Procrastination and Power Steering Fluid

I know we’ve all heard it, the old adage advising us “Don’t put of until tomorrow what you can do today”. It’s generally good advice, until it comes to something we don’t actually want to do, then it’s met with a groan and I hear “Blah, blah, blah” where the advice should be.

Now in fairness to myself, I do tend to subscribe to the “Work before play” mantra. I get up and go to work, even on the days that I don’t want to or my bed is incredibly comfortable. I make sure my chores are done and my home is happy to come back to before going to a concert or other outing. Laundry done and bed made with fresh sheets before heading out of town, because sleeping in your own bed once you’re home again is nice- but sleeping on fresh sheets on your own bed is even better.

There are some things that are more challenging to get up the oomph to do though: going to the doctor, going to the dentist, having difficult conversations, car repair/maintenance, going to the gym, etc. These things get even more apparent and burdensome as you postpone them. That twinge in your knee or back that keeps nagging and not going away, sends a little reminder every time it says hello. That tooth that only hurts when you do __, has started rebelling against other things as well. The conversation you’ve been putting off, only seems to grow heavier on your heart, as you kept to yourself hoping it would resolve on its own. The noise your car is making… I’m sure it’s fine, besides the light on the dash gives it a certain ambiance. As for the gym, you know you want to feel and look better, but it’s always so busy and your day was long and you’re tired and you’re stressed, and, and… you don’t go.

I am actively working on these lovely tasks that are so much easier to procrastinate on than say laundry- eventually I will run out of socks. I’ve been going to the gym, even when I don’t feel like it- especially when I don’t feel like it. Each and every time, I have felt better afterwards, which I hope will eventually become motivation.

For about 9 months-ish, my power steering has been iffy. Sometimes it works just fine and others it’s been a built in arm exercise. Soon enough it became one of those things that just was, I didn’t give it much thought until either someone else was behind the wheel or it took a few tries to get out of a parking space. Even then, I’d stick my tongue out, grab on and laugh as I cranked the wheel feeling it in my arms each time.

There are some things on a car one shouldn’t monkey with, breaks being one of the biggies. So I’ve been having some work done to my precious chariot, first the front breaks and rotors and later this week the rear (as well as some belts and things). I did not mention to my mechanic the power steering because it had honestly slipped my mind as a thing to mention as it was just something that was. He mentioned last week as he was finishing up that my windshield wiper fluid was about half gone and that I should consider adding some power steering fluid to that reservoir as well. He left and the kids and I went on about our weekend.

This morning I had to laugh at myself, or rather with myself. You see, yesterday at work during a brief break, I finally took the time to add the power steering fluid to the reservoir. It honestly took longer to find the cap I dropped than it did to open the reservoir, pour in the fluid and close it back up- there was no contorting of the hands, not even a little engine gook on my fingers.

Driving home (and then to the gym) yesterday, I didn’t notice a huge difference. I was more focused on traffic and the thoughts in my head than the affects of adding the fluid. This morning, however, after a nice and rainy night sleeping with the windows open, I couldn’t help but notice how smooth it was. Taking a corner no longer required my biceps nor my tongue sticking out, and I laughed, genuinely laughed all alone in my car.

All it took was maybe two minutes and $4.47 to fix something that had been inconvenient for the amount of time it takes to grow a baby. So silly. So simple. And so easy to procrastinate.

As I drove into work, appreciative of the little things, I wondered how many other things that are minorly inconvenient could be solved just as easily. Heck, even the bigger things are much like the gym- maybe not entirely enjoyable while you’re doing it, but goodness does it feel better after!

Here’s to knocking things off the list!
S

Illumination

Yesterday’s post was real and raw, and not a side of myself that I show often let alone leave out there for the world to see. For those that I worried, that was not my intent.

I tell my kids often that “Our feelings are meant to be felt; they’re part of the human experience. If we weren’t meant to feel them, we wouldn’t have them.” I encourage them to “feel their feels”, I think in large part because I often keep mine to myself. Late last night while I should have been sleeping, I was trying to make sense of all of the “dis” from yesterday.

