When the Ship Hits the Sand (At Least It’s Dry Land)

I had one of those moments this week – actually more than one – where I was asked to make a call or send an email that I was just sure would set off the end of the world.  This was a business situation, which is actually easier for me than some of the hyper-sensitive personal issues life can bring about.  So, I dreaded making the call and sending the email – taking the responsibility that has become part of my day-to-day job.  I feared the replies that would surely come in ALL CAPS!  I feared the calls that would follow, with voices raised and expletives flying.  I feared not being able to keep my own temper in check when confronted.  Sometimes we build up possible confrontations in our mind so much that when the issue at hand comes and goes, all that’s left to say is, “That wasn’t so bad.”

So here I am, managing the fallout, which was considerably less substantial than I thought it would be.

John Mayer says, “Say what you need to say.”  Good advice.  My boss told me before I took action that there was nothing we could do about the possibly inflammatory information I was providing.  Facts are facts, numbers are numbers, period.  Tell the truth.  Even if the situation does prove to be inflammatory, a week from now you will be much better off being able to look back on the situation rather than to be still dreading the possibilities.

These concepts definitely do apply to our personal lives as well.  My friends and I are at the age where many of us are beginning to lose our parents.  How many things will be left unsaid when yours are gone?  A couple of years ago, my dad began to have some health issues.  Right around the same time, it seemed like every show on TV had a storyline about losing a parent – a father, in particular.  I started typing out a Word document that grew to multiple pages, filled with things I wanted to make sure my dad (and mom) knew – just in case.  These were small details and funny stories I remember from my childhood; favorite things about each of my parents that they probably didn’t even know I noticed or remembered; lists of things I have learned from them, either through specific teaching or just by their example.  In my situation, there was no confrontational tilt to anything I wrote, but I know it’s not that way for everyone.

I didn’t intend for this to become the “Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say” post.  Still, the point has become this:  Nine out of ten times, the ramifications from saying something that needs to be said, even to someone you love, are not as bad as they have been built up to be in your mind.  To quote one of my song lyrics, “I’d rather say something I might regret than regret not saying something I should have said.”  Of course, you have to be tactful about it – try to focus on the positive – don’t create an argument where there might not actually be one.  I just can’t imagine having a parent, my wife, my children taken away from me suddenly, and regretting never telling them so many things.

So take courage and press on.  Deal with life and be glad you have it.  So what if the ship hits the sand (so to speak)?  At least you’ll be on dry land.

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~ by suitenectar on February 18, 2010.

One Response to “When the Ship Hits the Sand (At Least It’s Dry Land)”

  1. Oh- tactful. Now I get it

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