Sunday Writing Prompt, June 6/2021 – Not my Circus, Not my Monkeys

Sara is our host for the Sunday Writing Prompt and asks

Have you ever been in the middle of a scuffle or argument that you should NOT have been involved in? Have you had trouble removing yourself from a negative situation because you felt required to step in, for guidance, opinions, support, but all it did was drag you into the depths of their despair?

I’m sure most, if not all of you have been there at one time or another, helping a friend or family member, while sacrificing your own sanity in the process.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very selfless act. But, is the personal turmoil, stress, the sleepless nights worth it when it really had nothing to do with you in the first place?!

“Not my Circus, Not my Monkeys”, is a phrase I’ve personally repeated whenever I felt thrust into other’s squabbles, and is today’s Sunday Writing Prompt


Image from
I for one hate conflict of any description and would rather walk away than get involved in a argument and probably end up saying something I’ll regret that can’t be retracted.
Imaginary conversations in my head lead to various scenarios and what I could perhaps say, but then we all know that things never go according to plan so I end up avoiding the person concerned or just taking a back seat.

I do remember an instance where there was a family falling out and I refused to dislike someone purely because I was told to. There was a lot of flack about it, and whilst I agreed the timing and circumstances were lousy and selfish, at the end of the day, it became someone else’s responsibility, and basically nothing to do with me.
My first mother in law was in hospital very ill and FIL went to visit. Apparently when asked, he said he’d marry again, and MIL overheard him. She died on the Monday.
The family were not happy as it transpired FIL had had a lady friend for some while prior to his wife’s passing away, and resentment, accusations, spite and anger followed in equal measure.
My then husband and his siblings all ganged up on this individual and gave her a hard time, even boycotting the wedding that followed shortly afterwards. I stood my ground and although we weren’t to become bosom buddies, I pointed out that whilst he could have been a little more considerate and tactful, they were lucky that he had found someone who cared about him enough to take him on, and thus relieve them of the burden.
When my marriage failed, I was confident to visit them on a few occasions when I went to see my own parents, and I was always made welcome with the offer of tea and biscuits. Family was never discussed though, but I think the rift was still there and they never gave her a chance. What made it even sadder was that they hadn’t been very close to their Mum in the first place.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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11 Responses to Sunday Writing Prompt, June 6/2021 – Not my Circus, Not my Monkeys

  1. Sadje says:

    We should be allowed to make our own judgment on who to befriend!

  2. murisopsis says:

    Yours was the adult and considerate stance. My grandfather remarried after my grandmother passed. He was 76 and she was 62. There was a little resentment but in the long run it was a blessing, he lived to 94 and she continued for about another 10 years (she passed due to Alzheimer’s). She took very good care of him!

  3. Every individual has a right to make a few decisions for themselves. Whom to associate with does fall under that. Yours was the mature approach, Di. Though his timing sucked big time, at least he was able to find love twice. Most people even struggle to find it once in their lifetime.

  4. My post about this particular prompt was also about family strangely enough. About my cousins and their mother and mental illness. My own F-I-L got married about six months (or less) after his wife died. I wasn’t close to hubby’s parents exactly, they themselves didn’t have a close relationship. Hubby had been estranged from his father for years anyway. Hubby met his stepmother and her own extended family (she’d been married five times or something) and only ever said one thing “They’re really greedy people.” I met her after hubby died and I went to offer condolences in person to his father. After my f-i-l died, those people (whom I’d met once) were on the phone almost immediately, trying to get information that would give them access to hubby’s inheritance. It wasn’t a huge amount of money either. Sometimes the label and first impression we might get is a good one.

  5. Carol anne says:

    I like your stance di! I agree with you! You should be allowed to like and or dislike whom you will, no one interfering or telling you to like or dislike this or that person!

  6. Our personalities seem similar. I’m not one to shun anyone and prefer to give the benefit of the doubt. Thanks for sharing!

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