This morning I was berating myself for my lack of attention to TheYellowKite. That berating led me down the path of how we discern what gets our attention, which led to examining the difference between important and imperative, which then led to examining input from others about our new home search, which led to how personal judgment causes us to disagree, which led to realizing how much time I spent festering about other people projecting their opinions on my situation… Once my mind clicks into gear, it’s like a runaway train!
Today I initially decided to blog about the terms important and imperative, but kept circling back to how often I find people disagreeing with me lately. When I logged in to write, today’s writing prompt was disagree. Fitting for where my mind is today, as I believe all three terms go hand-in-hand.
My husband and I want to move to a different home and have been searching for just the right place for over a year now. We don’t need to move–it isn’t imperative–but we want to and it’s something important to us. We would love several acres, a few farm animals (have you seen all the mini animals you can raise?!), a swimming pool, a place for a big vegetable garden, and simply, some breathing room. Also, a fixer-upper doesn’t scare us, but excites us.
As you read the previous paragraph, you probably began placing your own judgment on what we want: it either sounds like a dream or a nightmare to you, right? You’re allowed your judgment, but your judgment is based on what is important, or imperative, to you. Lately we have had several friends and family members tell us all the things we do and don’t want or need in our next home, including: we apparently don’t need so much land, don’t need a big house, don’t want the work of a garden, don’t want the trouble of a swimming pool, don’t need the headaches of renovating, I won’t want to be home alone at night if we live in the country and need close neighbors, and on and on and on. Guess what? We are of another opinion.
If any of these people stepped outside their own judgments, they would understand what is important and imperative to us. We want a home with acreage, because it’s what we grew up with, as did our children for the first part of their lives, and because we want to provide a specific environment for our (future) grand babies, a gathering place for our families, and a place our friends come to escape the daily grind. We want a fresh vegetable garden because we enjoy the feeling of our hands in the dirt, nurturing something to maturity, and sharing the fruits of our labors during a meal with loved ones. We want a swimming pool because we both love water, want a relaxing activity to enjoy together, and there isn’t a better summertime draw for friends and family! We know the work of tending farm animals because we grew up doing so, but we also know the joy derived from sharing wide-open spaces with them, watching them enjoy the simplicity of life and how they inspire us to contentment. We want a home that needs some TLC because we love breathing new life into the old and worn. These are the things that are important to us, and some are even imperative at some level.
Rather than finding support and encouragement in our quest, we are often met with judgment. My husband went as far as to ask me to stop sharing information about our home search because he’s tired of the criticism. I did stop. For a while. But, I DO have many friends and family who enjoy my sharing, are rooting for us, and sometimes are just curious as to how my mind works and how I can see the proverbial silk purse in the sow’s ear of some of these homes! I thank you, my friends, for realizing this is our quest for what suits us best. You probably have your opinions, but you allow me to share my vision without stepping on it. This is holding another opinion without forcing a disagreement.
Each and every day, all of us move through life giving our attention to what is imperative and important to us. Doing so doesn’t always fit well with what others find imperative and important, therefore we operate from varied opinions. When we use those opinions to push-back against one another, we create disagreements. I see this paradigm in every aspect of life–family, friendships, religion, work, politics, education, race relations, leisure activities and more–and have come to conclude we’d all be happier if we could learn to live and let live! You really don’t need my approval, nor do I yours. Do what you need to do, what you want to do, and I’ll do the same. Unless, of course, it’s imperative for you to stick your nose in my business and voice your opinions as truth, then we may have a problem.
What is so glorious about this life is our uniqueness, don’t lose yours or quell others’ by insisting we all want or need the same things. I could say “let’s all agree to disagree”, but why waste time disagreeing in the first place? Can we simply learn to allow room for other wants, needs, opinions, desires, and beliefs and get on with enjoying the limited number of days we each have?