This image sums it up so succinctly. There’s grief in the typical vein of loss of life, and goodness knows I’m familiar with that. There’s also grief that comes in the loss of a connection, a friendship, a dream, an idea. This last week has put a glaring spotlight on all of those things, illuminating all of the illusions I was holding as truths.

The good news is, the illumination combined with my raw realness yesterday, showed me that everything wasn’t for naught. There’s that almost invisible net of support, pillars that are holding you up even when you don’t see it or feel it. I am grateful, truly.

I still have a memorial service to figure out, but I have faith that it’ll work out as it needs to.

Less snarly, still sleep deprived.

S

PS- Sometimes the few minutes it takes to type out a couple words, can really make someone feel seen. Take the time when the thought strikes.

All dis, and nothing more

I’ve been a little ball of anger for days now. I’ve given forewarning to those who are close to me that my fuse is incredibly short, and I’ve been trying to keep myself in check- but it’s hard. Even at work, just under the customer service voice and forced smile, it’s there bubbling up.

I know that anger is a core emotion, and that there’s almost always at least one outlying emotion. I heard it once said that “Anger is just another emotion masquerading”. I’ve been trying to put my finger on the other emotions, because if I can identify them, I can work through them.

I came across a quote today that said “Unmet expectations breed frustrations. What unrealistic expectations do I need to let go of today?” It struck a chord with me, and reminded me of a conversation I had over the weekend with a girlfriend. I was telling her about some of my frustrations and how I’d settled on the realization that I was hurt because I had a false expectation that people would care. At the core of my being, I still don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that people would care. Yet, here I sit. Alone.

Trying to come up with words to express the hurt in my heart has a whole lot of “dis”. Disappointed. Disheartened. Disillusioned. Disconnected. Disenchanted. Disgruntled. Disturbed. Dismayed.

I’m trying so hard not to let this dark cloud of “dis” spread and cover the landscape of my life. I’m trying not to let it be a blanket sentiment for anyone who has said they care or that they would be there. I’m struggling with feelings of distrust in those around me, while also feeling dispensable to them. It has me feeling discontent and distressed, and yet if I speak my mind, it could be disastrous.

Life has me discombobulated. I’m fighting the urge to disappear for a while to disengage, in the hopes of dislodging this dismal outlook, and discerning a solution to this discord.

I’m a bit disjointed, but never disloyal.

S

Here’s to You, and Here’s to Me

This guy.

He was known by many names, though my favorite to call him was Goofball. James “Jimmy” Rock was quite the character, and my favorite persona of his was Shamus McFadden DaKatt. This image is one of many that comes to mind when I think of him, the sweet smile and the thoughtful (and often mischievous) eyes.

Shamus was a flamboyant character in our renaissance recreation group. With a flair for drama and a penchant for having quick quips to goad someone on or shut them up, it was never a dull moment with him around. If you’ve ever watched the film “A Knight’s Tale” and enjoyed the antics of Chaucer, you would have loved Shamus. As I spent the day yesterday notifying people of his passing, I got to reminisce and hear stories of how greatly he impacted them. Make no doubt about it, he had an impact!

As fun as those stories were to relive, my most favorite moments with Shammey, were the quiet ones. Whether it was late night talks with a close circle of friends that lasted until the birds started chirping outside or hushed chats in the hallway between our bedrooms when we were roommates, he was always a quiet confidant.

Being roommates gave us a unique insight into one another’s lives. He let his boisterous mask fall and would be his goofy self, and I slowly started letting down my walls of protection. One morning, before I lived there officially, I was standing in the kitchen making coffee before heading into work. I’d spent the night because it had been Shammey’s birthday and it had snowed a decent amount. I didn’t want to drive home and they said I could crash on the couch, plus their place was closer to my work. As I was finishing up with the coffee I received a call from my boss. She was notifying me that my ex boyfriend had arrived at my job and was demanding to see me. She wanted me to have a heads up before just walking in, and she told me despite our hectic schedule, if I wanted to come in late to see if he’d go away, she was okay with that. I thanked her for the heads up and told her I’d be in like normal because we had craziness in store and I wasn’t going to let him intimidate me. In the whir of the phone call, I’d missed Shamus walking into the kitchen. As I hung up, he asked me “Who’s trying to intimidate you?” When I let him know what my boss had said, it was met with an “Aw, hell no! Give me just a second, I’m going to work with you.” and with that, he was running up the stairs. A quiet confidant yes, and also a protective friend.

