I’m a “borrower”

I study people. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. Before I consciously knew what I was doing. This trait could stem from a number of factors but at any rate I’ve become highly aware of it. One aspect is that I am often fascinated by how other people do things. I want to know if they’ve figured out a way of being or thinking or doing that I’d like to incorporate. Sometimes I watch and think: Wow you can do that? I hadn’t thought of that. So I borrow.

I dated a man years back who, when asked a question be it by me or someone else, didn’t immediately answer. He took his time and formed a response. It didn’t seem ignorant or designed to be somehow passive aggressive, but just his nature. By contrast, all my life when asked a question, I hopped to in an effort to immediately answer it. I still tend to go that way but realized there’s no particular requirement to do so. It’s quite possible that a man can get away with taking his sweet time in responding more so than can a woman, but just seeing another way was so useful to me. Huh!

In recent years I’ve been on a serious kick of de-cluttering. I don’t mean to say I ever lived in squalor or had piles of junk in every room. No, I just hung onto collectibles and old birthday cards and more than a few things that might be “useful” one day. (It won’t surprise you to learn my parents were this way and then some. Quite then some.) So I’d begun to rethink all of this. I read books and took ideas where I found them. About 2 years ago I saw a garage belonging to a woman I know. And it was all but EMPTY. It contained basically a CAR. That empty garage became imprinted on my psyche. I wanted an empty garage. And I don’t even have a garage. Or a car for that matter. But you get the idea. Well, I hope you do. My life is a lot more like that empty garage now. I have plenty of stuff but I don’t have too much stuff.

When you are sick, I learned, make dinner in the morning so it’ll be there waiting later when chances are what little energy you had that day is spent. Long ago a former neighbor mentioned this and I am invariably sorry when I forget her clever idea.

When I was younger, I knew a man with 10 years on me who started exercising routinely. The men in his family he said, with a lone exception, had all died by 40. He didn’t want to join the Dead Under 40 Club so he committed to making exercise a part of his life sooner rather than later – or too late. Although at the time with the perspective of youth I gave little thought to an exercise routine or the notion of dying before 40, this man’s words (and those of author Covert Bailey which echoed them) made a deep impression. I started exercising young and haven’t stopped. (And just so you know he did see 40 and is alive today.)

 

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3 thoughts on “I’m a “borrower”

  1. Julie Winters

    “I wanted an empty garage. And I don’t even have a garage.”

    I love this so much.

    By the way, I know someone very like the man you describe. My feeling is that an unhurried response is much less likely to contain what isn’t true or just what one wants to hear; the answers and follow-up questions will be more probing and likely to yield “real” answers, or so it seems to me. I have another friend, far away, who answers questions (our primary mode of communication is email) very comprehensively, in a well-thought-out manner. At my age, I guess, I have come to appreciate a thoughtful answer, even if it arrives slowly! 🙂

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Thank you!

      I think you’re right; the people I know who take their time responding – and I mean verbally in this instance – ARE giving consideration to their words. Quicker responders can be glib or people-pleasers (i.e., saying what they think the other person wants to hear). I think & talk fast and try to remember not everyone is like that.

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  2. Julie Winters

    My earlier comment was not intended to imply that a quick response isn’t thought-out or otherwise valid–I hope I did not inadvertently suggest that! I just meant that deliberation can be fruitful (even while I don’t practice it as much as I’d like myself).

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