My father and I were in an introductory VERY SERIOUS MEETING with an attorney recently discussing VERY SERIOUS THINGS.  My father is 81 years old and had gone through some traumatic and life altering health crisises, in the last few months. 

He has been retired for almost 20 years and has no hobbies outside of watching TV.  Even before he retired, he didn’t engage at all.  zip, nana, nothing, period.

Something he said at towards the end of our meeting caused me to think about how we react when we get uncomfortable in serious discussions.

We were recapping who would do what next and he says, “Here’s something completely off topic”, and so I am thinking that it has to do with the legal situation, as do the attorneys.  However, he tells us that he recently saw on TV how the skunk’s spray is flammable.    Hm….

After the attorney and I looked at each other for a few minutes, me trying to mind meld with the attorney to tell him that my father is not crazy, we get back to the wrap up and finish.

After I relayed this funny story to anyone who knows my dad, I had a few minutes to consider why he would say such a random thing at that moment.

The best I could come up with is that he just was not used to discussing things of value or importance.  He brought up something he was completely comfortable with, TV, and some useless and unimportant fact that as a stress reliever from dealing with reality.

How do you deal with the reality of the situation you are in?  I think of myself as confrontational and eager to deal with whatever has come up.  However, I think that as long as I think I am right and justified (and can win the fight), I am eager to confront.  When I’m not so sure about winning, then I am more cautious before proceeding.  Which is really the better way to go, because I’m not always right, even though I may think I am.  Can I stop my will to win for the greater good of maintaining a relationship? 

I will let you know…

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