You know how, in a group of people, each person takes kind of an unofficial role? Some of us are planners, some of us are followers, some of us are easy-going and some not so much. Some in our group work really hard and struggle to get ahead and others seem to carry a horseshoe in their pocket. It takes all kinds of people to make up our world and each one serves their purpose. Well, I’m a fixer. I have a compulsion to have to fix everything. I know that idea is outdated. All the FB posts, pins, and articles that I read nowadays say things like “sometimes you just need someone to listen” or “sometimes you just want somebody to say it’s ok”. Well, that’s not me.
I try, really hard, to just listen and to not offer input or advice unless I’m asked. I fully realize that not everybody wants my opinion or wants me to try to fix something, but I can’t help it! It appears that my brain believes that my life goal is to fix everything for everybody! I do my best work when I have a mission, a goal, a cause to fight for. It can be a huge, important one or something inconsequential and meaningless. The point is that if I see something that, in my opinion, can or should be different, it energizes me. It gives me something to focus on and something that makes me feel like I make a difference.
I’m sure that I can explain it away by circumstances in my life (first-born, needing to be independent at an early age, etc.), but it really doesn’t matter. It’s embedded in my personality by now and unlikely to change. I think I found my passion when I had my own kids and had to make sure things were “right” for them. It has grown over the years to encompass pretty much everything else. If something is wrong, it should be fixed. That’s pretty obvious, right? No! Not always. Most of us realize that not everything DOES need to be fixed…some of it can be ignored and not all of it is important. I wish I could do that. It makes my life a lot harder when I feel like I’m always surrounded by things that are not quite right or things that I feel I have to change.
I’m working on this. I know that I am not responsible for everybody else’s life or their choices. My own kids are adults and I fully realize that they, alone, are responsible for their actions, decisions, and resulting consequences. I respect that. I try my hardest to not offer unsolicited comments or advice, but I also know that I usually fail. It’s as natural to me as breathing. So if my friends or family need a shoulder to cry on, rest assured that I’m still here to listen, to sympathize, to commiserate, but in my head, I’ll already be figuring out how to make it better.