Things You Say as a Middle Child

Some of you have probably been here…

I’ve touched on this subject before. I’ve been fascinated by the term ever since I came across it as an actual child, as well as by observations and studies on how birth order in families with siblings might influence the shape and course of our lives, character traits, social interactions. It’s not all black and white, though. Just because you were born the youngest doesn’t mean you can’t have leadership skills, same as being the oldest doesn’t set you up as domineering.

Plenty of people will think or even tell you to your face that being a middle child is nothing special (speaking from experience). But we all know the truth, don’t we? And then we say things like…

To be fair

Disclaimer/

Before I continue

I would like to point out

Just to conclude a thought

It’s possible

You might remember/

Maybe

On the one hand

On the other hand

Well

It’s just my opinion, but

I don’t mind either way

I’m OK with both

I haven’t really thought about this

I don’t have enough information

Is everyone comfortable?

Do you have time/ Do you have a minute/ Am I interrupting/ I can call you later

It’s OK, I can wait

No, you go first

Hmm, I can’t pick just one, but maybe we can do something with both…

Growing up, Charmed (the one from 1998) was one of my favorite shows. Sure, it was about witches, which (ha) added to the excitement, but it was also about three sisters, something I immediately related to. Piper Halliwell was my favorite sister from the beginning, though I loved the other two for various reasons. But, you see, Piper was the middle sister, like me, a fact that was mentioned on the show often enough and I was thrilled, as any kid would be, to have a fictional figure to look at. The interesting thing is, spoiler alert, that while Piper’s family life changed quite a bit, she retained her middle sister characteristics throughout the show.

Once a middle child, always a middle child…

Things You Tell Yourself in Your Thirties

Oh, glorious time…

Well, that’s one of the things you tell yourself, definitely. Love that movie! And it is a glorious time, like any other decade is special for its own reasons. Some other things popping into your head might be the following…

Hey, wait, I DON’T have to listen to this BS anymore!

What a load of crap, I’m outta here.

What. A. Jerk.

**** it.

Have money, will travel.

Don’t have money, will go on a day trip.

Will save money!

DANCEFLOOR!

It was never my fault.

Still gotta do the laundry…and it’s fine.

Sometimes I feel like all I ever do is laundry.

Do it now.

I’m in control, I’m totally in control, I’m so in control…OK, I’m not…I think I’ll just eat some chocolate and think about it later.

Roof over head, check. Payed off all the furniture buys, check. Have friends who like to paint walls, check. Have a tried and tested pizza place to call after aforementioned painting job, check.

I love my bed.

I love glitter.

I love a lot of people.

Wait, why is everyone so worried about their 30s, again?

 

 

 

 

Things Told to Me…That Weren’t True!

Maybe you’ve heard a few of these gems as well?

You need to be louder, otherwise people will put you in a box.

You should really speak up, no one can hear you.

You’re too quiet.

You’re very quiet.

You’re really quiet.

You shouldn’t be so shy.

You should be less reserved.

You shouldn’t be so reserved.

You really need to come out of your shell.

Your writing style just doesn’t work.

You can’t wear that color.

I love this, so you (everyone) have (has) to!

I guess that was really easy for you.

You’re so lucky, it’s easy for you.

You’ve never had any problems.

Maybe you’re too picky.

You should drink more.

Well, the thing with the place you come from…Ah no, wait, different blog post.

 

 

 

So Busy

Wish we could turn back time, to the good old days

When our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out

Stressed Out by 21 Pilots

During one of my jobs I had to sit down with a colleague to discuss a project we had been working on together. I had made careful notes in preparation for our meeting, while handling other tasks and calculating how much longer I would have to work that day to make up for having to leave earlier later in the week. At the same time I might have made a to-do-list for my after-work grocery shopping and worried about a friend who was not doing well.

As I I walked together with my co-worker to our conference room and politely asked how he was doing, he replied with a frustrated sigh, “Oh, it’s been crazy, I’ve just been so busy, just this constant load of things to do. I’m so stressed, I barely have any time.” He looked disgusted, as if someone was personally inconveniencing him. OK, the fact that I already knew him to be not the most reliable colleague and disregarding of efforts made by others contributed to the lightning-speed reaction in my head. What I thought was, Buddy, I’ve been here twice as long as you, and you think I’m NOT busy? Or anyone else?

Maybe it’s all in the wording. Maybe we react stronger to those who repeat something like the above, while not asking us how we are doing. Maybe both my natural state of positivity and my desire to maintain it drives me to say, I need to finish some things first, but I could get back to you * insert suggestion here *.

I have seen this time and time again, both in the workplace and outside of it, people who visibly do not trouble themselves or rush to exhibit involvement, committment, dedication, discipline, who cancel plans at a moment’s notice or simply don’t show up. They are surprisingly eloquent and clear as soon as they start talking about being “stressed”, while those at their desks rarely do. Why? Simple! One group has time to talk and the other doesn’t.

We all feel stressed or tired, we all share about it. We’re all busy most of the time. Sometimes you do have a hard day and end up talking only about your own experience. But the way it seems to work normally is saying, Wow, I’m just so wiped out from today, thanks for understanding, or I did this and that and now this, I just want to put my feet up, have a nice evening. Because the truth is, most of us are regularly stressed, tired or busy. There are rare exceptions, but I can’t think of any. It’s just the way life is, and the broader issue is how to deal with it and make sure you’re alright in the process.

I also think it’s pretty galling for people with less experience and a poor track record, in any context, to confidently tell someone on the opposite end of the spectrum about the tough time they are having. . .dealing with a sudden busy day, especially when half of what they are supposed to do ends up not being done. Again.

Whenever these encounters happen, I always come back to the same passage in one of Mindy Kaling’s books.

“. . . I do not think stress is a legitimate topic of conversation, in public anyway. No one ever wants to hear how stressed out anyone else is, because most of the time everyone is stressed out. Going on and on in detail about how stressed out I am isn’t conversation. It’ll never lead anywhere. No one is going to say, “Wow, Mindy, you really have it especially bad. I have heard some stories of stress, but this just takes the cake.I don’t believe anyone will ever give me a cake just like that, so I will simply bake my own.

As soon as I stop being so damn busy.

Journals Are…

Therapeutic.

Easy to keep, take with you and store.

Irresistible! The lure of a blank page, a page that belongs only to you.

Available in every single size, design and layout you can think of.

Easy to customize if you’d rather have something individual. Get a plain one and go DIY.

A legitimate excuse to either buy pens in a variety of colours or grab free ones whereever you see them.

A relief for those thinking what to give you for your birthday or Christmas.

Something you can find around the world to bring back with you.

A time capsule.

A source of something to do wherever you may be.

A possible harmless obsession.

Fashionable! Writing has never gone out of style and every day I see at least one adult scribbling away in a notebook.

There for you to put down whatever you want, without judgement, scrutiny or distractions from anyone else.