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Making A Grand Exit ~> ROAR October 17, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness.
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7dwarfsA funny thing happened when I went to The Forum.

The “Einstein Circle” (IMHO:  they give themselves more credit than is due) scheduled a lecture on Less Stress, More Joy. I decided to attend since the lecture was on a topic near and dear to my heart.

I had attended one previous discussion with the Circle.  That discussion, just last week, degenerated into off-topic whining, moaning, griping, and groaning about all manner of ills in the world.

But I am nothing if not the Eternal Optimist and Pollyanna, so I went.  Hoping that the lecture would stay on-topic this time.

It didn’t.

First, the scheduled lecturer didn’t appear.

She had overbooked herself and was off on a South Seas Island somewhere.

Smart Cookie!

The best “mistake” she made all year!

The moderator didn’t want to cancel the event at such a late date.  She decided to proceed and throw the discussion open to attendees who wished to share their thoughts, tips, and strategies on the topic of Less Stress, More Joy.

Not a problem.  As you might suspect, I could discuss that topic for hours.

Alas, within 15 minutes, the conversation spiraled away from Less Stress, More Joy and became a group gripe about all manner of ills in the world.

Déjà vu!  Their opinions were a rehash of what I heard last week when the Circle met to discuss Government Outsourcing.

They are nothing if not consistent.

Donald-DuckaAfter 20 minutes of watching the clock tick away precious moments, I decided to reclaim my freedom by leaving.

One problem.  The couple sitting next to me had made it known that they were considering buying a villa in our neighborhood, PBC.  I had agreed to meet with them after the discussion to answer any questions they had.

What to do?

I leaned over and whispered that I’d had enough of the spiraling negativity and planned to make my escape.  Did they want to join me in the hallway to talk about PBC?

Despite using my quiet library voice, all eyes and ears turned to us.  The moderator inquired whether I had a problem.

I debated . . . but not for long.

Donald-Duck-Baseball“Yes.  I do.  I came to LISTEN and LEARN about Less Stress, More Joy, but you all seem to want to focus on issues that have NOTHING to do with increasing Joy in our lives.  This has become a huge group gripe.  So I’m going to leave you to it.”

The moderator gave me a stern look, “Why don’t you just sit down and . . . ”

“No.  I’m not going to sit back down.  I’m leaving.  Paul, Ellie, if either of you have any questions for me about PBC, I’ll be in the hallway for a few minutes and will be glad to try to answer them.”

The moderator stared at me aghast as I gathered my belongings and prepared to beat a hasty retreat for the door.  She tried again to push me back into my seat, admonishing me to respect the opinions expressed by others.

Of course, my impromptu departure had nothing to do with the specific opinions expressed . . . in fact, I tended to agree with most of them.  My desire to escape stemmed from the fact that I didn’t want to be held captive to a discussion on politics when I had intended to attend a lecture on JOY.

So I shrugged off her entreaties.

Mr-Mackey-mmkayHarry, a true gentleman, stood up and tried to step into the role of scape-goat and group whipping boy, “It’s my fault that we got off topic.  Please stay.  I don’t want to chase you away.”

I waved him off, “Harry, the same thing happened last week when you were the quietest one in the room.”

“If I had just stuck to the discussion . . . ”

“Harry, this is not your fault.  It’s no one’s fault.  Everyone here but me wants to discuss the negative.  That’s cool.  I had hoped that the group could set aside their negativity for one hour this week to focus on the positives, but that doesn’t appear to be in the cards.  That, of course, is their choice.  This is mine.  You got to know when to fold ’em.  I don’t want to be held hostage any longer.  So I’ll leave you all to it.”

Then, like Mighty Mouse . . . or, better yet, the Wicked Witch of the West, I flew from room on my broom, cackling with merriment and glee as I breached the perimeter of the Einstein Circle.

“Good-bye my pretties!”

I waited a few minutes to see if Paul or Ellie would follow.  They didn’t.

Ah, well . . .

I exited the library proper, reclaimed my car from the parking lot, stowed my broom in the trunk, and headed for home.  Feeling great.

Less Stress, More Joy!  

Tigger-Looking-At-His-TailAnd then the Universe gave me a HUGE WINK!  A song I’d never heard before came on the radio.

Or perhaps I’d heard the song before without really HEARING the words.

Either way, the lyrics suited the afternoon’s events to PURR-FECTION!

