On July 28, 2017, The Secretary of the Treasury (Steve Mnuchin) was testifying before the House Financial Services Committee on the State of the International Financial System. As the ranking member of the committee, Rep. Maxine Waters was able to ask the first question and she wanted to know why the Secretary had not responded to herself and her colleagues to the letter she sent on May 23rd. Of course, being a politician, it’s too much energy to just simply answer the question. The Secretary first responded thanking Rep. Waters for all that she has done in which she VERY unapologetically inserts “Reclaiming my time.” While some may argue that Rep. Waters was “talking over” the Secretary, I rebuttal that Mnuchin had plenty of opportunities to give a simple answer. Not thank Rep. Waters and all the glorious things that she has done (in which the Secretary obviously could NEVER compare). Just answer the fucking question so we can move on.
It should be no surprise that Queen “Auntie Maxine” continues to inspire women, people of color, and individuals of the LGBTQIA community. “Reclaiming my time” is something that resonates with pretty much all of us for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, for the majority of us, our lives do not operate around the Floor Procedure In the U.S. House of Representatives. However, that does not indicate that you still can not reclaim your time OR your energy. Reclaiming your time and energy should be an indication that you are no longer willing to put up with someone’s shenanigans AND that you’re more aware of the energy you allow to surround you. In some circumstances, you can’t ALWAYS just totally block out the negative energy, but there are ways to work around it.
Reclaiming your time and energy can be on various levels. Simply not acknowledging someone for example. I personally LOVE to use this is the work place. While I have had several public verbal spars with co-workers and supervisors in the past (when you come for me, I’m going to come for your jugular), I’ve learned QUICKLY in Corporate America that non-POC do their “fighting” on the sneaky front. By that I mean, running to HR, reporting you to your supervisor, spreading rumors around the office, and the ever so infamous “I don’t recall doing or saying that.” They are NOT going to get into a PUBLIC altercation with you AT WORK. So WHY should YOU put your job on the line for someone who wants EXACTLY THAT?
I simply reclaimed my time by not speaking or helping the individuals that made it aware (rather indirectly or not) that they have a problem with me. When my supervisor asked me to help said individuals, I simply told him that “I feel since it is part of my employee contract that I can be immediately terminated for wasting the companies time, it would be unwise to do so. Assisting other individuals that have made it very clear they do not want anything to do with me, such as running to HR to complain about what hoodie I’m wearing (Hollister: at the time my company had a “no written logo on clothes” policy), it would essentially be a waste of the companies time. I feel there are other qualified individuals that can assist you with your favor and I could better assist the company by continuing to do the work in the queues.” While I may be what some call a “people person,” when it comes to my employment, I am NOT here to make friends. I do not MIND making friends, but that is not the sole reason I’m here. However, just because I (or even yourself) may not be at your place of employment to make friends, that does NOT give you the license to be disrespectful to someone.
Regarding exes, friendships, and (in some cases) family, reclaiming your time and energy can or CAN NOT involve a discussion about your concerns. That will be up to you to decide if you are seeking resolution and still want to have that bond/relationship with the individual(s) in question. If you’re totally over them and the situation, simply absorb the aspects that are negative so you can assess if there are areas of opportunity to improve on your behalf. After that, remove yourself from the equation. Some people are relentlessly petty, so you MAY have to block them. I personally prefer to block people once I’ve determined I’ve had enough. It’s more for my protection. I had a history of allowing toxic individuals to creep back into my life with the expectation and trust that they actually changed. “Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Rather it’s personal, political, or something else, find out ways that work best for you to reclaim your time and energy. Most importantly, try to do it in a way that does not discredit you. One of the ways I look at this process is from another individuals mindset: they don’t want you to win. It’s always choice to allow yourself the momentum to remain on the “higher road.” I know it may burn you up inside because deep down you want to slap the fuck out of someone (or is that just me?), but again: THEY DO NOT WANT YOU TO WIN! ALWAYS remember, you have the right to protect your personal space and energy and you certainly have the right to reclaim your time. Auntie Maxine said so.
- Alex N. Wanderland