Several weeks ago, a friend of over 30 years called while in NYC on business. I’d already known that he was here for a few days because of his social media posts. I missed the call and didn’t realize it until after he’d left the next day, plus, he didn’t leave a message. But even if he’d left a voicemail, I likely wouldn’t have noticed it either, because my outgoing message says, “text me”.
I honestly didn’t think anything of it until… he texted a few weeks later on my birthday.
Him: “I called when I was back home visiting NYC and didn’t get a text or return call. What’s up with that? Do we have beef?”
Me: “No, we don’t have beef. Did you leave a message? Why didn’t you text me?”
Him: “So a missed call means nothing? Well, I tried.”
Me: “You’re putting the onus on me, to contact you about you contacting me? First, make that make sense and second, just wish me ‘Happy Birthday.’”
I started thinking about, “well, I tried”. He really feels like he did try. I disagree. How often do some of us say that as a means for checking a box or as an excuse for half-hearted attempts.
“I wore my mask all the time and still got COVID. I tried.”
You were wearing your mask under your nose or chin, in a crowd of unmasked people in a poorly ventilated space.
“I used to go to the gym three times a week and didn’t lose weight. I tried.”
You also picked up fast-food on your way home from the gym.
Have you really given [insert whatever] your 100% effort? Or do you give up, just because hard things are hard?
It’s not a high-stake risk, but I’m probably not going to try the fried octopus the owner of my favorite Greek restaurant keeps suggesting. Nah dude, I’m good.
But there isn’t any shame in tapping out of toxic situations for your mental well-being. I stayed at a job for years while not being properly compensated and missing out on pportunities all because I didn’t try to see what else was out there. I was in an on-off-on-off mess with a man for 14 years because I didn’t want to have regrets about not trying, but the trying was one-sided. Don’t be like me.
How often do we take the time to sit, be thoughtful and take honest assessments of our situations/efforts versus just throwing up our hands and declaring “well, I tried”, without actually trying?
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