Assumptions

Assumptions are a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.

I have been thinking about assumptions. As human beings, we make assumptions about each other, about the stock market, the weather, and just about everything.

Having others make assumptions about me is uncomfortable. How much is true? How much is not true? Why does this bother me? I think it bothers me because it limits me. It makes me realize that even the closest friends make assumptions that make me uncomfortable. Sometimes I am uncomfortable because they are true. Sometimes I am uncomfortable because they are not.

Here are some of the assumptions people have made regarding me over the past few years.

  • I am not vegan or vegetarian. I do love farmers markets for all their fresh and organic produce. I may not get as excited about them as someone who has just become vegan yet it doesn’t mean I don’t like them. They are a go-to place when they are in season.
  • I am not a Democrat. I am not a Republican. I have never been allied with either party. I like to think that I will vote for whoever will do the best job for me and everyone else. Ask me what I believe, don’t categorize me.
  • I don’t like casinos. I don’t judge the people that like this entertainment. Some of them are my people, in fact, a good friend of mine goes to them often. I don’t like the noise, the smell of smoke, and all the audible stimulation. I like camping in their parking lots. I do like their buffets. A year ago a group of us who were camping in the parking lot, went into the casino for dinner. Everyone was required to wear masks. Now I don’t want to go in because Covid is still a part of our lives and fewer people wear masks.
  • Yes, I might make a good Univeral Unitarian. Do I want to be one? No. And maybe I wouldn’t make a good one.
  • I am not brave. If you only knew how often I have heard this since I bought my RV. There are times when my fear overwhelms me. I have been known to delay departures because I get so nervous about taking that first really giant step forward and I get sick. I am working through life just like the rest of us.
  • I am not a Buddhist. I believe in many of the tenets of Buddhism. I have practiced yoga for many years. I am not a Buddhist.
  • I do not listen to NPR, a lot. Except maybe on Saturdays and even then, not frequently. I am not a news person. The news stresses me out. I finally decided I needed to keep up so I get the New York Times headlines in my inbox every day. I can read what I am interested in and let the rest go.

Interesting, aren’t they? These are only a sample of what I have heard from people over the past few years. If I am present when a friend or acquaintance states an assumption about me I will attempt to talk about the assumption with that person.

Rather than assuming something about me, ask me. I am pretty upfront about myself. Ask me why I don’t want to go to a casino for dinner. Ask me about my faith and beliefs. Tell me why you think I would make a good UU. I may learn something about myself.

Why has this subject come to my awareness, now? It has been there for quite some time. It frustrates me. It would be so much better for each of us to learn about each other by asking the questions that would open us up and take our friendship to the next level if that is where we want it to go. Assumptions can limit where we might go and what we might do as people in this world. Assumptions make people feel safe and set boundaries.

What assumptions do I make of others? Hmm, that is a good question. When something comes into my awareness it is time to look at myself. The lesson will ride in the forefront of my consciousness for a while. It has already been there for some time. It is time for me to take a look at myself and change what needs changing. Is this an easy task? No, absolutely not. The key is not to be too hard on myself and recognize, like everyone else, that I am human. Growth is what it is all about. Awareness can help me change and grow. And maybe I won’t be so quick to assume things of others.

Because strangers, acquaintances, and friends make assumptions does not make them less valued in my life. Heck, we all do it without thinking. I value all who enter my life, whether for a few minutes a few years, or forever. People enter my life to teach me lessons in self-growth. And here I am at almost seventy still growing.

Today I am thankful for a tough and delicate topic for me to address. Today I am thankful I have a platform to discuss this. Today I am thankful for those who have helped me to bring this subject forward. Today I am thankful.

Assumptions

Lately I have become aware of the common assumptions many of us make. As an example, “I didn’t invite you because I didn’t think you would be interested”. This is a very common one, one that, I am so sure, I have made many times over the years, without considering what I have done. Why we make assumptions about others appears to be a very human condition. Is it a good idea to make these assumptions? I am beginning to think that it is not. It short changes me and it short changes others.

An assumption directed at me, recently,  is that Christmas and the holiday season is not a big deal to me. When Jim was alive we usually spent the Christmas holiday with his family. I enjoyed the company and fun day we all had together. It was good to be with family and friends. I love gatherings.

Since Jim’s death I have been wading around in uncharted territories. I don’t know what to do with myself. I mean, I would love to spend the holiday with others, however,  it is a time for family and often family forgets that there are those of us who are single and alone. I find myself hesitant to invite myself to other’s homes. I don’t want them to think they have to say yes. It becomes a trap for both sides. Instead I buck it up for another year, find things to do to keep myself occupied and move on.

Our society has become more and more insular. As it has become so, many people, such as myself, are trying to figure out what to do with ourselves. I find the holidays to be a lonely time for me. My family is 3000 miles away. Friends who are involved with their church or others are busy and often don’t remember to include solo friends in their plans. Do I let everyone know I am sad, or I have no-one to celebrate with or do I buck up and tell everyone that the holidays are no big deal to me? It is a conundrum. I don’t feel comfortable with either statement

Jim and I loved to include others. We invited our single friends to go on vacation with us. Our hosted dinners were an inclusive affair, everyone was invited. You didn’t have to be a member of a certain group of people. Singles and couples were invited. I know I tried my best to include everyone. I love my friends in all their forms, single, married, living alone, living with others. I find it easier to be inclusive than exclusive. It sure makes for a more animated and fun event when others get together.

Before I met Jim I was single for my whole adult life. I was also working as a nurse. I often would work the holiday shifts, money was good, and it allowed others with family to have the time off to enjoy their holiday. If I wasn’t working I went back east to my family’s for the holidays. Now I am many years older and still trying to figure it out.

I love adding events to my calendar. So far there are two and I look forward to both of these parties with anticipation and joy. I have decided to go see the Nutcracker. I know it is a bit of a cliché but I love the ballet. I would have gone to the Nutcracker with Jim, but he was somewhat of a bah humbug when it came to this holiday. I believe I need to find the events that speak to me and take action on them.

Today I left my house and chicken sitting job for the last time. Elsie and I have moved in and are in east county San Diego, to camp and enjoy some time at Santee Lakes. I will remain there through the holidays. I am looking forward to being back in my small home on wheels. I am gradually looking forward to the Christmas season. I may stumble my way through it ,yet, I will seek out those moments of joy and fun.

And, for the coming year I am going to attempt to be aware of the assumptions I make regarding myself and others. I would like to stop assuming. If I want to include others in my adventures, I will out right ask them to come along. If they say no, I will try to remember it is not personal. Sometimes others may have other things to do or they just aren’t interested. And, just maybe, when I invite others along, one of them may say yes. Oh what fun will ensue.

Working my way into December. Feeling thankful.