He knew I was private, keeping my challenges to myself, unsure of whom I could really trust. He’d learned through observation that I would retreat to my room and isolate when things went haywire in my world. He’d tried a few times to get me to talk, and demand that we talk a few times as well to no avail. Never one to give up, if he thought I was having a bad day or needed a reminder, he’d knock on the wall that separated our rooms lightly three times. I would knock back and that was it. One night, during one of those hushed hallway chats; I asked why it was always 3 knocks. The message was simple, one knock for each word: I love you. Quiet confidant, protective friend, giver of love.

I have stories from trash talking over Disney’s version of Sorry to flat tires and roommate pranks, and so many more. I shared many of them over the last 36 hours, and I will treasure them always.

However it was the small things, the wink when he knew I’d stood up for myself, the kiss on the top of my head when he just knew I needed comfort, his infectious laughter, how he shined and was truly comfortable in himself, it’s the little things I will miss the most.

My last conversation started with “Hey friend, you’ve been on my heart” and now, you get to live there forever.

I’m going to sing a little Shania Twain, watch A Knights Tale and see if the kiddos want to make tie-dyed shirts with me this weekend.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

S

Similar yet different, ah, dichotomies.

Sunrise on 12/13 on top, sunrise on 12/14 on bottom

I know that I often joke about my family tree being a shrubbery; it’s funny because it’s true. I am beyond fortunate to have 6 parents, only one of whom is biological. Yesterday marked the four year anniversary of one of the most tumultuous weeks I’ve ever had.

It truly was a tale of two journeys, two paths, connected in time in the oddest way.

I’d received a call while at work from my little sister, she was upset and crying. They’d found her mom, one I considered my own, unresponsive in her apartment parking lot after she’d not shown up to work. They had rushed her to the hospital, though it wasn’t clear which one. After checking on how my sister was handling the news, I asked her to please keep me in the loop and said I would leave work if she needed me. I then called my boss to fill him in. The day was busy and when it wasn’t, I busied myself. I called my mom as well, but she didn’t answer.

As I was preparing to leave work for the day, planning to call my sister for an update before heading home, I received a text from my older brother: “Did mom’s husband call you?” I walked out to my car and replied “No, should he have?” Within a minute my phone was ringing and my brother was explaining to me that our mom had been rushed to the hospital, and was likely going to be admitted to the ICU. He was waiting to pick up my niece from school before heading up to Lafayette.

I sat silently in my car, in a parking lot just west of work, fighting back tears. It was 10 days before the one year anniversary of one of my best friends dying in my arms, and I already wasn’t handling it well- despite outward appearances. “Did I lose you?” came a familiar voice from the phone I had forgotten I was holding. I took a deep, steadying breath and told him I’d plan to meet him up at the hospital for our mom, I asked that he let me know when he was heading that way. We hung up, and I sat in that empty parking lot and had never felt so torn in my life. How was I supposed to be in two places at once, for two moms I love, especially when I was barely holding it together already?

I reached out to a friend in Lakewood, asking if I could come by for a drive by hugging. She said absolutely, without asking any questions, and I made my way to her place safely between the traffic and the tears. Walking in the door, she wrapped me in a hug and when she let me go; her roommate hugged me as well. Both ladies offered me a seat and asked what was going on. I was also informed that my friend’s husband would be home from work soon, and he too would hug me. Knowing I was short on time and short of words, I opted to wait until he got home before sharing what little news I had. More hugs.

