Blogging 101 Assignment. My assignment was to go to the Daily Post and use the daily prompt to write my own personalized post. The prompt I saw is posted above. Once I found this prompt, my first thought was that I could easily expound on this topic and inject good woman philosophy into it. I thought about how in the past I used to be extremely stubborn, always insisting that my way or my point of view was correct. As I got older I learned to compromise and listen to opposing points of view. I learned that I do not need to be right all the time. In my thinking I have really mellowed out. While not being “as easygoing as a light breeze on a warm day”, I definitely am not as stubborn as I used to be.
What the Good Woman is really like. I soon realized that I had to do a quick re-evaluation of that rather impulsive first reaction. What happened that forced me to a new understanding?
When I read my assignment I dutifully went to the Daily Post and read the Daily Prompt. The prompt that was showing did not resonate with me at all:
Write a post in which the protagonists of two different books or movies meet for the first time. How do they react to each other? Do they get along?
Without taking even a second to think about it, I stubbornly thought I cannot write about that. If I was an author or a screen writer or had any creative literary talent, I might be able to do that assignment and it might be worth spending time developing the characters and the story. But me? I almost never go to the movies and although I read all the time, it is generally light reading in which I am not required to become deeply engaged in the characters’ psyches. So this aspiring good woman (who takes great pride in never cheating) automatically decided to cheat on this assignment and not use the daily prompt. There was a choice with the daily prompt that says “Try Another Prompt” and I thought, “Well, I am just going to do that (whether they like it or not).” Of course, no one is judging me and I am not being graded so I am not sure who would be liking it or not liking it. The next prompt had to do with analyzing a favorite line in a song. That also did not inspire me. So here I, the aspiring good woman who never cheats, decided to skip that prompt too and go to another one. Finally I came up with the selection on stubbornness and I decided I felt very comfortable discussing my own stubbornness.
Lesson #1: Carefully read the assignment. I felt rather wayward for not following instructions in the assignment but decided nobody would call me out for cheating. I went back and read the assignment again to determine the approach I would take. That is when I realized that the assignment was not requiring me to write about the first prompt I saw. It did not say to publish a post on the daily prompt. It said to use a daily prompt. And since the stubbornness topic is listed among several daily prompts it is completely honorable and above-board for me to have gone through the choices in “Try Another Prompt.” I was not cheating at all! (It is fortuitous that I aspire to be a good woman because apparently I can’t be a cheating woman even when I deliberately choose to be one. Besides if I titled my blog Cheating Woman, I would be telling a completely different story.)
The stubborn truth. The bottom line is that this illustrates my stubbornness. Immediately upon reading the first prompt (and without having grasped the assignment), I dug my heels in and refused to consider that it was a task I might consider doing. I immediately rejected it because it was not to my liking. I spent a whole lot of years in school and on the job where I was the compliant person doing what was expected of me. Now in this stage of my life, in a voluntarily activity, I will not do something that I really don’t want to do. And no one is going to make me! (Not only stubbornness, but an added touch of sass.) Having said that, however, I am a very helpful person (as all good women are), so I will do some things that I would ordinarily not choose to do if it means helping a friend, family member or even the stranger on the street.
How I became less stubborn. When I first started supervising people in my job, I tried to make everyone complete each task in the way I thought it should be done. I soon realized that I had to appreciate the diversity of human beings and that as long as they got to the proper result, the path was not so important. If something in a document had to be manually highlighted, did they have to continue to use a yellow highlighter just because that is what had always been used? There were times when color coding might be important but that was not the case in this situation. I learned to pick my battles which moderated the stubbornness I previously had. Furthermore, as I grew older, I realized that some things that seemed so important just did not matter that much when you face life and death and loss. So gradually I mellowed out and decided to concentrate on things that were truly important. It made my life much less stressful.
Things I will always be stubborn about. We probably all have some things we will be stubbornly unwavering about. Some of mine follow:
I will always be stubbornly and fiercely protective of my family and those I love. Neither I nor they are perfect but I will always watch out for them. I am a bulldog when it comes to anyone being victimized. If I see anyone or any living creature being treated unfairly or being abused I am going to take action. I don’t necessarily know what I will do–it might be stepping in or it might be calling 9-1-1, but I will do something. Guaranteed.
I am stubborn as a mule when it comes to protecting my time. I have learned all too well that time is the one thing that once gone you can never get back. I thus am intolerant of things that will waste my time in fruitless activity with no benefits to anyone. That is also why I am less of a perfectionist than I once was, and why once I have put all the time I feel I can spare into an assignment I am done with it.
Think about it. Are you more or less stubborn than you once were? Are there some things that you are incapable of compromising on, and that you will adhere to no matter what?
The stubborn good woman, just another thread in my life.