Saturday, September 7, 2013

Headway and the Messiness of Messages

For lunch, I opened a can of tuna and waited for my cat. When she hears the can opener, she always assumes it is tuna and wants to lick the empty can. But I waited for a while. Then I shook the treat bag, which she can hear from any corner of the house. This is how I bring her out of her hiding places to make sure she is okay. But I still waited, worried. She's not a young cat. So I started looking for her in her usual spots while I called her name. I found her in the dreaded back bedroom. It was so cluttered, she couldn't find her way out. I shifted some things around and she was able to pick her way through the mess. So after I ate my lunch (and she licked the tuna can clean), I did some decluttering and shifting of what I was keeping. I spent about 2 hours sorting, stacking, deciding and discarding. The room is not clean. by any definition of the word, but there is a pathway and 2+ trash bags at the garbage pickup for Monday. It's progress.

As for the messiness of messages, this is not an anti-technology rant. I'm writing a blog, for goodness sake, and text messaging has been a blessing for my widely spread family. But I am reminded that the text messages that I send can often be read through the filters we use for face-to-face conversation and the filters of our own attitudes, feelings and moods. Despite the widespread use of emoticons, I have experienced the ambiguity of test messaging, both sending and receiving. I have recently sent a couple of messages that touched a nerve or two and required clarification. In the past, I might have avoided dealing with it because my tendency is to ignore/avoid conflict and discomfort, hoping it will just go away. It never does, as I have learned the hard way. But I dealt with the situations as soon as I was able to do so. I'm trying to hold my friendships and work relationships in dearer regard. This, too, is progress.

Progress and process are my watchwords. What are yours and what progress have you made lately?

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