My phone rang; my brother was on his way north, which meant I had about 10 minutes to wrap up before I needed to head out to meet him on time. The husband and wife duo assured me I was welcome to come back or to call if I needed anything at all. Their roommate looked me square in the face and said she didn’t think I should be driving. I insisted that I had to go; we needed to find out what was going on with my mom. She said she understood, but that I shouldn’t drive. I became frustrated and told her I didn’t understand what she was trying to tell me and I didn’t have time to argue. She started picking up her keys, wallet, glasses and a book. When asked what she was doing, she said “I’ll drive you.” “That’s absurd, why would you do that?” I asked, not meaning to sound as snarky as I’m sure I did. “Because” she said, “you need to see your mom.” As we walked out the door together and got in her car, I asked “What are you going to do once we get there? You don’t know my mom.” With a slight smile she replied “You’re right, I don’t know her. But hospitals have these neat little areas called waiting rooms. I’ll go and wait, until you’re ready.” We made the trek up north in silence as my mind swirled.

My brother, sister in law and niece all met us at the hospital entrance. The elevator ride was silent, and once on the ICU floor, the roommate slipped away to the waiting room without a word. Perplexed looks followed, but no words came. The ICU nurse was willing to break the two at a time visitor rule, and let us know that she was doing much better and was finally lucid. She was septic but no longer delirious and had calmed down greatly. As long as she continued to improve, she’d hopefully be out in a couple days. We kept our visit fairly short, per nurse’s orders. It did my heart good to see her sitting up and trying to smile through everything she was enduring.

Walking out of her room, I let my brother and his family know about my sister’s mom, at least as much as I could. Since he has the ability to work remotely, he said he’d go up and work from her room the next day so that I would be freed up for my sister. We gathered the roommate on our way out, and went our separate ways. On the way back south, the roommate offered to stop and get me food. Nothing sounded even remotely good and after a handful of shot down suggestions, she let it go.

Once back at their house, I was given a second round of hugs. Another of their roommates was home, and I don’t know if they’d told him what was going on, but assume they did. Without a word, he set a cup of hot tea down in front of me, touched my shoulder and walked away. The tea bag tag had an Aristotle quote that read “All human actions have one of more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion and desire.” I pondered that for a minute, and soaked the warmth of the cup into my hands, focusing on feeling the warmth. I took a small sip before that moment of respite was interrupted by my phone ringing. It was my little sister who said through tears “I need you.” I told her I just needed to know where I was going. “Aurora South” was the reply, and I told her I was on my way.

Again, the roommate insisted that I didn’t drive. Trying to argue with her seemed to be an effort in futility, so we headed for the door and I cut the tag off the tea bag, shoving it in my pocket as we got in the car. Once again the trip was silent, and once again I was met just inside the hospital entrance by one of my siblings. As I wrapped her in a hug, she broke down sobbing. We found a bench for her to sit on, and I sat on the floor in front of her holding her hands while we cried.

We sat for; I don’t know how long, before her father (my sperm donor) came and sat down beside her. He and I made eye contact, possibly for the first time in my life, and it was as though there was an unspoken “There are greater things at play” message exchanged. He let us know the nurses were asking for her, and after making sure she was ready, we headed back.

Her mom’s hospital room was dimly lit, and even though I had heard “unresponsive” that morning, I think seeing my mom sitting up in the ICU gave me a false sense of hope. Though it wasn’t my first, nor last time, seeing someone I love hooked up to machines and a ventilator, I don’t know that I was quite ready. My face gave something away to my brother in law as he sat next to her bedside with her best friend. The nurse was giving an update on her status, which was that there had been no change really. Waiting with the sounds of machines was what our future held. As the nurse left the room, my phone rang again. Without looking, and assuming it was news about my mom, I said “I have to get this” and left the room.

My best friend from high school was on the other end of that call. “I hear you’re having a really bad day. Do you want to talk about it, be distracted or do you need to let me go?” were the words that greeted me. “Distracted” was my reply, knowing full well we’d get to ‘the talk about it’ part, and that he’d tell me what I already knew- she wasn’t going to make it. I meandered up and down hospital hallways, both crying and laughing in turns. By the end of the call, which was maybe half an hour long, he’d assured me to the best of his ability that I was strong enough to handle this, and that he was just a phone call away.

