by Anna Arnett
I returned from this year’s ANWA retreat with my battery recharged, my ambition ignited, my determination renewed, and my body invigorated. Then my age, indolence, and the need to sit and ponder took over. That, and a multitude of busy work—things like finishing a crocheted item for a baby shower, attending a wedding reception, having the air conditioning go out on my car and ending up buying a new one, finishing a writing class, having a great grandson baptized, substituting for the Primary chorister, having a physical checkup, returning books to the library, reading and disposing of a pile of postal enticements and attending to a couple hundred emails—you know, the ordinary events of living in today’s fast-paced world—all take over and resolutions seem to get lost in the shuffle. Lost? No, merely waiting for time to be allotted.
I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the joys I feel because of my membership in ANWA. The fun activities, the challenges, the acceptance, the encouragement, the willing help, and the shared faith, both in God and in each other—all these and more have enriched my life and challenged my talents. I thank you from the depths of my heart and soul.
This morning I found the following as I browsed through my computer files, and thought it would be nice to share. Not that any of us need the advice, but that this is a good principle to remember. It might help us be better parents, better friends, and perhaps even be a come-back when the men in our lives seem to think that any time we address less than upbeat thoughts, we are asking them to fix whatever is bothering us. I don’t know who wrote it, but the following must have been conceived by a woman – perhaps old and wise or, even more probably, a teenager.
When I ask you to listen to me
And you start giving me advice,
You have not done what I asked.
When I ask that you listen to me,
And you begin to tell me why I shouldn't feel that way,
You are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me,
And you feel you have to do something to solve my problems,
You have failed me, strange as that may seem.
Listen: All that I ask is that you listen,
Not talk or do--just hear me.
When you do something for me
That I need to do for myself,
You contribute to my fear and feelings of inadequacy.
But when you accept as a simple fact
That I do feel how I feel, no matter how irrational,
Then I can quit trying to convince you
And go about the business
Of understanding what's behind my feelings.
So, please listen and just hear me
And if you want to talk,
Wait a minute for your turn--and I'll listen to you.
Ann Landers' Column
Mesa Tribune, September (sorry, I left out the year)
Oh, if you read this, please say so. I'm so late I suspect nobody will look this far back. All you need to say is, "I'm listening."