Baby Budgie Day 08: Patience is a bitch

See that? That's you!

It's probably really immature but I don't think i'm alone in this type of thinking. It's a type of being "taken for granted" or that someone or something doesn't realize that what they have is exceptionally good. When children or pets are always taken care of so well, and spoiled, they can't comprehend it for what it is.

It can even be in a friendship or relationship. "Don't you realize how great of a friend I am!" and then they talk down to you like you have done something wrong - when you haven't done anything wrong at all. If you don't act or re-act exactly how they want or expect - they will then act like you have done something wrong and 'scold' you and be angry at you. Then you will get angry back and really will behave badly because they don't realize they are attacking you.

It's that whole "entitled generation" thing. Kids who are unhappy because they don't get the 128gb ipad and only get the 16gb. Or they want two toys instead of one and don't realize that some kids "don't even get an ipad1 or any toys or food!'
"Nanny" or "Danny Cam" so I can watch her via a webcam -to my ipad if i'm in another room. 

In other cases it's a matter of attention. Some kids will complain that their parents care too much or give them too much attention or are over protective. They don't realize that some kids don't even have parents or that their parents don't care as much. Or they may think "Uh I just want to be left alone" but don't realize that if they were left alone they would dislike it even more than being smothered.

Now that i'm on the other side and a "parent" myself - I can see both sides. Danny gets a lot of attention and is living a very nice life in terms of a budgie's life. It's like i'm the annoying parent trying to keep her entertained but she doesn't know that it's something good.

So i'm ignoring her.

I wanted to make sure she realized what it was like without the attention so she would appreciate it more.

What she doesn't know is that she is dealing with a 31 year old with the emotional maturity of a toddler. I'm an only child and especially sensitive and moody. If I don't get what I want I tantrum and I'm only recently getting a better handle on it. I guess the difference between a real child and someone, say, older - is that I'm aware of the situations and the psychology and I make an honest attempt to adapt and control them. I'm just rarely in a position that I have to or get the opportunity to develop these 'maturity skills.'

A while ago I had a realization about patience. I wrote it down on a random piece of paper and it said something like "Patience is not reacting" and what I meant by that was that I had always thought "patience is a virtue" was that a patience person just didn't feel impatient. I would think - "I want to be able to control my emotions like a Clingon, no no,  a Vulcan and not have to feel any of those emotions at all because they are annoying." What I realized was that "patient people" or "stoics" STILL FEEL the same things and probably in the same intensity but the only difference is that they do not REACT. It's not a matter of controlling the internal thoughts or feelings it's developing the ability to control how you react and behave in response to them. That is the skill set that is learned and that becomes the virtue. It's a type of mental and emotional conditioning. If you are training a puppy to be house broken - you have to get used to going through a lot of shit - literally. Is it annoying and going to make you really angry? YES. The patience is not NOT feeling angry or annoyed, it's biting your tongue and saying as nicely as possible "no" and putting them outside and showing them where they should go. Then cleaning it up. Then you do this a few dozen times and eventually - they learn. If you re-act how you want to - but throwing them against the wall and strangling them when they pee for the 5th time in a day - it is counter intuitive to the training. The same thing could be said about developing trust and training a baby budgie to talk and be friendly. You have to put up with the disappointments and the set backs and ironically the patience is accepting that it takes time for them to accept YOU. If you get mad at them for not being nice - then you will only make them less willing to be friendly. Get it? People do this in relationships a lot and then wonder what went wrong. You sabotaged it! If you get angry at people for not doing what you want - then you will act in a way that makes them not want to do what you want! It's like saying: "Be nice to me, like me!" as you berate and hit them.

To develop patience requires practicing patience - which requires being subjected to things that annoy you - and then not re-acting to them in the way they make you FEEL. An example is that Danny will get excited and try to cry out when she hears a crow outside - but then when I try to interact with her she'll ignore me. (I just rolled my eyes)  I walk in and out of the room and she barely notices. Wtf Danny? So I'm thinking to myself - *that is so freaking annoying she cares about those crows more than she cares about me - who feeds her and gets her toys and tries (very) hard to entertain her - and she is more interested in these crazy crows that wouldn't want to be friends with her but would actually eat her if they had the chance???*

As I go through the various emotions that come with having a new pet, and starting any new relationship I am forced to recognize my own emotional insecurities. It's a reminder of one of my favorite quotes:

"One of the chief causes of unhappiness is taking things personally that are not personal at all." 

In the same way that Danny may not realize the effort and how good she has it - I may be confusing her behaviors and reactions. Maybe the biggest sign of affection from a baby budgie isn't acting like she wants attention but it's that she CAN ignore me? That I can be moving around her and gesturing with my hands and trying to talk to her - and her lack of response is actually how they show trust and acceptance. I mean i'm like 1000x's her size and for her to not be afraid of me IS the sign she likes me.

What is it that I actually expect or want her to do? If I get her a new toy and prepare some fresh veggies for her - do I expect her to walk up to me, jump on my shoulder give me a kiss, say thank you - and then clean up after herself? Maybe she is showing her appreciation - by playing with the toys, eating her veggies, and then letting me sleep in late? Or a better question - why is it that I am doing these "nice" things for her? So that she will show her appreciation or because I want to enrich her life and for her to enjoy herself?

