This year I’ve been thinking about a theme, and using it for Monday to Friday blogs. This gives me the ability to incorporate thoughts that my blog friends have given me into a central idea or unit. I have been fond of this method because it has given me time to pause, reflect and slow down, which was one of my goals for the year. But I’ve realized that sometimes I need a follow-up. Weeks or months later I have thoughts or ideas that stemmed from past blogs. So this week, piling on from last week, will be a few new ideas I’ve had about past subjects.
A few months ago I wrote about Myers Briggs, and my typing ISTJ-A. When I took the test and looked at the supporting descriptions, I thought that it was pretty dead accurate to my personality, except there was one part, I think the A, that suggests that I am calm. In my mind, I am not calm. I just got irrationally annoyed because I accidentally erased this paragraph. Ask any customer service representative if I talk in a calm manner…..
But… I started to realize something. When I am talking to someone who I think is slacking, I tend to talk faster. I’m probably trying to get them to speed up and think and pay attention. And I normally talk fast, and loud. (I would not make a good librarian). So I give the appearance of not being calm- yet inside….I’m pretty much in control in there.
I also realized that I’m actually great in a crisis. When my friend K recently had to go to the Doctor, she asked me to come along. Now, I’m a nice person, but it wasn’t necessarily my bedside manner: it was because of my ability to listen openly and rationally. We got to the office and I pulled out my pen and notepad (and I had a spare pen in my bag) I had google open on my phone so I could check a definition at any point. My friend K looked at me and laughed- “of course you bring a notebook”. When she told our other friend that I was going to the Doctor with her my friend G responded- “Oh- of course you bring LA. She is the perfect person. She’ll know exactly what questions to ask.”
K was not the first person to ask me to accompany them to a Doctor’s visit. I know nothing about medicine or the like, but I do know how to listen, how to jot down what’s important, and how to think what the logical next question is.
When my daughter was about eighteen months old she got a nasty stomach bug. I realized that she was dehydrated and I called Doctor and he told me to get her to emergency room to het hydrated. Here’s the thing: I was not one of those Mother’s constantly on the phone with the Doctor. The Doctor knew that if I was calling, I wasn’t fooling. And then the nurse at the ER praised me for realizing quickly that my daughter was dehydrated- She said that most parents didn’t realize it right away and that made it worse.
I calmly sat with my daughter as the IV rehydrated her. Listened to the Doctors and Nurses. Kept my young daughter occupied. I did not fall apart. Even as my Mother and Mother in Law constantly called me in hysterics.
I didn’t break. I just did what needed to be done.
It’s funny how you can let people’s perceptions of you color your own judgement. Because I’m quick, I’ve been told I’m not calm. But guess what? I am actually quite calm. It takes a lot to break me. If I go out of control you know you’ve worn me down. My Husband was annoyed with me once (yes- only once….) and he was ranting and I was calmly listening to him, and it made him more mad that I was rational and not screaming. It also helped that what he was saying was ridiculous. How mad can you get if someone is just being ridiculous?
So there you go- though I might not appear calm, I actually am. Just like my house- when you enter you might think I’m not organized, but open up a cabinet or drawer, and there it is, all straight lines and order. I’ve built a good base.