Today’s assignment from Live Your Legend’s blog challenge is proving to be difficult.
“What do people thank you for?”
I asked my husband what people thank me for. His response: “Our dog thanks you for rescuing her from the pound and giving her a better life.” Not quite what I was looking for, but I guess it’s better than nothing.
Beyond this, all I could come up with was people thanking me for cooking food for them or clients thanking me for doing a good job. Both are valid. I love cooking healthy, tasty meals for myself and others. It is probably where I am most creative in life. I also enjoy helping authors get the most meaning out of their words. After all these years, I’ve gotten pretty good at it.
But what else?
Then I remembered a situation a few years back, when I spoke up during an increasingly uncomfortable conversation between my aunt, mother, uncle, and grandmother. I often don’t speak up with extended family … at least not when they are discussing serious topics. I’m usually the lighthearted conversationalist who flits in for a week, shares stories from adventures in far-off Boise, and then flits away home. But this time, after listening to everyone express their fears and frustrations and realizing that tensions were mounting, I decided to speak up.
I didn’t have anything deep or insightful to say, but I did have the advantage of being detached enough to see all sides. I could see that my grandmother just wanted the freedom to live on her own. I could see that my mom and uncle were petrified that if she were left on her own, she would eventually get hurt or possibly die. (She is 94, after all.) My aunt just wanted my grandmother to go on the way she always has, independent but also dependent.
I didn’t resolve the situation, but I did help them see different sides to the arguments and discussions. Doing so de-escalated the tension and got them moving toward a calmer discussion and eventual resolution.
Later, my uncle and my aunt both thanked me for my comments and for helping them all to take a breath, take a step backward, and approach the situation from a slightly different angle.