How many times can we push the reset button?

I overheard my wife talking to her cousin (the only one she knows) on the phone the other day. Thanking her for a recent gift and discussing the chronic issues that my wife has had with her parents and siblings. My wife never talks about that stuff to anyone, except me, so I was quite surprised. Her cousin, an 80-year old retired Los Angeles Judge is essentially a hermit who no longer drives, hardly leaves the house except for the occasional movie theater visit, smokes at least a pack of cigarettes every day, and generally stays away from any conversation involving family. Someone even does the grocery shopping for her. She has not been married for many years and never had any children of her own, so keeping to herself is not too challenging in her view. She enjoys reading, movies, watching the stock market, and has found all three hobbies easy to do in her pajamas and in the comfort of her own home.

But what interested me on this day was something that came out of her mouth — a question she posed to my wife: “You can just push RESET with your family, can’t you?” My wife’s retort was simple: “But how many times do I have to do that?”

So that brief part of their conversation got me thinking. I asked myself a similar question and came up with the title of today’s blog.

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I felt convicted to find an answer to the question, although I believe I am smart enough to know that a single answer does not exist. The answer to such a question appears to be related more to that of an “art” vice a “science.” There cannot be but a single answer because we are all different in our perspectives and our actions. We all accept judgment upon us differently. We shake off most criticism and try to maintain a positive attitude. But there comes a time for most of us when enough, is quite simply, enough.

My wife has reached that breaking point on a few occasions, but always had that “son or daughter” respect for one’s parents that is preached time and time again. Those with loving families, who spend time together and who try to have purposeful conversations may not understand.

Those who enjoy seeing their grandchildren grow-up definitely won’t understand (my in-laws have never met — by their choice of course — EIGHT of their grandchildren, and only met my children after the eldest turned 6 — and there were only a few meetings, even though we live less than 50 miles apart).

There are those who would never dare judge their child’s spouse and children based upon his or her skin color, religion, or occupation. For me, all THREE have been points of contemplation.

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I have tried to paint the picture of our situation without giving away too much. So, I ask you, when is enough, enough? When does the RESET button finally lose its function? We can forgive. We can accept. But we must also be fair to ourselves and not waste any more time around those people that only bring us down.

So think about your actions. Do those around you even need to think about pushing the RESET button or are you having a positive and loving impact on them?

It is your choice. Push yourself, discipline yourself, and hold yourself to a standard that causes those in your circle to push the RESET button as INFREQUENTLY as possible.

Have a great week. 2017 is almost over!

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