One of the challenges I set myself for this year ( I don't do resolutions because I will always fail at them, so I set myself a list of challenges ) was to answer people honestly. I always try to tell the truth - I'm not clever enough not to for I'd only get caught out - however, usually when people say to me "how are you?"or "how was your weekend?" I always used to reply "great, thank you". Sometimes it was an honest answer, other times not so. I'd say it so that people didn't think of me being grumpy, miserable or depressing (there are enough negative people in this world, I don't need to add to it). I challenged myself to stop doing that, to answer people honestly. It's weirdly odd how liberating it is.
Many people since I got back to work have said the words "Did you have a nice Christmas and New Year" The Sarah from last year would have replied "yes, it was lovely, thank you". The Sarah from this year has replied "no, not really". I've smiled as I've said it, not elaborated on why unless asked and the people I've seen don't seem to have been adversely affected by it. I'm not sure it's the right thing to do for other's, but this year isn't about other people; it's about me and it's right for me at this point in my life.
Another challenge is to not get caught up in other people's worlds, or dramas. I've had enough of my own to be dealing with. This year will be different. People are welcome to come to me, sound off when things get on top of them, share how they're feeling. What I'm not going to do is stand there and talk to them about the people they may be talking to me about. I've always tried not to anyway, but there have been times when someone may have pissed me off also, and so I've had my say as well. Not any more. If someone has upset me, that's between them and me, it's nothing to do with anyone else. If someone has upset another person and they come talking to me about them they will get told "Please go and discuss this with the person you have the issue with; I don't want to get involved with something that is nothing to do with me". This reaction is also working. Someone came to see me on Wednesday, was about to kick off about someone else who'd upset her over the Christmas period, thought I was going to join in. The person they were talking about has never done anything to me so I just said "Go talk to her about it. I don't want to get involved". Such a small sentence which made such a big impact, both to her and to me. Another friend messaged me, starting the message with "you'll never believe what I've heard". Normally I'd reply with "ooh, do tell". This time I replied "unless you heard it directly from the horses mouth, it's probably best not to share". Not the reply she was expecting but she got the message, never elaborated further. So many people have fallen out with each other over "hearsay". I've lost friends over other's sharing crap and them being believed. I'm too old for such shit, don't need that kind of negativity in my life, and so far - 5 days in - I am feeling so much better for it. I should have done it years ago.
Another challenge I set myself is to take on the Vets and Specialists I had to deal with while my dog was poorly. The main vets actually sent me an admin bill the day after I'd had to have her put-to-sleep. They've still not got her back to me (it was 2 weeks ago today) and I've still no idea how much it is going to cost. I think the whole attitude of all of them has been disgusting. When I took her in I asked if we could sort out the paperwork beforehand and was told it would be dealt with after, and the vet would talk me through everything. The vet came in, shoved a piece of paper at me to sign, handed me a brochure saying the words "have you decided what you want to do with her body?" (I had already thought about it so knew what I wanted). The forms were taken, the dog was taken to put the canula in ready to do what they had to do, and when they couldn't do it and I was told I couldn't stay with her when they did, I was ushered out. I've heard nothing since except a card yesterday expressing their sorrow saying "she will be sadley missed (yes, they really couldn't be bothered to check their spelling)" and I bet she will; they'll not be getting any more money from me in future for her (other than whatever the final bill comes in at). I haven't got a clue how much that final bill will be, either. I have kept copies of everything (including emails I've sent which they've never bothered to reply to) and once I have her back, have paid the final bill and am not feeling quite so emotional, I will hit them with everything I have. It won't bring her back, it won't make me rich, but they deserve to know how atrocious the service they are providing is. Having spoken to many people in the shop since it all began there appears to be a general consensus that the vets are not good on the whole; one woman I know was told her cat had pulled a muscle, when in fact it had spinal cancer which they failed to spot. The new vet she took the cat too picked up on it the second it was on the table to be checked over. All the time she was healthy I never had reason to say anything other than how good they were; I certainly don't have anything good to say about them now. I'm sure there is also a vet's ombudsman as such (someone has told me they should all be regulated by one governing body) so they will also be CC'd in on everything. If it only serves to make them think about how they deal with future owners and they show a little more compassion to those people then it will be worth it. Nobody at such a vulnerable, tense and emotional time should be made to feel as we were, should be spoken to in the way we were, and should be made to feel bad for doing what is the right thing for their pet and not what is just going to line the vet's pockets.