National Do-over Day!

Remember when you were a little kid playing Hide-n-seek or some other great childhood game, and when you lost you would scream out, "DO OVER!"  Well how come we can't do that anymore?  Is there some rule written some where in the "How To Be a Proper Adult" manual that says we can NEVER have a "do over?"

I declare today to be National Do-over Day!  What about regrets?  Most of us will never really know what we regret until we are on our death bed, then we'll say, "I really wish I had been nicer to so-and-so", or, "If I had only done this, or not done that..."  For Catholics, we believe that making a good confession is a practical way to start over.  In my own personal experience I have found confession to be a wonderful cleansing and healing process for the things I should have done better.  But not everything I regret was sinful.  Some things were just bad choices.  For the most part, I regret dumb things like some of the people I have had the displeasure of knowing, or maybe a job that was super disappointing.  I really don't have too many "huge" regrets...well, a few biggies just popped into my head.

That aside, I think it's time for me (and maybe you?) to take real stock of our lives, to think about those people in our lives who have never really appreciated us or treated us the way they should have, or have taken advantage of us, and recommit ourselves to those people who truly love us and treat us with respect.  I don't know about you, but those are the people I have often neglected and I really don't know why.  Perhaps we are the kind of person who seeks approval...from EVERYBODY, even those people who don't love or care about us, or maybe we are people-pleasers and we can't stand it if we think someone doesn't like or approve of us.  It really doesn't matter, for my do-over day, I want to remember those people who have remembered me, who take the time to call me, and when they do call me, they take the time to ask me how I am.

The other day I received a phone call from an acquaintance.  She seemed very flustered and in a hurry.  We finished our "business" and when I hung up the phone I said to myself, "Oh, I forgot to ask her how she was doing!" Then I realized that she never asked me either.  We are always in a rush, always bragging about how "busy" we are, always tooting our own little horn, aren't we?  Well when I am on my death bed I really don't want to regret being too self-indulgent.  I think it is something we all do from time to time, some more than others.  When I hear people talking like that I wonder to myself, "do they have any idea how bad they sound to the other person?  Here's a news flash people, nobody cares!  Nobody wants to hear about your job for an hour, or the "running around" with your kids you had to do.  We all do the same, if not more, we're not impressed!

To be interesting to others you should take the time to ask them about themselves.  Once someone asks you, keep your responses short unless you can sense they want you to go on.  One day I decided to put this to a test.  Try it yourself and let me know your results.  I would be most curious.  One morning I woke up and decided that each and ever phone call or visit I got that day would be different.  I only asked the person about themselves, I said nothing about myself.  I wanted to see if the other person would notice that the entire conversation was designed around them, and to see if that made them eventually feel uncomfortable enough to turn the conversation around and ask me questions, or if they would just continue talking about themselves until the conversation ended.  (Let me tell you, this is great to try at's a real hoot!)

The results, each and every person I spoke to that day, with exception of my husband, spent 90% of the conversation on themselves.  Even when I tried to talk about something going on in my world, they would say something like, "oh, that happened to me and this or that happened..."  It's amazing.  Most of the conversations did end with the other person asking me a yes or no question about myself before I hung up or walked away.  I think people do that so that they can leave the conversation feeling like they were considerate.  Not.

I need a do-over.  I need to start treating people the way I want to be treated.  I want to apologize to all the people out there that I have neglected or mistreated in some way.  I want to be considerate of others.  Lord help me accomplish this because I have NO patience!  Empathetic.  That is what I need to be....but how :(  I want to be heard, I want to be accepted, I want to be loved just like everyone else.  But with all our neediness, nobody is getting anything!  We're like a bunch of drifters floating from person to person hoping that someone will care about us.  So, I am going to be a better lister, and in return, I think I am going to remind people when they are not being good's only fair, right?  :)


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