THINK: It’s the wave of the future (we can only hope)!

I have inherited this bit of wisdom from someone who shared this  at an AA meeting. Yes, I thought at one time that I was an alcoholic; I was dreadfully wrong and that’s a completely different post and probably a book. Stay tuned on that!

When we think we are being honest, we can think of brutal honesty: “Your Christmas sweater is kinda hideous”. We think of rigorous honesty: “I think we should return this lost wallet to lost and found”.  Then we have the honesty that comes with trust.  All in all, these are more or less levels of trust that grow with time.  However, the everyday honesty that flies out of our mouth in the name of integrity could use a little help. I know when I heard this acronym at the meeting, I would  never forget it. I have been honest to a fault. And I don’t mean that false modesty honesty…”Oh, I just tell people all my personal thoughts” type of thing that comes with regret.  I share with rigorous honesty here as I do try to keep things anonymous.
This is the deal; THINK before you talk. THINK before you post on Facebook or Tweet on Twitter. Nike says “Just do it” and I think they are on to something!

T: Is it Thoughtful? Have you formed an insightful idea on why this needs to be said?

H: Is it Honest (Is it really?) or something else with other motives?

I:Is it Important? Does it need to be said?

N: Is it Necessary? Will your statement help someone in a positive way?

K: Is it Kind? Do you really need to make someone feel less than with your intended statement?

 

This checklist was invaluable for a former “little miss can’t be wrong” like my self. It is humbling. It creates an idea of pure humility and intention. We think twice and say it once. We think carefully and it becomes second nature.  This worked for me. I don’t take myself as seriously when I know I am not trying to teach people lessons with lectures that are neither Necessary or Kind. I don’t think that my clothes are better than someone else’s choices when I  am being Thoughtful and Kind. It works if you work it: That’s just one more thing I learned in my time at AA.

The love pie….finite or infinite?

I have always wondered about this in a battle of philosophical ideas of love vs.  the pragmatic expression of love. Are we able to love to our heart’s content and able to have boundless love for many of our close family and friends? Are we able to un-prioritize our love, allowing  enough to go around, thereby expanding  what I will call  the love pie? Roll out more dough and make the crust just a bit bigger and add more filling  to allow more into  love our lives? We don’t have to limit this….it can go on forever and essentially feel  exponentially amazing in the way we give and receive love? There are so many ways to express this love and so many people to express our feelings with on any given day.

There there is the pragmatic love pie: this pie has slices. This pie has a self-limiting size: the 24 hour day. This pie tells us we can only do so much for ourselves and loved ones in this given period of time. So depending on the obligations on any set day, there is only so much we can do to show this love. And when we start determining how we are going to share and demonstrate this love, it starts becoming hard to show love to everyone and respond to everyone trying to share theirs with you: it’s the school play, the family dinner, the friend time, the texts to “check in” with those we care about. It’s everything we do in a 24 hour day to reach those around us. We can certainly assert that those we love will definitely understand life gets a bit crazy. We know texts don’t get answered and lunches get cancelled and it doesn’t make us love any less.  But we have to make sure  when we get our daily pie, we don’t keep forgetting to give the same  people a piece of it each day. This gets almost impossible pragmatically. So we prioritize. How do we prioritize love?  How do we determine who gets pie slices today? Do we keep making the pie slices smaller and smaller till everyone gets a slice, understanding some people continue to feel not quite fed? I think this pragmatism of having enough of us/our pie is what causing so much conflict about “I have enough love to go around”….

Am I still being a hopeful cynic, or a constant contradiction? Is that really just the same thing?

Just another hopeful cynic?

What happens when you are an optimist who sees the worst and the best in people? Do you get jaded? Do you get frustrated and resentful? Do you just figure their bad day is not connected to you? They are having a bad day and that’s okay because things are generally all good? Are you past your nonjudgmental phase,  resigned to the fact that everyone must have sufficient baggage to sink a battleship?