Making my way back to her room, I was met by my brother in law. He asked what was wrong, and I told him, while insisting that my sister not know. She was already a wreck, and while my mom was also in the ICU, she was stable and I couldn’t say the same thing about hers. I didn’t want her to feel conflicted or in any way guilty, because I was certain I was exactly where I needed to be. He gave me a hug and mumbled something about how he didn’t know how I was doing this.

The next day or two are a blur now, and they certainly were then. There were numerous phone calls, doctor visits, consultations and tests for both moms. One continued to improve, while the other did not. At some point, the roommate showed up again at the hospital with Olive Garden breadsticks (that’s all my sister wanted to eat) and a change of clothes for me (that weren’t mine), since I was still in my work clothes from earlier in the week. She also brought my sewing machine and the banner I was working on, because I’d promised it would be done that weekend and while the friends the banner was for were not concerned about it- I absolutely was. Between updates on both moms, trying to help my sister cope and thanking my brother, my boyfriend at the time lost his mind because I wasn’t spending time with him. It was a mess, so instead of trying to sleep in the early morning hours, I sewed in the waiting room and I finished that banner.

Thursday was met with the knowledge that there are different guidelines for kidney donation in comparison to the other organs. Knowing her mom would want her kidneys to be of help, we set forth with the steps involved in that process. Just before noon that day, my mom was released from the hospital up north. I was grateful, while sensing the irony that one mom was going home and the other was going home.

The next few hours were filled with talks with the Organ Donation coordinating team, and deciding how the last few moments should be spent. Songs and lyrics were pored over, until we picked the right 5 to play as she left us. My sister wanted to draw a rose on her mom, the tattoo she never got. Since I didn’t have my car, I didn’t have my supplies. Walking out into the waiting room to see what I could find, even if only dry erase markers, I found not only the roommate but another dear friend, who were there in support of me. That friend also happened to have sharpies in his car, and so the rose was able to happen. I helped facilitate everyone getting their chance to say their goodbyes, even her dad, while my sister never left her mom’s side.

When the time came, there were five of us in the room with her as she took her final unassisted breaths. Much to the surprise of the organ donation team, she lasted through almost all five of the songs we picked, leaving us just before midnight to the sounds of Toby Keith singing “As Good As I Once Was”. It was as peaceful as a sterile operating room could be, and thankfully she fell within the requirements of kidney donation. I physically supported my sister as she held her mom, and I held the knowledge that this tragedy was the blessing other’s had been asking for.

We all left the hospital together, hugged and went our separate ways. I went back to the roommate’s house and slept for the first time in a week. When I woke, I had another cup of hot tea placed in front of me and a hand on the shoulder. This tea bag tag read “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome” from Booker T Washington. I savored that tea before going for a late brunch with my friend and her roommate.

I think about that week often. I think about the support I had, often times despite my own efforts. Grateful doesn’t even begin to express the depth of feels I have for those who gave me hugs, called, brought food and clothes or came just to sit and hold space, for every prayer or candle lit- my heart still overflows. Every single time I felt alone that week, there was a physical and friendly reminder that I was not by myself- and I never am.

Yesterday I pondered the dichotomy between life and death, tragedy and blessings, loss and gain, and I was humbled. I am humbled. I compared the vibrant sunrise from the morning before to the subtle beauty that met me yesterday. On my way home, I grabbed some breadsticks and I sent my sister roses- just like the one drawn on her mom. I took the two tea bag tags off of my dashboard where they’ve lived for the last 4 years and contemplated their words. In addition to what Booker T Washington said, I’d add that support has to come in at some point. We never overcome things alone.

I listened to the song WFG had given me the week before that tumultuous week. It was a song that became a theme song of sorts, and reflecting on the lyrics and where I was compared to where I am, I dare say I’m on my way. What a journey it’s been.

“And I’m not gonna waste one minute of this life
I got a second chance to do what is right
I’m gonna dance in the rain, and lay out in the sunshine
Take all my pain and turn it in into moonlight

Take all my pain, and melt it with the sunshine
Take all my pain, and turn it into white light
Take all my pain, and give myself a good life”

With a grateful heart,

S

Speak and connect.

