Sunday, August 29, 2010

Do I gossip?

Irises I bought my daughter Savannah this weekend
Copyright (c) 2010 Wendee Holtcamp

As I mentioned, I'm participating in the online 40-day Inner Mean Girl Cleanse, and what that means is that for 40 days there will be weekly hour-long talks by 6 different authors/speakers on 6 different focal areas - plus journaling and paying attention to that particular issue in our life (and as one of the 'Self-Love Ambassadors' I'll be blogging weekly about my experiences). The overall goal is to stop our inner critic and turn it into a voice that will help us. And to stop self-sabotaging behaviors. As I mentioned, the opening call was with SARK - the original Succulent Wild Woman, and someone who I've loved for a long time (her email newsletters are how I of the Inner Mean Girl Cleanse). But the first week's actual topic is gossip, and the guest speaker is Susan Shapiro Barash, author of Tripping the Prom Queen and Toxic Friendships.

I have never been one to gossip about people. It's just not what I do. I adore my friends, and generally most things roll right off me. I just don't have anything bad to say about any of them 99.9% of the time! However, after reading a blog post by Christine Arylo (one of the coaches behind the IMG Cleanse) called "You May be a Gossip And Not Even Know It!" it challenged me to think beyond the obvious type of gossip to other times we may talk about someone to another, holding the thought in mind: Would I feel bad saying this if they could hear me or if they were in the room?

And I realized that the person I would often talk to my girlfriends about was... the guy in my relationship (or sometimes my mom). I would call my girlfriends and vent over some frustration, and was this actually helpful? Could it be- gasp - gossip? So, even though that particular relationship is now over, I had an aha moment in this realization that I need to take forward in my life. Don't get me wrong, everyone needs a close confidante to share deep issues with but I have several close girlfriends, and I would vent or discuss the issues at hand with any number of them. So... I realize now that this is probably not so productive. In retrospect I also see that I should have been out of the relationship many months ago but I have a tendency to hope against hope, and believe in the things I want to see at the expense of the obvious.

About the whole concept of "Tripping the Prom Queen" - I haven't read the book but the call was quite interesting. As an adult I have many super close girlfriends and I love them to pieces. However, I recently had one of those experiences where some women (woman?) treated me in that manner, and I was sort of the victim of this "tripping." It was not pleasant to say the least. However there were some life lessons there, as always. Still processing it all, to be honest. Maybe I will blog about it sometime - in ten years? :)

I had a productive weekend! As I mentioned before, I'm trying to get my house in tip-top shape so I can sell immediately if the need should arise. So my kids and I worked on the yard - besides mowing and edging, we put out some new bark mulch around the trees in my front yard. Sam helped me put the towel rack back on the wall, as it had fallen off (involved drilling a new hole in the wall, putting in an anchor etc). We also painted two walls in the kitchen. One section we just did the same white as most of the walls, and another we created a mustard yellow accent wall only the color turned out to be a bit more greenish-yellow than I realized and I'm not sure I love it. Oh well, it is going to have to do! In my living room adjacent to the kitchen the walls are brick red, which I love, and I have mustard yellow drapes, so I was hoping the kitchen wall brought it all together. I think it all looks ok. But I feel good about what we accomplished. And I went for a run today! Below are a few photos. Ugh looking at them makes me want to repaint the wall. It really is too greenish for my taste. I may have to get some more paint and paint over it... Sigh.
Before painting - I had stripped the border off the top, so the wall had some staining where the border used to be. I actually started taking the border off in the kitchen about 4 years ago... and it was tougher than I realized so I left it sort of half-stripped off this one wall (you can see the border on the wall next to it - I left it around the rest of the kitchen). It's taken me this long to motivate myself to actually paint the one wall and fix the problem I created by attempting to take the border off. So I'm very happy to have accomplished this!
Here's the finished product. It looks better when you can see the wood floors (which I love!) which set it off and accent it better than it looks in this shot. It looks even greener in the photo to me than it does. So I'll give it a couple days and see if it grows on me.

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