I think at one time or another I have felt  all of these things more or less simultaneously. Is this a  study in contradictions or just an understanding of simple human nature? Are we  not some balance of both tendencies, depending the day, hour, or minute? Are we convinced the next great thing/relationship/job is out there for the taking? Or are resigned to the fact there is no great thing  or it will turn to shit or sabotage anyway and why bother?  I think this is where we make up our mind and when we flip the coin and predict, it determines our overall general inclination. And I think that is what makes me somewhat optimistic.   I know when I see the next great thing, I  go out and grab it. Because its amazing. Because it’s there.  A Scot once said to me “what’s meant for you won’t go by you” (I am paraphrasing this sentiment, this   Scottish saying). I believe it’s there because I have seen it and it has been tangible and the sensation of  its possession is palpable; I am cynical  with the whole carpe diem  thing, however: I am pretty convinced I may not see anything like it again.  Nothing this good happens twice.

Yep, I am just another hopeful cynic….

Back after extended holiday…

Did everyone have a good holiday? Or at least a decent one? Was it hard with family?

I know I have not blogged in a week. I was all ready to post a few updates and new topics last weekend and I had the worst headache. Ugh. After missing two days of work, I started to feel better and started to think about a few things I would like to address here.

Out of respect to my last relationship, I promised no more talk of that. I learned something about that and writing about a current relationship. I have so much to share, that I am not too worried if the significant other wants me to keep our relationship private and white anonymous, wants me to keep it all together  off the internet. That was my last lesson learned. I will bring that with me going forward. I will still talk about the lessons learned, the heart ache of every good and bad relationship. It just may not be the one I happen to be in at the time. It will be up to that person and with utmost respect, I will follow his lead to determine where the content goes.

I want to hear from other bloggers who write non fiction narrative and memoir like posts. Is it hard to write that content and keep people out of the limelight? I thought I was writing anonymously, but it can be a bit peculiar when you see yourself online, I am sure, even when no one else knows it’s you, except  perhaps close family and friends. Please comment and share with me your experiences regarding real life  events and expressing them here for all to see.

I look forward to hearing your comments and could definitely use the feed back!

 

 

 

Thanksgiving

I want to tell you something really fantastic about Thanksgiving. Something that makes us all inspired.  Something about  our gratitude and good fortune when we eat our turkey and other food in excess. Some of us watch football all day. I don’t, but hey, there it is, a great day off to eat a ton and watch football in the middle of the week.  I absolutely know, at the least, I have the privilege of good fortune  and good food and a roof over my head during m post divorce Hell (five years to be exact, six if you count when I had to leave my home).  I know friends and family have helped immensely. And that’s an incredible start to my Thanksgiving story.

It is in those simple times in my life  that I asked for  help and received it with unconditional love that i am most humble and grateful. It is  during those 364 other days of the year that I have depended on loved ones to hold me up during hard times. It is those days that I felt the most thankful.

I have to remember when we string each of the days, some tougher than others, we get something pretty awesome called LIFE. It’s not always fair. Its not always right or just.  We fall in love. Out of love. We feel wronged. We feel awesome and vindicated. But this is the deal:

We are feeling. Which means we are alive and get to start over the next day. And that’s pretty cool. We can be  thankful for that, right?  For me this is an affirmation. I am going to repeat this  affirmation for the next 48 hours and every hour after that, because really, we can NOT take this amazing life for granted.  This is NOT  a Debbie downer post. Not at all. I just want to stay humble and grateful for this life we are given every day. Sometimes that’s hard. Sometimes I feel entitled to more than just the notion of being alive. Maybe sometimes I feel I deserve something really awesome, above and beyond what I have worked for. Then I get right-sized and my ego gets bruised. A little. And I begin again. Humble. It keeps going like that.

Please let me know how your Thanksgiving week is…the anticipation of it, family angst, relationship angst, whatever it brings: Bring it on!

 

 

 

 

And now time for a commercial break….Family time!

I just left   for a short trip to see family. I am so excited and need a break! Phew..what a great time for a break to refocus and re-energize!

