November 27, 2019-
My mother used to say, “You’re THIS CLOSE to…..” Sometimes, when one of us crossed the line, “close” became up close. It happened often enough to shape each of us into being responsible adults.
I learned, over the course of my educational career, that there was precious little daylight, in a good many cases, for muddled responses to people who acted out. “This close” only worked with students who were genuinely respectful, but who were just testing the waters.
I am having to mean exactly what I say with more people on the periphery of my life, who can and do try to push the limits of what I will tolerate. Obviously, taking an old-style parental disciplinary approach is going to be counteractive. Like a good parent, however, I do need to stick to my boundaries. I have told an online correspondent that I am limiting my time, responding to his long thread of sound bites, to no more than thirty minutes a day. His response, for now, is to send even more voice messages. No problem; they will wait until the next day. I know he is just pushing my boundaries and I don’t see any need to be yet another person to cut ties with him-unless the spam fest becomes a series of threats. Then, it’s game over.
I’ve only had to delete people twice, in twelve years, and one of them recently was let back in-as the problem was initially my fault. I am a patient man; some say, too patient, but no matter. My aim is to live my life as I see fit, within the bounds of my personal beliefs. Those who are really close to me understand that. The others, including the lonely soul, will just have to learn.