I think sometimes we confuse the actions and non-actions and behaviors of others. If someone is trying to be extra polite and are self conscious and gracious and always tries to look their best around you - that is not necessarily a sign they are comfortable with you or even that they like you - but that they are just ACTING. Isn't the ultimate sign of respect and acceptance to be exactly who you are when you are with someone? That you are not acting any differently when they are around as when they are there? That you can be yourself and not be afraid of being judged? That if you are being moody and don't feel like being friendly - that you don't have to? That you don't act like you want to do something - when you really don't? That you can say no and not feel bad? That you can act however you want in front of them and be annoying - and they don't pretend to not care -but get actually get angry?

I think you know that you really care about someone in a counter-intuitive way - by not being afraid of showing them how you really feel about them. If they are annoying you - you tell them. If you are mad at them - you don't try to hide it. If they are boring you - you do something else. If you don't want to interact with them - you can ignore them RIGHT TO THEIR FACE.

It's the conundrum of : "Why do we treat the people we love the worst?" - Because we can. Because they know you. Because they know everyone has a full spectrum of good and bad within them and that by showing their darker sides it doesn't mean they are going to judge you. That doesn't mean you should take advantage of that or you should purposely treat someone badly. It means that you should be genuine - in both good and bad ways. If you are not in the mood to hear about someone's day or hear them talk about a problem you can say: "I don't want to talk right now, i'll listen to you later. You're annoying me." but then actually listening to them later. It's a back and forth between compromise, placation, and 'tough love." It's especially taking the effort to analyze your behaviors and think about how they feel - and then taking the steps to correct your mistakes. That is the ultimate sign of love and respect - it isn't not making mistakes or never hurting someone - but being able to recognize when you do and then fixing it - and making a genuine effort to not do it again.

It could be that all of the ridiculous antics and what I can only imagine looks like I am a retarded monkey - efforts I make to entertain and get her attention results in a level of comfort and acceptance. Maybe when she sits quietly and just looks at me that is how she shows her appreciation! Maybe i'm expecting her to jump on me like a puppy but that is a budgies form of the same show of affection?  You know that a dog trusts you and likes you - NOT when you have food and they follow you around but when it is already eating and you put your face in their bowl and they let you, and don't bite you. It's their lack of re-actions that shows their affection as much as licking you - it could be that they 'ignore' you. It's like how people who are most comfortable around each other can be quiet and do their own things at the same time.

I'm sure there are many people who have kids that would take a few moments of silence - instead of a quick hug and "thank you!"  - and appreciate that more. Maybe Danny is showing she likes me by sitting quietly and staring at me?

What if the things I do to try and entertain her - are actually annoying her?

I'm realizing that if I want to be respected and trusted that I have to be patient. I can't demand attention and get dissapointed when I don't get what I want or expect. It's not always about me. If I care then it's about allowing someone to be themselves and react or not react - however they want. You can't demand that someone re-act how you want them to -how you want them to - in the intensity you want - and then when you don't get it - get angry. Just be yourself! _ Then when they do - say they shouldn't act THAT WAY. Get it?

"Why aren't you being nice you ass-hole!?"

The most selfish people are those that expect other people to behave and re-act how THEY want for things they do FOR THEM.

"I care about you soooooo much - now do what I say exactly how I want and you better appreciate it or else" 

They do not understand that they are doing the exact opposite of what they think they are. They are hypocrites. They are like people who give you a back rub - not because they want to or they enjoy making you feel good but so you will give them one in return. Manipulation.

I don't want to be one of those people because I have dealt with those kind of people. That does not mean that those emotions are not felt or that when you do something for someone that you don't have expectations or you don't want them to re-act in a particular way. It's that you have the patience to deal with those emotions in a mature way and work through them and not act-out.

With Danny I have to realize that it's only been a week and she is just a 'child' and that while I do want her to talk and interact with me - and miss me when I leave the room, and want to sit on my shoulder, and to come up to me when she wants to and not only when I want her to - that I am being immature and impatient.

You can't raise a child to be independent and to think for themselves - then be angry when they act independently and think for themselves.

I don't want to be that person who thinks: "Look at all I do for you! I feed you and clean up after you and give you attention and care so you should _____" that is not caring. That is being a demanding childish hypocrite who is self-serving. You are not doing it for them you are doing it for yourself. You are treating someone like an employee or a service man where you give them something and then expect something in return.

Respect, affection, attention, friendship, and love come with time and with genuine compassion. When you actions and your non-actions are for someone else and not - for yourself or your expectations.

Much of this comes from years of experience and not from a week with a baby budgie but it's a great reminder of who I want to be and who I do not want to be around. It's certainly the little guy I want to raise and the best way to do that is by being an example. Even if inside i'm holding in the emotions of a teenage girl doesn't mean that on the outside I cant be a stoic dali-lama-derek - and maybe with enough practice the carpet will match the drapes.


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