Mail: Benign and Hostile

Clump #228:  Send off clump of mail and clear, right away, incoming mail; day 24 of the 30-day challenge.

First, a moment of awe, please, for the Cardinal flower I spied today. Like an elegant designer gown: devastating simplicity and breathtaking color.

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Now back to our regularly scheduled clump report.  It was a day of getting letters, checks, and packages out into the world.  Phew.  Tedious (especially in the case of the books to Russia), but so cathartic.

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Equally cathartic in its own steady way: keeping up with the burgeoning piles of catalogs coming to our house, the start of the pre-holiday buy-buy-buy drumbeat.  Makes me think of my late brother-in-law who used to say when dealing with left-over food, “Should I throw it out now, or next week?”

Shall I recycle them today, or when they start suffocating me?

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I’ll close with an excerpt from the Tell Me About It advice column by Carolyn Hax from the August 21st Philadelphia Inquirer.  This exchange stuck with me, to the point that I searched out and reread it.  Good armor-toughening advice for “hurtable” people (all people?), something I needed today.

“Question: Can you elaborate on what you mean by controlling “the access we give people to our sensitivities”? I don’t “give” people like this access to my sensitivities, they just know exactly what they are and how to use them to hurt me. Even if I put on a show like it doesn’t hurt, it still hurts.

Answer: I’ll use my experience in reading hostile mail for 16 years, and also in some volatile, now-ex friendships. Both used to upset me deeply, and now the same things barely register. Nothing about the other parties changed, the abuse still comes. What has changed is inside me: I value their (or anyone’s) opinions less; I am more accepting of, less embarrassed by, and therefore less defensive about my own shortcomings; and I learned more constructive ways to handle my hard feelings. Combine the three and I am just not as, for lack of a better word, hurtable as I used to be.  That’s what I mean.”

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The exposure I’ve given myself through this blog has made me a bit more “accepting of, less embarrassed by, and therefore less defensive about my own shortcomings.”  Thank you for reading.

2 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely pictures and your gift of writing enjoyable & informative blogs!! I look forward to catching up on some of my favorite blogs – one of them is yours – in spurts!

    Reply

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