We are a swim family. As in every June and July you can find me at the pool. No I'm not laying out or reading a book, I'm sitting there as my kids practice for swim team. It's a fierce and quick season that seems to consume every single day for 9 weeks. I love it honestly, I do. I think it's such a great activity for kids to be in that I've forced my oldest to compete since he was 5. So seven years later, I would dare to say I'm not a newbie to this sport.
And let me just say swim team is overwhelming for new parents and swimmers alike. Meets are loud and chaotic, not to mention MASSIVE amounts of people line the sides of the pool. Honestly, it's as if families temporarily move in and set up camp. I can so clearly recall being overwhelmed my first year. Not only overwhelmed, but straight up thought "these people are crazy." I had no idea what was going on for the majority of the season. But as the years went on, I slowly learned how swim meets operate and that it takes loads of organization and volunteers.
Because organizing kids is no easy task, especially when there are over a hundred of them. And to get through a single swim meet (which by the way, can take 4-5 hours) it takes volunteers knowing and completing a specific task with haste and efficiency.
And have I mentioned that I'm driven by efficiency?
Like I'm that girl that crushes to-do lists, and knocks it out in the quickest way possible. I know exactly how to get crap done.
So when I'm assigned a swim meet task that requires a lot of yelling at kids, and organizing them according to a piece of paper (and I mean A LOT OF KIDS) then I get it done without pause.
And the funniest thing happened this past season while I was in the middle of such a task. Like, kinda mind blowing. As I calmly and methodically organized kids to line up to race, another swim team parent who was also assigned the same position, looked at me like I had thorns growing out of my head. You see, it was her very first year with her kids competing. It was obvious to me that she was overwhelmed with the chaos that surrounded her, and she struggled quite a bit with our task. She wanted to do the job one way, and I wanted to do it another way. Her way made no sense to me as it would take much longer to do things as she suggested. I voiced my concern, and basically told her we were doing it my way since I've organized countless swim meets. And the weirdest thing happened.
Her eyes glazed over as she stared at my face. I saw tears welling up as she looked me over some more and she finally said "I feel like you just don't like me."
I was quite taken back and almost laughed out loud because it seemed so ludicrous. Was she serious?
I realized she was and finally mustered up a response. "Excuse me? Lady, I don't even know you to not like you. I'm just trying to line up the kids."
She turned away and we went on lining up kids as I had instructed her earlier to do. The meet went on smoothly and without pause, and I was happy to get my job over and done with and I as I sat down to watch the rest of the meet her words echoed in my head.
"I feel like you don't like me."
It rolled around in my head for the remainder of the evening. Actually I thought about it for a week straight. How could a woman I just met feel so strongly about my feelings towards her? I mean really, I had zero thoughts about her when I was engaging with her. And yet....
And yet in my effort and desire to be efficient I made her feel like crap.
And this is not the first time I've made someone feel bad because I'm so focused on the task at hand. It has happened countless times in my life. Countless.
Because the area that we need to grow in is often replayed over and over again.
I sat and thought of what I could have done differently in that moment? And it led me to this conclusion: 1. Some people really just won't "get" you. They don't get what you're all about and they definitely don't get your personality. AND IT'S OKAY! and 2. You don't have to use the crutch of "this is just how I am" so everyone else should just accept it. We can be true to who we are and still show other's love.
That honestly is my quest. I'm still who I am, but I can be consciously aware of how I affect others. Because sometimes it's a "YOU" issue that you need to work on, and sometimes it's a "THEM" issue and you did nothing wrong. But KNOWING THE DIFFERENCE between the two is the KEY! In this case.... "I feel like you don't like me." PLEEEEAAASSSE lady, I FEEL LIKE YOU DON"T LIKE ME! AND I'M OKAY WITH IT.