A peer at work for whom I have a good deal of respect recently told me, half-jokingly, that I'm a blow-hard. It's been bothering me ever since. I didn't really realize it until this person in particular told me bluntly, joking or not, but really it's true. I've kinda turned into the guy in the workplace that I always said I wouldn't be. What I say goes, and don't question me. Wow, I'm glad I didn't get that management position a while back or I'd be one hell of a prick boss by now.
After a couple days of this eating my stomach I decided to tell Julie about this little problem. I don't know`what kind of reaction I was expecting, but she 100% agreed and gave me anecdotal evidence of this in my everyday life around the house.
I've been very introspective lately, despite my appearance on the outside. Something changed my personality at some point, and not for the better. I tried to do an inventory and I came up with this. I'm not the same person I was in 2005. As many of you know, 2006 sucked. I feel like I lost half of the people in my life in 2006. 2007 was no picnic as probably all of you know. Strangely enough 2008 was great but whatever is wrong with me continued.
So there's that. There's also the fact that by 2006, thereabouts, I had multiple children at certain key ages. They take a lot of patience, and patience isn't one of my best virtues, although Patience is one of my best friends.
A typical parental bad habit has sprung up at some point. When my kids don't listen to me, I get frustrated. The thing is I have 3 of them and they're 2, 3, and 5. So there's ALWAYS one of them who is disobeying for whatever reason. So it seems worse on a per-child basis than it actually is. The thing is, lately the frustration level has been so high that when any of the 3 doesn't listen I just go into a blind range and raise my voice and put them in the corner or send them to their room. It happens.
So enter work-life. Right now things have to go the way I say, OR ELSE! Well. At home. But wait. At work too now.
Ok so here's the deal. It all comes down to patience. I need more patience at home and at work. And I think if I can get more patience at one place it will come at the other.
Kelleys aren't known for their patience. Ask any of them.
So I caught myself today. Twice. The first time was at work. I realized I was about to go into a "blind rage" and be a blow-hard. I stopped myself and talked to the person from a different perspective and in the end things worked out. At home I stopped myself from going off on all 3 kids when Joey wasn't listening, even though his actual infraction, in and of itself, wasn't really all that bad. Instead I sat down with them, got to their level, and explained in a fun way that I wanted them to play in their rooms tonight instead of downstairs. In the end it worked out.
Ok so I'm missing a key step there. I had to get heavy-handed with the kids to get them to go upstairs. But once I made them just a tad-bit afraid of dear ol' dad, they jumped.
The thing is, in both cases I didn't feel like an ass 30 minutes later. This was a good feeling!