And so, here's my first Word of the Week Wednesday. This week's word:
Predilection: Personal preference or inclination
I have a lot of personal preferences or inclinations. Just ask my family. I know what I like and what I want. I have very specific ideas about the way things should go. I can not be easily talked out of them.
But I wasn't always that way. For a long time, my standard response to my husband-- and later, my kids-- was "Whatever you want, honey." I didn't know I could have opinions or preferences, could state my feelings or wishes. Or I was afraid to. A peacemaker at heart, I feared that presenting a contrasting opinion would rock the boat. I was afraid of rocking boats. I wanted my boat still, my waters calm.
I'm not sure what happened to make this behavior stop. Maybe my daughters got older and I wanted them to be women with strong minds who weren't afraid to speak them. And I knew that I'd have to be an example of that. Maybe I realized that my husband wanted me to engage, wanted me to have an opinion-- a woman who could be his mental counterpart, not some shrinking violet. Maybe I didn't want my sons to go through life thinking women were pushovers who existed to serve the needs of their family only.
Years ago I was in a group of women and I'm not sure what we were talking about that got us on the subject but I remember one woman shared the story of how her mother got really, really angry and blew up at the whole family, ranting about how she was tired of never getting the last slice of pizza. Confused, her family asked her what in the world she was talking about and the mom explained that when her children were growing up and there was one last piece of pizza she always said she didn't want it so that one of the children could have it. Turns out, all that time she wanted that last slice. Her children, bewildered, responded that she should've just told them she wanted the last slice of pizza. They would've given it to her. Instead she'd let years of bitterness build up over... pizza.
Maybe it was that story that changed me. If I have a predilection for pizza, I need to say so lest I become a ranting older woman who is filled with pent-up rage over all the things she wanted but wouldn't--couldn't-- admit to. Having opinions, interests, and inclinations aren't wrong. They're normal. Swallowing them isn't. Don't be afraid to make your predilections known. And don't wait to say so until your inclination becomes a diatribe. It's good to know your predilections and to speak them, with love and as a contributing member of your family. One who is worthy of being heard.
And if you're not sure what your predilections are? That's a good place to start.