For someone who claims to be non-confrontational, I’m getting pretty good at it. Monday, someone in my neighborhood asked for moving boxes on our neighborhood message board. We (and by we, I mostly mean my awesome big brother who visited us on the spur of the moment and spent the better part of his Saturday on the task while I took the girls in my class on Retreat) just cleaned out my garage, and a big part of the clutter was a plethora of big boxes. I told her she could take some, no charge, but asked when she thought she could come get them. She said she’d be by yesterday afternoon. I made sure the boxes were at the curb, so she could grab them and not disturb my mom, who was home recovering from an uncomfortable medical test. For what it’s worth, I think the only other person who responded said he’d sell her some boxes, so I thought the fact that I was willing to give them away would be a good thing.
It’s debatable, but I think I’m an Enneagram 9-the Peacemaker, largely based on my compulsion to get everyone to like each other. I learned early on that it wasn’t even possible to get everyone to like each other— early on enough that the number 1 reason I went away to college was to force my parents and brothers to deal with each other without me as an intermediary. Win, lose, or draw, I couldn’t stay in the middle of those conversations, smoothing and translating and reassuring. I felt like I was losing any hope of becoming a separate entity, it was so shaping my personality and how I function in the world.
It’s probably that I’m an Obliger, so I feel great accountability to others, and when I say that I’ll do something, especially something on a timeline, I want to keep my word. But I have a situation and I really don’t understand where I’m getting it wrong.
Logic is a second language for me— one that I’ve spent a lot of time learning about and cultivating, but it’s not where I started. I started out a very emotional, instinctive person.
Logic is great, because being emotional and instinctive is not always what makes me happy, and it’s certainly proven more of a barrier to success than an enhancement, in my experience. I’d say that logic gives me the sense of having some agency in a world that can otherwise feel pretty dark and confusing. But I can’t discount the truth or value of my emotional and instinctive experience.
I noticed, this week, that I’ve been doing an especially good, A-plus degree of awesome on cooking. I teach a class at church Saturday morning, and I usually bring lunch home to share with mom after that so we get a pocket of time to visit between my class and my errand-running/out-and-abouting, which I did Saturday, but beyond that and the potlucks of Sunday, I’ve cooked every breakfast, lunch and dinner we’ve had (as long as you count the leftovers, which I totally do) this week, and I can’t rightly remember the takeout opportunity before that. I grabbed a post-Toastmasters breakfast to wear into work on my shirt last week— maybe that.
I’ve probably told the story here of the time I was in an early-morning art appreciation course, and the baseball player in front of me (my college didn’t have football at the time, so baseball and basketball players were like minor deities on campus) turned around and said “You know, you seem really cool. I think we could be friends. If you wouldn’t respond to the professor’s questions, she’d get the idea, stop hassling us, and this would be more straightforward for the rest of us.”
It’s been awhile since I’ve done yeast baking. With sourdough starter to use on the regular and cookie baking, yeast baking hasn’t been where it’s at for me. I’ll admit that Mom loads up on bakery stuff from the grocery store markdown, so my home-baked stuff (particularly experimental stuff) doesn’t always get eaten before it goes over. I’m not willing to go to the trouble of multiple risings only to throw it out later.