|Some things I’ve taken my kids out of
school for. Yeah, not sorry.
At Mrs. Disciple today, we’re talking about boundaries for #FridayFive. So I thought I would resurrect this post, since boundaries is really what most of it is about. Why do we say “sorry” for things we don’t need to? Especially women. So I know this is ten, not five, but here are ten things I will make boundaries around apologizing for.
My daughter posted this video the other day and began a rant discussion about how perhaps rather than stop saying “sorry” we should all—male and female—just be more polite. Amen. A little “sorry” can make for more kindness all around. I plan to keep it in the repertoire.
Yet for whatever reason lately, I started making a mental list called “Things I’ll Never Apologize for Again.” I think it’s healthy, as long as you don’t go overboard and go with the whole, “I am who I am and no one better question it,” thing.
Honestly, I hate the current “take me as I am” party. I get that women (it’s usually women) need to feel empowered and confident. Absolutely. But to imply that the rest of the world had better adjust to whatever you feel like doing and being, regardless of how plain insensitive that may be? Um, no thanks.
We all need questioning once in a while. We all need tweaks of improvement. Sometimes, I need a complete attitude overhaul. I’ll be the first to say (before my children do publicly) that I do not have it all together and should not be left as I am to remain as I am. God has more work to do. I appreciate His willingness.
But we apologize all the time for stuff we should not. Then I thought, what the heck? Why not share the list. It’s a fairly random list. So, here’s my list, so far, of things I am so done apologizing for. What would you add?
1–Telling people the truth.
Nicely. I used to worry they might not like me anymore. Now, I worry more about being trusted than being liked. I care more about peoples’ needs than their good opinions. More them, less me. It’s a nice tradeoff. Understand, I don’t do this with total strangers. Because 1–I haven’t earned the right by hanging in a real relationship, and 2– I haven’t had time to gauge the person’s likelihood of owning a firearm. And should I stress again? NICELY.
Now, I worry more about being trusted than being liked.
2–Explaining to a phlebotomist she/he only gets one chance.
I have had my blood taken approximately 5 ½ billion times. Give or take. Some of these people could find a vein in the dark and I wouldn’t even feel it. Others appear to be on an archaeological dig. I finally decided that if I was going to do this on a bimonthly basis, it would be on my terms. This is particularly relevant right now, as the last person to perform the task hit a nerve, and my left arm is painfully disabled. I will not apologize for never letting him near me again.
It starts in school when the smart kids are the ones made fun of. We learn to hide it, pretend it isn’t so, and apologize if we give even the hint of an impression we think we know what we’re talking about. I’m done. I like to learn, I probably do know the answer, and it’s a Reading Rainbow out there, people.
But it’s OK. Because you’re probably better at math, or more musically talented, or able to make conversation far better than I am. Maybe you’re just plain nicer. Or you are an ace at Twitter, which puts you above a lot of us. Odds are really in your favor that you’re a better cook. Can we just be happy to be diverse and encourage one another’s gifts? Wouldn’t that be a great world? I think so.
4–Taking my kids out of school to learn something better.
Hey, I used to be a teacher. I know what they’ll miss in a week. I also know what they’ll learn by a mission trip to Latin America or in the museums of Washington DC. I know what they’ll remember from a surprise day off with just mom at the zoo. (Besides the food poisoning. That’s what Child #3 chiefly remembers from that excursion.) I know which will matter longer.
5–Deciding I don’t like something.
It’s not you, it’s the brussels sprouts. And green beans. And wine. And Indian food. And most chick flicks. That kid who sat at the dinner table for five hours because her mom said, “You won’t get up from that chair until you’ve eaten that chop suey? That was me.
I vividly remember the time the wind blew our back door shut and shattered the glass in it. Even my mom would not make me eat chili potentially laced with glass shards.
But now—I’ve tried those things. I’ve made it a hobby to try new things and never say never. And if I still don’t like it? I don’t have to pretend to. It’s not you, it’s me. And we’re both OK to like what we want. That extends to political opinions, by the way.
6–Not explaining why I can’t do something.
It’s taken me years to realize—I don’t have to. Conversely, you don’t have to explain to me, either. If we’re good friends, I trust your decision. If not, it’s none of my business. So if you invite me somewhere, and I say I can’t, please don’t ask why. I am not required to say.
7–Giving people a break.
I know, I know. Give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. Give the homeless guy a dollar, and he’ll use it for booze. Give that kid a second chance, and he’ll walk all over you. You’ve got to protect yourself. It’s better to be safe than sorry. You know what? Not so much.
I’d rather give and be taken advantage of than hold back because I might look foolish. I’d rather be walked all over by ten kids if it saves just one. I’d rather give someone a second, third, tenth chance and be wrong than not give one and be wrong. And I’m not going to apologize anymore for having a tender spirit. It’s not stupid—it’s just an economy of the heart rather than the head. You may be safer. But I’m not at all sorry.
8–Saying, “I don’t think that’s right.”
Firmly and unapologetically.
9–Being a woman and a pastor.
I will be polite, respectful, thoughtful, and gracious. But I will not back down. There is too much at stake in the kingdom of God. For me, it’s no longer “don’t rock the boat with my brothers and sisters.” It’s, “God wants to unleash his kingdom, and we’re telling half the population they’re less qualified to take part.” We’re hampering the only real mission there is and paining his creation. That’s unacceptable to me anymore.
10–Not once in my life saying totes, adorbs, LOL, or cray cray.
Except in cases dripping with sarcasm. Oh wait, not sorry. Not ever been sorry. Scratch that.
OK, your turn. What are you going to stop apologizing for? What have you learned about yourself you don’t need to hide?
And maybe later we should talk about—what should we apologize for more often? (Actually did that here.) And there are five.