Monthly Archives: July 2019

Never, never, never…

Never say never say never say never. Beware what you say “never” to… just beware.

I said I would never (99% sure I would never) have kids.

…now I have 2…

I said I would never move to Los Angeles.

…I lived there for 5 years (and ended up really liking it)…

Then I said I would never move back to the Pacific northwest (and away from the sunshine).

… And now I’ve been back in the northwest for almost 8 years…

I thought I would never buy a house, especially an older, quirky, needs-some-love kind of house…

…But I did, and it turns out I probably should not have bought an older, quirky house (it was a lot of work)…

I said I would never move to the suburbs. City living was for me! Preferably downtown, loft-style living.

…Ha. Hello suburban America… And for right now it just makes sense.

I never thought I would wipe my kid’s nose with my hand or co-sleep or go 6+ months without sleeping more than 4 hours in a stretch or cook mac & cheese from a box every week.

…Ha again. I did all of those (and so many more)…

And finally, I said I would never, not ever, no-sir-no, drive a minivan.

…but my car had to have some repairs done and it was the minivan, a two-door hatchback or an F-150 with no back seat to pick from. So another “never” bites the dust (along with any bit of pride or coolness I thought I had retained).

Never

And at this point, if I were my own best friend I would tell myself to stop saying “I will never…” because you really cannot predict where life is going to take you. And I’m starting to believe that saying “I will never…” is a sure-fire way to make that thing happen.  So what have you said “I will never…” about?

Be patient.

I was driving this week and the car in front of me was driving a bit erratically – the stopping and starting were a little herky-jerky and turning was done in increments. Smack dab in the middle of the back of the car was a large yellow sticker that said “New Driver. Be Patient.” And, I was.

BePatient

Imagine if we call came with big yellow stickers. New mom. Be patient. New job. Be patient. Grieving widow. Be patient. Grieving father. Be patient. Recently released. Be patient. Recently dumped. Be patient. Newly single. Be patient. Newly homeless. Be patient. Chronically ill. Be patient. Chronically angry. Be patient. Really hungry. Be patient. Really tired. Be patient. Just moved. Be patient. Just can’t. Be patient. New career. Be patient. New divorce. Be patient. Broken leg. Be patient. Broken heart. Be patient. And so it goes.

If I were my own best friend I would remind myself that everyone, absolutely every single person on this planet, has something they are struggling with today. It is part of being human and being alive. So, instead of getting angry or frustrated or anxious or any number of other not-so-helpful emotions, I will remind myself to be patient. Take a slow, deep breath and simply be patient.

Join the club.

Join the club.

This week I was talking with someone who was very concerned about people joining a group she is part of now. She is worried new people coming into this group will cause it to deteriorate or decline or the new people may even harm her. She thinks the leadership of this group should stop all new people from coming into it. The interesting thing to me is that this person joined the group recently. The group has existed for a long, long time and she is a relatively new member. I was surprised, that as a new member, she was so strongly against more new people joining the group.

This conversation got me thinking about groups or clubs or things we join during our lifetime. Some groups we are born into, some we are entered into because of our families, some we enter into because of friends, some we choose to be a part of because we believe in something they believe in. Some clubs we choose and others choose us. Some groups are open to everyone, some are exclusive. Some you have to pay money to join and some are free. Some are very elite and small, while others are very big and inclusive. Some groups are based on geography, where you are born, religious beliefs, gender, shared interests, and so much more.

Some groups believe they are stronger when they are more diverse and they strive to extend their reach and keep their membership varied. Some groups believe they are stronger when everyone looks the same, thinks the same, believes the same, smells the same, wants the same.

JoinTheClub

In light of this conversation, if I were my own best friend, I would advise myself (and you) to take a little time and think about the groups you are a member of currently. What do these groups say about you or about who you are? How did you become part of these groups? Did you have a choice? Do you want to be in these clubs? Do you believe what they believe? Can you get out of any of the groups? Are there other clubs you want to join and how would you do that? What kind of groups do you want to be part of? Do you think groups are stronger when they are large, inclusive, and diverse or when they are small, exclusive, and single-minded?

