It is interesting when you are participating in an activity or a conversation and you step back from what is going on and just watch. Over the past couple of days I have been doing this a bit and what I saw made me question the fact that I question myself and my reactions to the extent I do.
Today I walked across to the on-site Pharmacy at work to check my blood pressure. I went cold-turkey on my blood pressure meds after my last visit to my doctor as was her recommendation and again as per her recommendation, I got it checked today. The manager of the pharmacy took my blood pressure and said, “Wow! I’ve never seen that blood pressure before.” So I’m thinking, “OK, what does that mean?” He turns the blood pressure reader around and says, “Look, 120 over 80. That’s the perfect blood pressure!” Now I wasn’t surprised by the fact that I took an absolute perverse pleasure in this; but the fact that he was impressed with HIMself for getting my blood pressure perfect, that was a light bulb (that we all take delight in perfect) and a laugh out loud!
Yesterday I bought my team mini packets of Smarties (to celebrate my 20 kg milestone and, I told them, to make them fatter and consequently make myself look thinner). There were 4 packets left and I had a meeting to attend so I took the four packets and placed them on plate in the centre of the table to share. Now I think I have mentioned before that I work with scientists and you probably won’t be surprised to learn that scientists order things. So the first person randomly took two Smarties but from then on, those of us eating them ‘bags’ed our colours then sorted and ate the Smarties in order. There were four of us doing this and by the end, I was again laughing, this time at how easy it is to ‘encourage’ people to demand order.
I have recently been enjoying daily lunches with one of my very favourite people, A. Now A and I have worked together for around six years now and a short time into that period, I became her mentor. This was an easy ask as A was awesome. She embraced everything that was happening in our workspace and enjoyed the challenges I presented. Looking at A, I have to say that she reminds me a lot of myself but she has much better developed self-preservation and self-evaluation. We have been chatting about this blog on and off since I started it and today I realised that she was turning into my mentor. I have to say that it takes a mentoring relationship to a new level when you swap roles, a level that I appreciate and value.
I was discussing with A today that I had always considered that I was very much a shades of grey person rather than black and white. Now in some respects I still believe that this is true. I can generally see the good in others and in most situations but when it comes to other things, I am seriously black and white; I have, “Don’t mess with me,” firmly tattooed on my forehead. In speaking with A today, I realised how stressful and personally destructive it is to be so unbending, so black and white and have made a personal commitment to myself to try to be more pliable and accepting that other people have their own perspectives, I don’t have to consider them to be right but I do have to acknowledge that they are not necessarily wrong!