Friday, November 22, 2013

Stressgiving to Thanksgiving Week 4: Take it Easy on the Turkey

Almost there! Thanksgiving is next week. Are you ready?

Now, when you read my post title, you probably think I'm going to chat today about eating turkey, or cooking turkey, or, if you've read my grass-fed tirade, how to purchase a turkey.

This is not the case.

Today's post is all about taking it easy on the turkey - turkey being the safe, kind word I'll use to describe the crappy, insensitive person you're bound to encounter at some point or another during your holiday. It could be a stranger at the gas station who's soooooo important they just MUST cut in front of you and steal the only remaining gas pump in sight. It could be someone criticizing your cooking or cleaning or wardrobe. It could be a toddler who really just can't stand the thought of you touching her. It could be a sibling, uncle, daughter or spouse. Somewhere, somehow, you will run into someone who says the wrong thing, at the wrong time, with the wrong audience.....someone who doesn't think before they speak, or consider the implications of their actions, or generally acts like a royal turkey.

And I'm here to tell you......

I can't stand those turkeys.

I've been cussed out for not moving my (apparently large) butt out of the way while strapping my child into her car seat in the grocery store parking lot. I've had someone plow past me with their bags and laptop cases on the train on Christmas Eve and not even pause on their way to steal my seat. I've had family members tear me down over the holiday ham because of my weight. Quips about my profession, my kids, my marriage, my body, my choice of eyeshadow.....you know what I'm talking about. There's always something that sticks out in your mind - something you could have gone without. Something that really threatened to jack up your holiday. Always a turkey to be found.

Well, after thinking long and hard about how I can decrease my sensitivity to said turkeys, I've devised a plan.


You see, I can't stand those turkeys......but I've also been that turkey. I've been the lady screaming at people to move out of her way because she really wants to get where she is going. I've threatened people under my breath with more expletives than a TuPac album. I'm the daughter who whined to her mom about making sure there was enough for leftovers because Mommmmmmmmy I really want them so bad! I've said snappy things, done stupid things, and lost my temper on more holidays than I can count. I could've been crowned the Queen of Turkeys on multiple occasions, each for their own very, precise reason.

Sometimes I acted crazy because I was sad. Sometimes because I missed someone or something. Sometimes I spoke without thinking because I was too exhausted to remember how to think. Sometimes I truly just felt like being a brat. But more often than not, I acted like a total turkey because I was struggling with something. I'm not inherently evil...at least I don't think I am? (heh heh heh).....

I don't purposely mess up someone's day or jack up their meal. I certainly didn't intend for my whining to cause my poor Mama to go on a Tupperware-purchasing spree and buy more food than she can probably afford. I was just being a turkey. Not thinking. Acting like my brain isn't capable of empathy and understanding and insight. All those things that slip away when I'm two seconds from really losing it and doing everything in my power to just keep it cool.

So my plan is this. When I encounter a turkey this Thanksgiving, instead of devouring it with judgement and annoyance and outright rage at the injustice of a bad attitude during the holidays, I will picture myself in the turkey's.....um........shoes (Turkey shoes?).

I will take myself back to a time where I snapped at someone I cared about.

Or made an offensive comment.

Or dismissed someone's feelings for my own benefit.

I will think back to how I felt when I realized what I was doing. The shame, the irritation with myself, the clean-up and attempts to resolve the consequences of my bad behavior.

I will think all these things and I will look the turkey right in the eye and I will push a ridiculous, wild smile out of my face. I will smile and wish them a happy holiday and pray it sticks....because in most instances, people who say and do hurtful, insensitive things are doing so because of their own issues, their own problems, which are undeniably seven times as destructive as the comments they are spewing at you.


Turkeys have it worse. So take it easy on them. Take it easy on the turkey.


Jen
jen@jenniferludwigsen.com

8 comments:

  1. I will admit there are times I have been a Complete TURKEY!!! I know myself and I never have a malicious intent. I will admit I do not deal with turkeys well. I have come to realize there are not bad people int the world but instead people in bad places acting out. It is horrible to encounter these people but if we remember we were once in a bad place it is easier to ignore their bad behavior.

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    1. Agreed! I have a very hard time giving people the benefit of the doubt. I've been disappointed and hardened and frankly, I'm tired of it! I need to find a way to balance sensitivity with stability. Thank you so much for reading!

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  2. This is a GREAT post. And totally what I needed to read this morning. I woke up just feeling super crabby. And now I feel better. Everything you said is so true. I stopped from the Saturday Sharefest on Twitter, and I am so glad I did! :)-Ashley

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by Ashley! I am glad I was able to brighten your morning :) And I LOVE SITS! Best group of bloggers ever ;)

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  3. Wonderful series of posts. So insightful. No worries, my dear, no worries. We're all just a bunch of humans scurrying around trying to do the Best We Can... Just love Gandhi. WWGD?!?

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    1. HAHA Thank you and you have no idea how much it means to me to read these comments. So uplifting!!! Easier to fight the turkeys when you have such wonderful people around you :)

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  4. This is a great one Jen that is perfect for the holidays but should apply year round too! Nice work!

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    1. Thanks Jen! And I completely agree.....this should be a year-round motto! Give the turkeys a break! :) Thanks for reading :)

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