New and different.

Oh my gosh you guys. Oh my goodness. This is the first time in eight years that I have published this blog from a different computer. Not only is it a different computer but it is a completely different operating system (where the heck is everything? why don’t my quick keys work?? argh.). It is also the first time I have (gulp) drawn on the tablet and not on good-old-fashioned pen and paper then scanned it in. I have soooo much to learn. But hopefully this change will result in good things down the road. Sometimes you have to change the tools you are using to change the path you are on. So today’s post is simply about growth. What did you do today that was new or different? Did you scare yourself a little by stepping out of your comfort zone? I know it sounds silly but doing this blog from a different computer and not with my usual tools feels a little scary.

If I were my own best friend I would remind myself to take those chances that push us to grow because without growth we stagnate. And no one really wants a stinky, stagnating blog.

Growth

Friendship.

I have been thinking a lot about friendship lately and about different kinds of friendships and about how friendships form. Long-lasting, possibly life-long friendships. Brief but intense friendships. Work friendships. Similar-activities friendships. Your-kids-are-friends-and-you-become-friends friendships. Childhood friendships. Adulthood friendships. No-longer-friends-but-would-like-to-reconnect-again friendships. Neighborhood friendships. Friend-of-a-friend-so-you-see-each-other-often friendships. So many different kinds of friendships and they all serve a purpose in our lives.

What I have been pondering is a similarity between all the different types of friendships – they are all built on hundreds or thousands of little moments or little acts. Those moments all pile up and at the top of it all is this beautiful thing called friendship. The multitude of small things such as, hellos or goodbyes, walking by in the hallway and smiling, sharing lunch, chatting about the weather, dropping off cookies, watching your kids play sports together, running together, seeing each other after yoga every week, laughing at jokes together, remembering a birthday, sending a card for no reason, learning a new skill, taking an adventure, sharing a good bottle of wine… all those small moments add up.

So today I encourage you to celebrate the different friendships in your life. If I were my own best friend I would tell myself to be grateful for the many, varied people I count as friends in my life now, in the past, and yet to come. Through thousands of little acts they have made my life richer and fuller in ways I could not have imagined. Thank you my friends.

IMG_1020

In case you cannot fully read the picture this is what it says:

Friendship – a thousand little acts of kindness and compassion and time and love and laughter and smiles and being there and being present and sharing food or a drink or a hug and sitting quietly or being loud or taking on the world together over time of days or hours or years of lifetimes when everyone was there or no one else was there you were there to hold a hand or be a shoulder or clean up a mess or make a mess or fix a mess or have a fight or get over a fight or forgive or forget and be present and stand up if needed because friends are formed of a thousand different small acts all based on love

Perspective.

Bananas. Eggs. Watermelon. Tortilla chips.

Milk. Yogurt. Kale. Peppers. Cherries. Cabbage. Zucchini.

Half and half. Buttermilk. Bread. Limes. Lemon. More cherries. Nectarines.

In what universe does it make sense to put bananas (upside down and on the bottom), eggs (on an angle opposite the bananas, raw eggs), watermelon (on top of bananas and eggs), and chips in one grocery bag? There so many other options. So many. Sooooo many.

But that is what happened today. Woe to the bananas and the eggs. Woe to the grocery bag that held these smushed items. Woe.

But if I were my own best friend I would remind myself it was a damn good day since that is the worst thing that happened in my life today. There is no reason for woe. I shopped for groceries. I bought them and brought them home. I cooked meals in my home. I have a home. I have electricity. I have clean water. I am healthy. My family is well and safe. I am safe. I am truly blessed.

Yet as my own best friend I also might suggest to myself to bag my own groceries next time.