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Have you ever made a decision, one that you know 'feels' right for you, and yet is unexplainable? Of course there is the inevitable "WHY?" but all the excuses sound paltry at best? And people you had hoped were your friends and would give you, at the very least, the benefit of the doubt, don't?

I suspect this happens to all of us at one point in our lives, if not more. It has happened to me this week. The part time job I've had for just gone a year, has come to an end. Badly. Even though I hadn't meant it to end badly. I had handed in my resignation anyway- my last day was scheduled to be July 11- but when the work schedule came out I could clearly see my services were ended. I had three days out of fourteen. My days of being the "go-to-girl" when anyone else was unavailable, was over. Fair enough. But it came to me that those three days weren't worth the effort- the drive, the gas, the headache, etc. I could take the time for myself before heading home to visit my family on the 15th. It was a decision that felt right for ME. Yet I knew if I tried to offer an explanation regarding my motives it would likely come out all wrong. It did. The boss emailed me to demand the reference letter she had given me be returned to her immediately. It was a kick in the gut, a kick that- after a year of unfailing service- I don't believe I deserved.

I felt terrible, as of course, I was meant to feel. And then I felt disgusted. Bend over backwards, jump through hoops, do, do and do some more, but in the end none of that hard work or loyalty mattered. And God only knows what's being said about me. Then, unexpectedly, the words of my favorite uncle drifted back to me and my heart lifted...

My Uncle Keith was such fun! My mother said of her brother- he'll never mature past sixteen! He drank, he smoked, he partied, he told dirty jokes, he'd give you the shirt off his back and he adored his family! I idolized him! Well, I remember one summer Stuart and mom and I went to his cottage on the lake to visit. Visitors were always welcomed with joy and laughter! And we were invited to stay for supper. No pretenses there- the dishes were mix-matched, Tupperware bowls, leftovers, home baking- but always so good because of the company! We laughed about one family member who was so uppity she won't go to a restaurant if there weren't linen napkins on the table, which was likely why she always declined invitations to join the rest of us for a meal! My Uncle Keith swore at the mention of her name. "You know what, Missy?" (He always called me Missy) "You can't go through life pleasing everyone. Tell em- if they don't like what they see the same door that brought them in will take them right f*cking back out again."

That really stuck with me. How true. From that point on I slowly began to change my attitude about trying to please everyone~ I am what I am~ don’t like it? Leave. I lost my uncle in February, 2004 but the treasured memories of him will live on in me.

As for returning the letter of reference... well, let’s just say my comment about that would make my uncle proud!!


Lisabet Sarai said...

Darn straight, Ellen! One of the benefits of aging, for me, has been a greater confidence in my own judgment and a reduced need to please everyone else.

Dakota Rebel said...

I think my heart just adopted your uncle! He sounds wonderful. And I may have to steal that precious line of his.

Good for you! I am so glad you had someone who could teach you the value and necessity (I know I spelled that wrong, sorry.) of standing up for yourself.


Ellen Ashe/Jade Jurgensen said...

Yes- he was a wonderful man and so missed. When he died the whole town stopped for his funeral. EVERYONE loved him!

Ashley Ladd said...

Hugs. What a B!

Working in customer service, I finally learned, too, that you can't please everybody. Impossible.

Caffey said...

Hi Ellen! Yep, its going to be even a better and better feeling that you did this for you as the days go by. What a great uncle you had but words that you'll always have. Keep the chin up! Hugs.

PS This is my second time trying to post since it said error, weird one! So if two post come up sounding the same but different, its me!