We always have a choice.  If we don’t like the thoughts that we’re thinking, or the ego-driven opinions spewing forth from others, we can change the channel.

We can tune out the S~T~R~E~S~S and tune into the infinite source of JOY!

Less Stress -> More Joy!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related Posts:  WP Daily Prompt ~ Community Service10 Life Lessons You Should Unlearn  (my favorite -> #6).

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Comments»

1. theonlycin - October 17, 2013

Bully for you, Nancy!

nrhatch - October 17, 2013

Life is better when we refuse to be “taken prisoner” but the capricious whims and dictates of others. :mrgreen:

2. Don - October 17, 2013

Wow! Nancy, I’ll follow you into hell!

nrhatch - October 17, 2013

Awesome! You, me, and our band of MERRY men! 😀

3. Maggie - October 17, 2013

Go, Nancy! Gripe fests are only good when they lead to problem solving, and unfortunately, that happens more and more rarely.

nrhatch - October 17, 2013

Yes!!! That’s it exactly. They were NOT searching for solutions or trying to reach consensus on issues within their domain of responsibility. They were just WHINING about This, That, and The Other Thing while agreeing (and disagreeing) with each other ~ > Ego LOVES to share its opinion (valid, invalid, and completely off-topic) with anyone who will listen.

If you think of JOY and then turn your attention to it antithesis ~> their conversation was like bathing in a Sea of Negativity. A big fat Debbie Downer of a Discussion. 😕

4. shreejacob - October 17, 2013

Bravo *claps*

nrhatch - October 17, 2013

Thanks, Shree. What amazed me most is that everyone there came to hear a lecture on Less Stress, More Joy. And in no time at all, their ego-driven opinions hijacked that planned excursion.

It’s like the tour bus headed off for ROME and ended in PEORIA . . . and no one on the bus even noticed the detour. 😕

5. Tammy - October 17, 2013

Yeah Nancy!

nrhatch - October 17, 2013

I felt great as a drove away from the library . . . hearing ROAR was the icing on an already delectable cake!

“Freedom . . . keep walking. Keep on your toes and don’t stop talking about freedom.” 😎

6. suzicate - October 17, 2013

You go, Nancy!
You know how I believe in signs…well, I saw a reference to this song two days ago but didn’t listen to it. Yesterday the phrase “eye of the tiger” kept going through my head for some unknown reason.Today you post this song and I listen to it. Hmmm, what is the universe telling me?

Then again, maybe I shouldn’t look for signs: the other day while I was trying to upload a fairy pattern the click would take me to a page that said “you are a bad person”…it did it twice before I decided I wasn’t meant to purchase it and then I saw those words in a text about something else. I reevaluated my thoughts and actions….I don’t want to be a bad person! Your thoughts?

nrhatch - October 17, 2013

I’ll think about this and get back to you in a bit. In the meantime, you are NOT a bad person! Not even close.

There’s little in life I’m certain of . . . but I’m 100% certain of that.

7. Carol Koziol aka Nature Girl - October 17, 2013

Great role modelling ~ perhaps others will be inspired by your courage to stand up and leave without guilt.

nrhatch - October 17, 2013

Thanks, Carol.

As a P.S. ~ I met Ellie (of Paul and Ellie) at the pool this morning when she joined us for Water Aerobics for the first time. So the Universe gave us a chance to chat about PBC after all! Yay!

Her take on the hijacked discussion ~> “what a waste of time!” and “who would think you could attend an intended presentation on Less Stress and leave feeling more stressed.” My thoughts exactly!

tlryder - October 24, 2013

Carol, I totally agree. Too often we allow people to hijack our time because we’re being polite.

nrhatch - October 24, 2013

Yes! Sometimes all it takes is a stern look and we back down and reclaim our seat ~ while “they” hijack our time. How rude!

8. spilledinkguy - October 17, 2013

I’m glad you were able to stand-up for yourself a bit, Nancy! I probably would have just paused and then screamed, ‘I know you are, but what am I?’ (or something else that made no sense) and then went running out the door!
🙂

nrhatch - October 17, 2013

SIG, I read your comment and burst out laughing at the image you created. If you had done that yesterday, I would have be right behind you singing:

Run, run, run . . . as fast as you can!
You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man! :mrgreen:

9. gita4elamats - October 17, 2013

You’re a champion!

nrhatch - October 17, 2013

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. -> that’s how I felt yesterday . . . when I found myself “sucked into” a reprise of the previous week’s negativity.

