People and Time

Do any of you ever have those days where you feel like you hate people? It’s not so much that I hate them. It’s the way they treat each other that makes me frustrated. I love how many social media platforms have the various political groups to say one thing and do another. It’s amazing how people come off to one another. You can take a simple statement that might start a conversation, and someone is bound to twist what you say. They may take it the wrong way. I’ve said innocently “these people” only to hear from selected folks. It’s funny how the same people who get offended are usually the ones that everything offends. When the health care conversation was happening during the Obama administration, I commented that folks’ insurance was sky-high. This topic created a firestorm in exchange. The only thing I was saying was that I had to pay high premiums and that the Affordable Care Act wasn’t affordable for me. I applaud those who benefited, but I wasn’t one of them, and maternity leave didn’t pertain to me.
I can’t hold political conversations with friends. It gets heated, and voices get raised. Instead of listening to each other, it becomes a place where everyone gets drowned out. For the record, I’m not too fond of either political party. Both parties need to go back to the drawing board and learn why they are there. Most politicians have forgotten what it’s like to be a constituent. They become so focused on getting our vote that fulfilling promises is secondary. They are getting their wallets padded while everyone else is struggling to get by.

I had a customer this week try to haggle with me for pricing. She wanted me to price match, which our company doesn’t do. She all but begged me to do this, and I wouldn’t bend because our corporate policy doesn’t allow me this option. She got argumentative and told me that we didn’t have many reviews. I told her we just recently acquired the facility and did not have much feedback. Most people who work for corporate offices do not have the power to change the policies. I politely repeated several times that we did not price match. She wouldn’t listen. She said she would go to our competitor, which was fine with me. One of our competitors jacks up prices within the first few months to pay more in the long run with them than she would with our company. She didn’t realize this fact. She then told me she would research more information and not release the reservation yet. I told her I’d hold it until the end of the week. She kept pushing my buttons. I value her input but recognized she wasn’t respecting me or my time.

Time is priceless. When people waste time, they waste money. Sometimes they waste something even more precious than monetary means. It’s called life. The last decade has made me more conscientious of the time I have left with loved ones. My dad died of cancer in 2013. I lost my uncle to cancer this past holiday season. Both men were strong and leaders to many. They loved their families immensely. Ron loved all three of his daughters and grandchildren, and he had a complicated history with his children. I was in my twenties before I knew the man could have a complete sentence formed. He scared the hell out of me. He had an authoritative presence, but he made them feel safe and memorable to the students he worked with special needs. My dad used to say that Ron’s sense of direction wasn’t great, but the man had the uncanny ability to miss what would have hurt others. His luck ran out the day leukemia entered his body.

Then there are the countless friends that I’ve lost over the years to diseases, accidents, shootings, and drugs. My heart aches for the people who won’t get to watch their children grow up. Their love of substances prevailed over their love of themselves and their loved ones. Car accidents took a couple of good friends. Drunk drivers determined the fate of a few of them who were young. Those folks never got to see the age of 40. One of the young men that perished was a friend of my family who died in a shooting. It was a drug deal that went south. He had all kinds of mental issues. Opioid addiction can add him to the growing list of victims.

I hope that you can spend time with those you love and never take a day for granted. Observe your surroundings with a new eye and appreciation for what life is offering. Even if all you can spend is five minutes for yourself, use that time wisely. People and time can be positives in our lives. All we have to do is crack a window into our lives so that we can appreciate what others are sharing. Have a great day, everyone.

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