I am going to try to blog, but if I end up spending the valuable time I have with family making memories, I bet everyone will understand the blank wall this week!

 

Have a fantastic week and see you very very soon!

 

 

With a very heavy heart…

To the loving mom of my first love,

This is so very hard to write, but as I was writing my letter of heart-felt loss to your son, I realized it is really you I need to reach. I am glad he was able to tell me about your health before now, so that I was able to reach out to you once more. I regret deeply that I haven’t reached out more often since then. And now, this is my only chance. And still, too late. I want to thank you for everything. Everything you have been since I met you more than a half a life time ago. Yes, do you remember? I was barely 20 years old. I did not have a driver’s license, so I think I came up there by bus. I remember so much. Some of the finer points are a bit fuzzy, but I remember the important things and many of  the little details.

I want to thank you, but when I want to let you know I haven’t forgotten all the little things, it doesn’t seem so eloquent in a long drawn out paragraph. Perhaps a list will get the point across in some way.  I know you were somewhat private about your health toward the end, so I am making this thank you note anonymous. Perhaps that doesn’t much matter now, but it is a mitzvah in your rememberence .  I want to learn how it feels to grieve someone so wonderful who is not related to me by blood/legal family.  I want to learn  how it feels to lose that deeply.  I wish it was written to someone else. I wish the lessons of grief and loss weren’t  because you had to leave all of us way too soon..  I have always known I had to learn things the hard way. I can’t just read a big old book on Elizabeth Kubler-Ross  on death and the five stages of grief and just “get it”.

Someone like you had to come along and show me unconditional love with an open heart and open door to your home to show me it wouldn’t be easy. When I first met you, in my early 20’s, I was just beginning my life. I was learning about everything in books. I met your son at some crazy party and he brought me up north to meet you and your husband and other son. You made me great food and always had soda and fun snacks (these were fun facts for a young woman who did not have soda and chips at any time for the taking!). I ate with paper napkins. I saw a cross  hung in your kitchen. Until then, I had never seen an actual cross in any home. You opened my eyes that people live  different lives than the ones in my little Beltway Bubble. I am eternally grateful for those little things, the paper napkins, the cross on the wall, the marriage and intact family you offered. So, without going further, there’s just too many things for a run-on sentence or long-lost paragraph, so here’s your list:

Thank you for:

  • showing me different religions and paths simply by showing me your cross in the kitchen.
  • letting me eat with paper napkins
  • inviting me each and every time into your home
  • showing me a loving intact family (being from a child of divorce)
  • making me chicken pot pie that was more like a soup
  • always having food and soda and fun snacks
  • always making sure I was taken care of at your home
  • when I arrived all shaky after  driving into the median on a highway and calling with a quarter from a payphone, you made sure I got to your place safely
  • showing me that no matter what, you can always love people who aren’t in your immediate family.
  • showing me that when people make other choices with their, there’s no need to judge.
  •  having your first son so that I could know what that innocent first love is all about and of course, thank you for raising your sons so well so that I could even have this letter to write.
  • supporting us in our choices to consider other places to live and letting me take him across the country to start the next chapter of  my life with him.
  • letting me be a part of your life tangentially (Facebook, holiday cards) even after my life with your son was over.
  • being unforgettable.
  • teaching me a lesson in grief of parent loss before I have to experience this with  my own parents. It sounds so selfish, but I am telling you really how selfless you are and you didn’t even know it!

I am sure I am missing so much over the past 27 years that I have known  you. I know paper napkins and crosses seem trivial to you, but they are not. They show me how people live amazing, but different lives than the one I lived up to that point.  It taught me tolerance at a young age, when I did not have much experience in much at all for that matter. In a time of feeling immortal when I was young, I am all grown up now and very much in touch with our mortality.  Thank you for showing me what counts.

You are so special. I am listening to Adele’s ’21’ as I wrote this. I am not sure if you ever listened to her, but it’s what I chose.

Thank you..