help. There are people who don’t want to hear a point of view other than their own and have no interest in change.

So sometimes it is better to just walk away and remember that there are people who cannot be reasoned with. Or at least people who don’t want to be reasoned with. You cannot help anyone who does not want to help themselves. Remember that the only thing you can do is to change your own reaction to them and their behavior. And you can be thankful that you yourself have the capacity and desire to reason.

Have you ever been in this kind of frustrating situation?

Read Full Post »

Today is my husband’s birthday.

No honey, I am not writing this because I think you are old. Yes, I know I mentioned last night in the wee hours of the morning that maybe I would write about aging after I wished you a happy birthday. But honestly, I really had already thought about this topic last week and it really was all about me. So happy birthday young one!

Now back to aging. That nasty vengeful thing that one bright morning smacks you in the face when you are looking in the mirror, or when you hear your creaking bones when you try and get out of bed. (Still talking about me honey, not you.)

Sometimes the wake up call is underhanded. You know, like when you are casually looking at old albums and your husband mentions wow, your parents look so different now. No, that’s not the wake up call because we still think we are young. The earth shaking realization comes when you do the math in your head and you say, honey you do realize that in that picture my dad was about the age you are right now. Yup, that’s the punch in the gut we all want to avoid giving our spouses. That particular experience a few months back really knocked the wind out of both mine and hubby’s sails for a few days. Funny how the years have flown by without us noticing it.

Age is just sneaky. It creeps up on you slowly. First you get a few little wrinkles that you only notice when you smile. Then they move in permanently. Maybe you start to notice that it is not that easy to keep your weight at the level you want anymore. You notice that you have more aches and pains after a workout. If you have “lovely” genetics you even get to discover hair dying at the old age of 25 to cover those “flattering” (NOT) white streaks.

I can deal with all of that. But last week, to find a few grey hairs on my eyebrows, well I will admit that freaked me out. Honestly, I am not old! Grey eyebrows! Arggghhh! Even worse, I can’t believe I admitted it out loud!

I guess it was not until that horrifying pivotal moment when I found those grey eyebrow hairs that I realized that I must be vain. Oh well, I am going to have to deal with that as well.

But honestly, aging is not all bad. (Gosh I am making myself sound like I am ancient or something.) I am sure I must sound cliche, but there are many good things that come with age. I know that I am a lot more secure in myself then I was 10 or 15 years ago. I know what is important in life and what to shrug off. I sometimes even manage to get my priorities in life straight. All of that is so much more important than wrinkle free skin and non grey hair. Right???? Yes, I know I am right.

What I also know for certain is that unless I could return to my youth with all the wisdom I now possess, I would never (vowed not to use that word) definitely not agree to that journey. How many times do I recall things I have said which now in hindsight I am so embarrassed to have even muttered? How many things did I shed tears over something that I can’t even recall the details of now? How many times did I blow an event out of proportion only to realize years later how inconsequential the whole episode was? How many times did I waste my time on unimportant things or people instead of spending the time with ones I love? The answer in case I left any room for doubt is too many.

Sure there are things we can do to make aging easier. We can eat right, exercise regularly, drink lots of water, get enough sleep and do things we love. Hmmmmm, looking back on that list I am thinking I better get cracking on taking my own advice to slow down the effects of aging.

There are also things that we also have no control over. The way we learn to cope and handle those incidents can also influence our aging process. I am sure that being bitter and angry instead of just looking at the half full glass accelerates your body’s aging-but that’s just my own supposition, I have never done studies on it.

Hopefully we will all age. I say that seeing as the alternative is not living old enough to age. So why shouldn’t we learn to age gracefully? Why should we spend these wonderful years bemoaning what was or what has been? We need to learn to look at the present, and at all the future still holds for us.

So today honey on your 43rd birthday, a toast to you and to us. May you only continue to improve with age. You have the same charm you did when we met 24 years ago, but like the good wine you like to drink, you have only gotten better with the years. We are raising five great kids and I have no idea where the time has gone because it was only yesterday that we were married. May we continue to complement and complete each other and may we grow old together gracefully and in good health. I love you.

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Writing.
(Photo courtesy of Caitlin Regan )

We always think there is going to be time to ask questions, time to hear answers. Somehow we don’t seem to make the time to delve a bit more deeply into our parents’ and grandparents’ childhood, youth and adulthood, all those years before we met them.

We always think there will be time for questions. We think that until we realize there is no more time. We think there will be time until someone is abruptly taken from us, or until their memory is slowly robbed by dementia.

My 18 year old son is leaving in a few days on a trip to Poland called March of the Living. It is an educational trip for Jewish youth to teach them about their heritage and about the horrors that occurred in the Holocaust up close by visiting the concentration camps.

As part of the preparation for the trip, the youth are encouraged to ask their relatives who lived through the Holocaust about their experiences. I specifically invited my grandmother for the Sabbath this weekend so that we would have an opportunity to talk to her about her experiences in the concentration camp.

It was not easy asking her questions. Not so much because of the emotions (which did surprise me), but because there was so much she didn’t remember or that she was confused about. As we were sitting at the Sabbath table at lunch I started asking questions. She could not remember. When I asked her the same question a few minutes later, she would give me the answer. I had my 18 year old a bit confused because I asked the same question over and over and he did not understand why I kept repeating myself.

My grandmother ended up recalling the line ups early every morning no matter what the weather. She told us about her mother being yanked away from her and never seeing her ever again. She told us about the Russian with the big curly moustache who liberated them and told them the war was over and they were free. We learned that she had been in Birkenau not Auschwitz like we had thought. She told us that those two camps were one next to another.

So we learned some, but it was evident to me about how much of her history we would never know, how much is lost in her memory and how much information would die with her. As a child I remember doing a report about my grandparents. I am upset I didn’t redo it again as an adult. A few years ago I tried going through my grandmother’s albums with her because there where many people I didn’t recognize. By the time I asked it was really too late. She didn’t know to tell me about many of the pictures.

Through my blogging I have started writing about my experiences these days. I am now thinking that I should sit down and write an autobiography of sorts. Something that my kids can read when they are older and have questions. As an ER nurse I am all too aware of the fact that you never know when your time will be up. How many times have I heard relatives wail over the death of a family member and say “But she was just on her way to work.”

What I want everyone to do is to remember there isn’t always time. Take the time now to ask your parents and grandparents lots of question. Videotape them, write about their experiences, ask them about the old photos in their albums.

Your parents and grandparents are part of your heritage. In Judaism there is a saying that says:
“The deeds of our ancestors are a model for future generations.”
I think that holds true for everyone. There is much to be learned from our parents and grandparents. From their trials, successes and even mistakes. We just have to remember to ask for the information before it is too late. Hopefully you will even be lucky and still have decades to learn and experience even more with your parents and grandparents. That would be an added bonus.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

P.S. This was not meant to be a depressing sad post. It was just to make us realize that some things should just not be pushed off.

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