Monthly Archives: March 2017

Tribes. Revisited.

It was in August of 2016, over 7 months ago, that I last wrote about finding a tribe. It feels like it was only a week ago or maybe a month but that is how time goes these days, fast and furious and recklessly moving forward.

I still strongly believe, maybe even more so now than seven months ago, the following  key things about a tribe:

  1. It’s PEOPLE. Not just one person. I don’t think your tribe (well my tribe anyway) is complete with one person. I think multiple people bring multiple gifts and qualities that make the tribe a richer whole.
  2. Tribes are often formed over time. I think it’s quite rare to step into an already formed group of people who become your friends. I think that is especially rare as I get older. Tribes take time and effort to form. The process is organic and slow.
  3. Tribes change. People move. People move on. People die. People change. The people who make up your tribe will change. I think it is so very important to remember that (especially as we can get set in our ways) being open to new people entering our tribe is a beautiful gift we can give ourselves and the new people who may “join.”
  4. Membership should always be open. This piggybacks a bit on the previous point but I think it is important enough to merit its own mention. If you are part of a tribe, if you have a tribe, if you are a leader of a tribe, please don’t close the membership.

So do I have a tribe? Nope. Not completed yet anyway, but bigger than it was before. Am I still working on it? Absolutely! To reference #3 above, tribes change, and mine is still evolving.

In an effort to evolve my tribe here is a recap of the last half-year. Again, holy crap, how have seven months gone by???

  1.  I have made an effort to talk to people and smile at people and say hello. Even people I do not know. Crazy, right? Yup. I’m that person that smiles and says “hi” if we happen to make eye contact when we are standing in line waiting for coffee. Are you the person who says “hi” back or are you the person who buries your face so deep in your smart phone I would think you were charging the phone with your nose? No judgement, I promise. I have been both those people, but I am trying to do less nose-charging and more “hellos”.
  2. I have especially tried to connect with people even when I feel nervous or awkward because I am not quite sure what to say or do, like if I am at a social event for my kid and there are a bunch of other parents there too. I assume they are feeling nervous or awkward, NOT that they don’t want to talk with me. And I jump right in. As an added bonus I have gotten slightly better at making small talk with random people and I have discovered a few new coffee shops and stores I would never have known about by complimenting people’s shoes or shirts or mugs. Now I just have to figure out how to translate that into a friendship! Baby steps people, baby steps.
  3. I have joined groups that met in person and met virtually online. I have participated and really attempted to connect with the people in these groups. However, it turns out the groups were not quite the right fit for me (like I was the color orange and everyone else with yellow). Everyone I met was very nice and very polite, but I never really connected with anyone. Finally, after six months I was able to say “not my place” and walk away. Which was also kind of scary, because I thought I SHOULD fit and that is why I joined, but then I didn’t. I know though, there are other groups out there and I will keep hunting for that group that is the right fit.
  4. I have been happier knowing I am trying even though it has been hard work and waaaaay out of my comfort zone. Or maybe I am happier because of that nightly foot massage, glass of wine, hot bubble bath, home-cooked meal, no dishes to do… hahahaha, fantasy world people, pure fantasy!  

Tribe2_Blog

So, if I were my own best friend I would remind myself that good things often take time, do not give up, persevere and keep making small talk. Eventually those connections are formed and they grow. Brick by brick is how a castle is built, why not a tribe too? 

Are you trying new adventures and expanding the bounds of your world? Are you already in a tribe and inviting new members into the fold? Are you getting nightly foot massages, glasses of wine, bubble baths, and so on, if YES, then please share your secrets!

 

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Bathroom doors.

I think this particular post today is both a glimpse into my life (for those of you who were ever so interested to know what it’s like) and a public service announcement for anyone who visits our house.

We have bathroom doors in our house. We actually have two bathrooms in our house and there is a door for each one. The doors work, meaning they open and they close. This may seem like obvious, well-duh kind of stuff but it is important to note, again, the bathroom doors work.

You wouldn’t know it though if you came to visit our house. The moment my husband or I step into the bathroom and close the door it sets off a strange chain reaction of events tg

Exhibit A: Bathroom door closes. The 20-month old stops whatever she was contentedly doing and suddenly panics that the bathroom (a completely benign space 3 seconds prior) has morphed into a tunnel to another dimension that is going to suck whomever has entered that bathroom into, never to be seen again. Pitter-pat-pitter-pat go the feet in rapid succession as she runs to our rescue. The door crashes open. She breathes a deep sigh of relief that the bathroom has not sucked us into another dimension. She then proceeds to sit on the floor and watch us do our business until we are done, just to make sure that pesky inter-dimensional-bathroom-travel stuff does not happen on her watch. All the while the bathroom door remains open.

Exhibit B: Bathroom door closes. The 4-year-old, also happily ensconced in some activity that requires no supervision whatsoever from a parent, is suddenly seized by the need to ask a question. I am certain the sound of the door closing triggers something in his brain that goes “ASK YOUR PARENT A QUESTION NOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW” and he of course, responds immediately to that primordial command. Knock, knock, knock on the door, then the inevitable question, like “where are my socks” or “why is the sky blue” or “when are we going to go to Hawaii”, and the expectation of an answer right then.  As the answer is being given the door is opened because the four-year-old points out he cannot hear the answer so well and we cannot really have a proper conversation through a bathroom door. (Then wait until I am done in the bathroom and come back out, I briefly think. Ha. Ha. Silly silly thought.) And the conversation continues until we leave the bathroom. All the while, with the door open. (A funny little addendum to this: I have noticed that as soon as we leave the bathroom, the four-year-old ceases to have burning-must-be-answered-right-this-moment questions.)

So, back to the topic of today’s post. We have bathroom doors that work but I am not really sure why, because they are never closed when they need to be.

Conclusions:

  1. The bathroom doors in our house are for guests, not the actual occupants of the house.
  2. If you are visiting our house (as a guest!) be forewarned that when you do your business in the bathroom, even though the door is for you, you may still be visited by a small human.
    1. If it is the 20-month old just continue what you are doing and make sure you do not get sucked into another dimension. We are hoping she will eventually realize people go into AND come out the bathroom AND she does not have to be there to make sure everything is okay.
    2. If it is the 4-year-old be ready to answer some random questions that will just keep coming until you are done. Why are there 7 days in a week? Why does Monday come before Tuesday? What is 7 + 22? Why? What is a number? Why is the tile white? Why are your toes pink? And so on…
    3. We will attempt to run interference in provide you with the glorious privilege of going to the bathroom with a closed door. No guarantees though.
  3. We should get better locks on the doors (because honestly they don’t work very well and that might solve this whole issue once and for all).