It’s been two months since I published my last blog post. Wow. Since then, I’ve been line-dancing, writing, quilting, and apparently, meddling. That’s not something I registered for, but I’ve joined the club.
If you know me at all, you probably aren’t surprised. Maybe you’ve even witnessed or been the beneficiary of my unsolicited advice. With my vast fount of knowledge (cough, cough) based on my life experiences, well, why wouldn’t I want to use it to help others? Because that was my intent, seriously.
I misinterpreted a conversation, and thought this slightly older, much wiser, and far more culturally diverse new friend would benefit from my wisdom. Why wouldn’t she?
Instead, it came out as meddling. How do I know I overstepped? She, ever-so-diplomatically told me so. It was a softer version of “Butt out. When I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it.”
Has this ever happened to you? It’s an easy line to cross. Just like:
Listening and fixing. Supporting and enabling. Advising and doing. Serving and needing. Teaching and taking over.
Can you think of others?
Perhaps it took a move to a retirement community to make me realize just how many of us are specialists in unsolicited opinions and advice. I suppose it comes with age and experience and the desire to help others. But why do we think our lessons learned are any better than someone else’s?
As I move through this chapter of my life, I’m going to focus on this. Help when asked, listen when needed, support when desired, and advise when requested. I’ll still find ways to serve. I need that.
In the meantime, I’m going to continue to dance as if no one’s watching, because they aren’t, write as if no one’s reading, because they can’t unless I share, and quilt as if no one is cold, because this is Arizona. And no one is cold. Meddling? It’s a work in progress, but I’m still friends with the woman and we still enjoy dinner out every week. That’s a very good sign.