It felt GREAT to exit stage left. 😀

10. Andra Watkins - October 17, 2013

Best decision I’ve read all week.

nrhatch - October 17, 2013

Thanks! It felt so good to make a “clean” getaway! 😉

11. Three Well Beings - October 17, 2013

I smiled as I felt your “Roar!” Oh but we need to do this more often, Nancy! I can really picture you being true to your own need and making your exit without being irritable, but the encounter fascinates me. The moderator really did try to shame you into staying! Wow! And it could have been such an excellent opportunity to bring everyone back to topic and to discuss how easily it is for us to get swallowed up in negative conversation without even being aware! You brought attention to it, so you’re the issue. No one can say you didn’t give it a try! You tried twice!

nrhatch - October 17, 2013

If I hadn’t agreed to talk to Paul and Ellie about PBC after the discussion, I would have gathered my things and tiptoed out of the room because they all seemed to be having a great time discussing all that’s WRONG with the world.

That said, I’m not sorry that I was asked for an explanation. I wonder how many other prospective members they’ve lost because they wander so far afield from the slated topic?

Ellie said that they never returned to the topic of Joy. And I think that’s for the reason you mentioned ~ it is so easy to get sucked into discussing the “negatives.” It’s harder to find a roundtable that wants to focus solely on the positives.

12. ericjbaker - October 17, 2013

You never get any of your minutes back, so you might as well not waste them on situations like that.

nrhatch - October 17, 2013

In A Christmas Carol, one of Scrooge’s acquaintances has just learned that Scrooge is dead. When asked if he plans to go to the funeral, he replies, “well, I’ll go . . . but I MUST be fed.”

He’s got the right idea. If we aren’t giving or getting sustenance in our voluntary interactions with others, what’s the point? 😛

13. jannatwrites - October 18, 2013

Good for you! In my experience venting about what is wrong (complaining) does nothing to find joy. It allows us to swim in the pollution even longer rather than freeing us to towel off and be “happy.” Sounds like it would’ve been a waste of time.

Oh, what kind of mileage does your broom get? I might be interested in getting one 😛

nrhatch - October 18, 2013

Haha! My broom get’s great mileage ~ it’s solar powered! Vroom Vroom. :mrgreen:

It’s FINE to share problems if we’re looking for advice or possible solutions to implement ~ that may be a productive use of time. But sharing problems just to vent, whine, moan, gripe and groan about them is counter-productive. More likely to add to our troubles than alleviate them.

14. Pix Under the Oaks - October 19, 2013

Good on you Nancy!

nrhatch - October 19, 2013

Hey Pix! I am far braver than when in my younger years. In part, because I SEE how easily people manipulate us when we aren’t paying attention ~ stares of disapproval, insincere flattery, pleading, wheedling, etc.

I am no longer willing to be roped into doing what they want me to do unless I want to do it. :mrgreen:

15. bluebee - October 20, 2013

Stir it up, Nancy, haha

nrhatch - October 20, 2013

That’s me! I oscillate between “stand still, be quiet” and “stir it up.” Vroom Vroom. 😀

16. Perfecting Motherhood - October 22, 2013

You haven’t been living under a rock. That Katy Perry song came out just a few weeks ago. 🙂

nrhatch - October 22, 2013

Yay! I’m not so far behind the times as I thought. :mrgreen:

17. geanieroake - October 25, 2013

You’re an inspiration. I can’t ever come with clever grand exit material until I’m out in the car and have stopped shaking with rage. Glad you told ’em what for.

nrhatch - October 25, 2013

Thanks, Geanie. It helped that I wasn’t mad ~ I just wanted to make a “clean getaway.” It would have been easier if I hadn’t agreed to chat with Paul & Ellie at the end of the discussion. I would have just picked up my stuff and left ~ but LIFE is what happens while we’re busy making plans.

I’m pretty psyched that I can cross the Einstein Circle off my To Do list for all future weeks. :mrgreen:

18. Jacqueline King - October 26, 2013

At one time I’d have stayed seated, seething but waiting for a chance to slip out unnoticed. But these days my moments are way too precious to waste on a negativity~fest. So, Go Nancy! I’m right behind you! 😉

nrhatch - October 26, 2013

Glad to know you’ve got my back! Life is too short to waste time getting sucked into a vortex of negativity. We should NOT allow “them” to manipulate us in ways that are at odds with our values and priorities.

Especially at an intended lecture on Less Stress, More Joy. :mrgreen:


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