The world is so weird right now. I’m either too soft and compassionate for forgiving the flaws of another, or too judgmental for having any expectations and therefore not compassionate enough. I’m talking too much, or I’m not visible enough.
Imma go ahead and stop all of that noise and nonsense.
Mel’s rules for a mostly sensible life
- Be kind. You have no fucking idea of what someone else is going through right now, or why they chose what they chose. Ask respectful questions if you must.
- Have a thick skin. There’s a lot of shit in the world, and if it gets to you, then it wins. Yes, wins. Because you let it steal your attention and energy. You get to choose what you spend your energy on.
- “You cannot change someone else, but you can change how you respond to them.” I was in a military hospital when I first heard these words from a random tv personality that was on whatever show. I was there because I had almost just died. Yet somehow, this sentence got through to me, and has stuck with me. Sometimes, I have to pull it apart and “what does it all mean?” but most of the other times, I’m empowered because I remember that my response is mine to control.
- Stop apologizing all the time. If you are, refer to #2.
- Automate as much of your life as you can, so you can pay attention to the stuff that actually matters to you.
- You don’t have to keep a terrible person in your life because you’re related to them. Free yourself of that nonsense. Find good people who share your values. I know it’s hard, but you’ll find that it does get easier with age, and your sanity is worth it.
- We all have to make a paycheck. Remember that. Then refer to #1.
- Get involved with something bigger than you. Especially if you have to make a paycheck, and you’re not one of the gloriously blessed people who has one of the five jobs in the world that both pay well and have a solid mission. Volunteer some of your time to something. Give something away. Give something back.
- When it is in your power to do so, make someone else’s life better. When you get a chance to make someone else’s life better, you’ll be tempted to shout about it. Don’t do that.
- You are expected to improve. You are expected to write better code, do better code reviews, manage expectations, or get better at relationships. or parenting. Or whatever. You’re expected to figure out where you are weak, and become stronger there. Don’t shrug it off.
I think these will get you mostly through whatever it is you’re going through. I know, because these have mostly gotten me through whatever it is I’m going through. I grew up in a cult. I escaped. I made it through six years in the U.S. Navy. I’ve been a woman in tech for the rest of it. I’m doing just fine. You can be just fine too. I promise.