What is the final straw that will break your camel’s back? Do you know what your limits are? I know this sounds as if I am about to jump straight into a heated rant, but in reality this is just something that has been rolling around in my mind this week – ultimatums. What started this conversation (with myself – have I mentioned I talk to myself?) was trying to explain to my six year old brother why I could not just skip work to ride bikes with him, even if I wanted to. I told him that I would get fired, and then had to proceed to explain to him what that meant. The next day I woke up to the raised voices of my parents, and a few minutes later my brother was in my room;
“What happened, buddy?”
“Oh, well, I spilled chocolate milk on the computer. Mom and Dad are mad at me,” there was a slight pause of consideration on his part, and then this revelation as his eyes widened,“I think I just got fired!”.
As I tried to control my laughter, I reassured him that you cannot get fired from family and that Mom and Dad had probably already forgiven him. However, his reaction to spilling chocolate milk was the thing that started this conversation in my mind. Everything and everyone has a different point of no return, and it is avoiding these tipping points that leads to a potentially more peaceful life. I try to be a person who has a high tolerance for many things, but I have been known to lose it a time or two. I actually had a mild case of reaching my point of no return about a week ago at my waitressing job- just an issue of a perpetually disgruntled co-worker being unnecessarily disrespectful to me. As the night progressed, I thought to myself, “If he says one more thing to me, I am going to let him have it." Say something, he did, and give him what for, I did. Even though my co-worker did not even pretend to be apologetic that night for being a complete tool, ever since he has been much better behaved, and on top of that all the other grouch-inclined people there have decided I am someone worth being at least a little nice to.
So limits are generally good. Ultimatums have their purpose. It is nice to know that I will never be fired by Mom and Dad, but it can be appropriate to give those people who act as thorns in your side a little fire from time to time. I could delve a little more deeply into this topic, but alas I have another night of work to get to, even though I would rather be riding bikes.