So, here’s the deal: I never have a pen on me. In meetings at work, I’m always digging in my bag, and coming up empty. My teammates laugh at me, every time. I will write this blog this morning, but at our meeting at 9:00am, I won’t have a pen.
This just seems to be one of the things you get, if you want to play with me. I’ll come with lots of ideas. I’ll help you make your idea better. I’ll launch things and have fun watching them grow.
I just won’t remember to bring a pen to that meeting. It’s my thing. And frankly, I’m not too worried about it.
I know. No big deal. But it gets me thinking: the people you spend a lot of time around have their thing, too. And it drives you crazy. Why can’t they just bring a pen? How hard is it? Why can’t they be neater? Why can’t they remember to bring home milk? Why can’t they be less obsessive about everything? It may not have anything to do with pens, but they have their thing.
What if you could stop caring so much about their thing?
There are certain things that we must change about ourselves, because we love each other. And there are certain things we must ask those we love to change. Love isn’t blindly accepting that which is harming others or us. Please don’t hear me say it’s not okay to ask someone to change when it is something that really needs to change.
But there are other things that we simply need to accept as part of the package of the people we love and with whom we work. We need to shrug our shoulders and say we love them. They are great at bringing ideas; they’re just terrible at bringing pens.
One of my friends is loyal, loving, and very passionate. He cares about me very deeply, and has shown that on many, many occasions. He just has trouble staying focused. Once, I was sharing some pain in my life with him. We were on his back porch, on the patio just outside of his walkout basement. A baseball game was playing inside the basement, and during a particular poignant part of my story, he threw his arms up and said, “Cubs WIN!”
I told him what a terrible person he was right away, for caring more about the game than about my supremely important issue. And I’ll never forget his response. He looked me right in the eye, and said, “I love you. But with me, you get the whole package.”
Part of the package with my friend is that he gets distracted. And that is okay. Because he’s also one of the people who believes in me the most.
Perhaps today you can decide to look at the people you love, and accept the whole package. Because (this may be a shock): you have your thing, too.