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Appreciating myself

Life Story Club Contributor

June 9, 2020

Since I retired, I notice an increased tolerance on my part for other people’s actions and opinions.  A few years ago, I commented negatively about a lady who was always sitting on a bench in the lobby.  A home health care worker in the elevator heard me and said, “Isn’t it wonderful that she is reaching out”.  After that interaction I stopped to talk to the lady on the bench, learned she was a fascinating person who spoke several languages, and continued to at least acknowledge her every time I passed the bench. 

When I worked where I supervised many people, I found it difficult to listen to them voice the same complaint over and over without changing any of their actions.  A consultant suggested I take improv lessons which I did.  In improv, the key rule is answering “yes and”. While it was hard to practice with difficult employees, I learned that in life it is not hard to view most interactions positively.  My tolerance for the ideas and expressions of others increased further when I retired and found I made more time for really listening to people.

I now have more understanding and willingness to listen to  people.  Riding the Penn South elevator provides lots of practice.  I have a new appreciation for many of my neighbors.  

Retiring provided me the opportunity to shift my focus from profession to people.  It has been an interesting journey.  I feel that I regularly have more insight into people, some of whom I have known for many years.

June 9, 2020

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