Putting people in their place and the shoe saga continues...

Following is a wierd post, full of imagination and fantasy. Not sure where it came from, but as I've read it over and over, I'm kinda liking it, so I think I'll keep it.

Okay, so every once in a while, I have to move people up or down on the importance ladder. Imagine that everyone in your life is on a ladder. The most important people are at the top so they can climb up and out of danger first. They're the people you'd risk your life for. Then, there should be you. (Yes, you need to be pretty darn near the top of your ladder. And, if you're not, you need to look at why.) And then, below you, in descending order of importance, are all the other people you have relationships with. Yes, it's a long ladder. Good thing it's imaginary because it wouldn't be too stable.

Sometimes I realize that someone just isn't experienced enough, or isn't sensitive enough for the place of respect I gave them on my ladder. That person needs to be moved down the ladder.

Or, someone is just irritating. On purpose. Someone that is only made important because I'm always irritated with them and therefore think about them morning, noon and night. Irritating people just don't need to be way up there on the ladder, close to me, where they can irritate me more. They need to be moved down the ladder.

Now, you're probably thinking how mean it is of me to move people down the ladder; to make them less important; to make them less likely to survive the "danger" that exists at the bottom of the ladder. But, it's not. Moving someone down the ladder means letting other people move up the ladder. People that are more deserving of a better place on the ladder can fill the empty space left by someone that maybe shouldn't even be on my ladder at all.

See, in my imagination, I can push people off the ladder and watch them fall. And, not feel one bit guilty about it. Maybe they grab on somewhere near the bottom. Maybe they don't and the danger gets them. But, more deserving people get to fill in the spaces.

Why is this particular imaginative rambling important to me? Because there's a couple of people that I've recently realized have been moved down the ladder. They didn't deserve the importance I gave them. Over time, without doing it on purpose, I moved them down my ladder, to better places for them to be. They likely won't even notice that they've been moved. Won't even notice the little bit less of myself that I offer. But, I'll know. Not because I'll remember these folks aren't important. But because I'll be enjoying the people I moved into those empty places. People that deserve to be there, in better place, on my ladder.

Yes, it's fanciful. Unrealistic. But, a pretty darned accurate description. Words that draw a picture that only exists in my mind.


Okay, so you may know about the coach that called the other day to tell me to buy shoes for my kid. I blogged about it here. Monday evening, I asked Sydney if she heard from Coach B. "Yes. She called me over and made me show her my new shoes and she said 'Nice job. Those are going to make a big difference'".

Yesterday morning, as I was driving to work, I got a call from a phone number I didn't recognize. I answered and it was Sydney. "Lane, I just wanted to say Thanks for the new shoes. I know you didn't have to do that. But, I wanted to let you know that I appreciate you taking the time and the money to get me new shoes." Okay, so floored is a good description. All I could say was "Thanks for calling and saying that. You're welcome and I love you." She hung on the phone for a few more seconds without saying anything and I asked "are you okay?" "Yeah". "Okay, love you." "Bye" (cuz that child would rather pull a permanent tooth than say she loves me in front of anybody.)

Last night, I asked what was up with the call. "Coach B. made me call. I was on my way in from gym and she called me over and made a big deal about the shoes. I called you and said thanks to make her shut up. I even managed to work up a tear for her." And, the whole time she's beaming like she just pulled the biggest joke in creation.

But, I know that what the coach said touched her. She doesn't work up a tear for just anything. And, I know she both loves and respects this coach and listens to what she says.

All I could do was guffaw. How can you listen to a kid tell a story like that and not roll on the floor laughing. Sometimes it's like living with Huck Finn.

Everybody have a great Wednesday.


Seraphinalina said...

I love your ladder analogy, it's not mean at all, it's just true. I have moved people off my ladder too. I am happy to see them clinging to other peoples ladder, but they aren't on mine any more and I feel better about it.

When my husband complains there isn't time for anything, I remind him there is time, we just prioritize it differently than others. Same thing goes with people because the people close to you need your time.

