11 November 2013

Who is in charge of personal responsibility?

My dad says I'm like my mum.

My mum says I'm like my dad.

There are times when they say this and they are not being complimentary.  

But it is true.

I am like both of them.  And nothing like either of them.  

Sometimes the similarities are ephemeral - a reflection in a window, a memory that matches a moment, the emphasis in a sentence, a facial expression under a new hat. 

And others are more permanent.  Elements of me which after almost 39 years are just part of who I am and what I have learned along the way.

I look at my little people and I am entranced by their emerging personalities and strengths. They seem so unique, so individual.  But I know that one day, they will accept that some of their good habits they learned from me, and all their bad ones, from their dad.  

That was a joke.  Obviously.  

I look like my dad but with more hair.  Which means I look like my uncle, but with less beard.*

I like lists like my mum. Handwritten, long, actionable. 

When I was younger I taught myself to sign from the Auslan alphabet that used to be printed in the Yellow Pages.  I can still sign the entire alphabet plus the useful phrase 'bad moon rising in Russia'.  Just in case. 

My dad recently took a course in blacksmithing and is now doing a course on mindfulness.  Just in case.

I am never wrong.  Neither is mum.  

My dad likes to have records of his journey. Diaries, photographs, notebooks full of 'this happened'.  I have cupboards, full of shoeboxes, full of books, full of 'this happened'.

My mum has a strong, vocal and proactive sense of social justice. We don't always agree but we're probably bothering somebody, somewhere, to change something.

My dad thrives on 'doing stuff' and 'new ideas'. Travel, explore, discover.  If he can do it on his motorcycle all the better. Though my beautiful man and I are yet to resolve the 'Why I should get another motorcycle' discussion.
Well said Mr Rohn

I have my mother's hands.  Not literally obviously.  That would be really weird. 

My dad likes to dance.

My mum is curious.  

It's not an exhaustive list by any means.  Not at all. Nor is it black and white, but many shades of grey. 

So many things, often small, make up the individuals that we are. We can deny, we can embrace, we can have genuine moments of 'Oh shit' and others of comforting familiarity.  But ultimately, each of us have to take responsibility for ourselves and the people we become and the things that we do.  The good, the bad, the ugly.  

For if we apportion blame for that which we don't like about ourselves, we can not claim credit for that which we do like.

And personal responsibility is at the very heart of both happiness and humanity.
#justathought #justsayin' #seethepointaboutmeneverbeingwrong

*This is only true because when I was getting my eyebrows waxed last week the lady tweaked a hair on my upper lip and said 'No Movember for you lady' and proceeded to remove any hint of hirsuteness with such ferocity I've had a trout pout for a week.  And I thank her obviously.  Now. 

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