Teachers have the opportunity to make a big impact on our lives. It sounds like Sydney has some good ones who really care about her.

Tammy said...

Great shoe story Lane. I liked the way you prioritize the people in your life on the ladder. Obviously, you are doing a great job raising your daughter. I'm really looking forward to feedback from your quilting classes.

Bonnie K Hunter said...

AWESOME post! And I think you are right, people don't know when they are being moved up or down the ladder, but it also has a lot to do with where WE are on THEIR ladder...and that's what helps me choose where they go on mine too.

I can't hold a space at the top of my ladder for someone who won't make an effort to include me on theirs.


Becky said...

That Sydney is absorbing a lot of good lessons from that teacher! Good for both of them! I like your ladder.....works for me!

Coloradolady said...

I am impressed with that teacher....very impressed. What a great lesson Sydney learned from someone other than her parents. Those types of lessons are the ones that will stick too!

About that ladder....loved it! I have shoved many off and ripped the rungs off the ladder so they won't climb back on. Had to be done. Do I miss them...no, they created way too much ill feelings and drama for me to waste any more time with. Loved this post!!!

Shevvy said...

Loved the ladder - yep, I too have thrown plenty of people off my ladder, maybe I'm a lot more petty than you, but I hope some of them rot down there wherever they ended up!

Laughed at the shoe story - bless her.

Barb H said...

IMO, life is too short to be spent with people who aren't positives in your life. Without being nasty about it, you can spend less and less time with them and concentrate on being more and more with people who make you feel good. I think that's a healthy way to live.
Good for Sydney and the new shoes. And good for the teacher who noticed and went out of her way to do something about the shoes.

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

There are a lot of people that could benefit from a coach like that! Great lesson :)
The ladder analogy is so true. Wonderful and true. It is a fact of life that you have to prioritise and some people can take from you so much more than they should. Well done you! I agree, if you can't look after yourself you'll be no good to anybody, especially those ones at the very top of the ladder :)

sally said...

Oh I love the ladder analogy! Great explanation. I'm moving people up, down, and off my ladder.Won't go into any details or name names..lol...It's a constantly evolving lineup. Does Sydney know that you write about her in your blog? I've enjoyed your stories about life with your daughter. WHat would you do without that excitement, Lane? I can remember how my brother (the cool one...) would handle the "I love you" situation when we would say that to him on the phone. (He was often far away from home in the military or at college.) He would said "yeah, you too."
Take care, Sally

LynCC said...

ohhh!! I like the thought of having a mental ladder I can push certain people off of and watch them fall. :) Great coping mechanism. Thanks for the idea

lw said...

Irritating people can stay on my ladder, but I'm not so good with the ones who've either lied to me or used me. They get the boot. Life is so short, you're better off surrounding yourself with loving, generous people.

ql said...

I survived raising two teenaged girls. One reason: I was giving lecture 2,165 to the younger daughter and got the stone face, eye roll reaction. Trying to find the right words to get past that and sticking with it. Finally decided I just wasn't getting anywhere and walked away before losing it. Two hours later I overheard her explaining to a friend why it wasn't a good idea to do what they had wanted to do. She was even using my words in her explanation. Huzzah! A win. Not that she would ever admit it, of course.

P.S. She is now 31, a wonderful woman and pretty much at the top of my ladder.

Jo said...

I just did the ladder drop on someone. Boy do I feel better. She was an attention seeker and I just got sick of it. Because of her I was spending my free time doing things I hated. I'm MUCH happier now.

Nancy said...

LOVED the ladder analogy and Bonnie's addition to it. I am busy building my ladder in my mind right now--thanks.

cindyquiltsOR said...

I was thinking pyramids: lettem rollllll.

I am so lucky. And glad I know it. I have seven kids but one of them is living with me. The kid earns a lot of $$$, sure hope he is saving some. When ever we leave he says: love ya. It can be when he is going to work, out with friends or whatever ... and he will be 26 next month. And not the baby of the family, just the one who is not bashful about people hearing him.

Your daughter will grow into it ... patience m'dear ... patience.