As a person, I crave connection. Some people thrive on the surface level “How are you?”s of life, and even if they ask the question, rarely listen for the response. I am not that girl. I see hundreds of people a day, and I ask each one how they are- and listen for their response. The ones who say “Not too bad” are often surprised by my follow up of “Does that mean not too good either?” Sometimes I get a genuine answer.

I want my interactions to be meaningful, even if they aren’t deep. Give me a song recommendation; tell me why you chose it. Tell me about your weekend and I’ll likely probe deeper. Tell me about something you have coming up, I’ll remember and ask about it when next we speak. I’m not perfect at this by any means, but it is something I’m intentional about and I try my best to be present and pay attention. These are, what I would call, easy conversations.

There are some conversations that are more challenging. It has long been touted that the three hardest things to say are: “I’m sorry”, “I love you” and “Please help me”. While I agree that there is some merit to those being hard phrases to utter, some of my best opportunities for growth have come from them. I know I’m fallible and I make mistakes, and owning them with an apology and corrected behavior is growth. Life has taught me to say I love you and often, because you never know when you might not get the chance to say it again. Please help me is the one I struggle with the most, though I have improved in leaps and bounds from a few years ago.

What I find the most challenging at times is speaking my truth. I’ve heard it called bold honesty before, and others have called it taking a stand. Sometimes you have to tell someone you love that they hurt you. Sometimes actions affect you and you need to share that, lest the person be unaware. Sometimes that’s stating your needs, fully knowing that the person you’re speaking with may or may not be able to meet them- but giving them the opportunity. Sometimes it’s telling someone you miss them, when you’re not sure that you should. Sometimes it’s telling a friend or loved one, I see you going down this path and it worries me because I love you. Sometimes it’s sharing an experience and learning that even those with you during that time, were unaware of how it impacted you.

The crux to all of the conversations above is vulnerability. It’s opening up. It’s trusting the person you’re talking with not to hurt you unnecessarily, and trusting yourself to handle the fallout regardless of how it shakes out. It’s sharing from the heart. Many moons ago, one of my favorite teachers told me “If it’s real and from the heart, you can’t say the wrong thing to the right person.” That is a statement that has played in my head over and over again as I’ve geared up to have many conversations.

Vulnerability forges deeper connections and safe spaces. As I step forth today, my desire is to speak from my heart, own my truth and foster greater connection.

In trust,

S

A rose in all its forms

Once as a young girl I had a conversation with my mom about trust, and I likened the process of opening up to a rose. I offered the notion that in order to bloom, the rose needed to know it was secure (safe) in having its needs met- water and sun. The bud in its varying stages of opening was learning and growing, and would eventually open if the circumstances were correct. The rose in bloom was sure of itself and its ability to have the needs met, it was open and beautiful. It seemed so simple then, a rose was either a bud or in bloom.

In my youth, I thought the idea of a single rose was all-encompassing; you were either a bud or fully open. All or nothing, open or learning to be, trusting or getting there; the concept that you could be both open and closed never occurred to me. As I sit here now, I’m shaking my head at my own naivety.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love the premise of a rose in its varying stages being symbolic of relations with others and the degree to which we are open. Instead of a single rose though, I feel as if a rose bush is more fitting. As people, we’re not one dimensional, not by a long shot. It stands to reason then, that we can be buds in some areas of our lives while in full bloom in others.

As I look at my own rosebush, I see quite the tale. Sure there are a few roses that are fragrant and open, beautiful in all that they are. However, if you look closer just beyond the sprawling and colorful petals of the roses in bloom, you’ll see there’s more to the story. There are several buds in various stages of opening, some reaching out a petal or two to test the waters; there’s another that is wrapped so tightly it might as well be in a cocoon. Others have petals hanging on despite the fact that their time to shine may have come to pass. There are petal-less stems just standing, as the only evidence that beauty once existed here. In a few places too, there are rosehips, the fruit and seed left behind by a blossom- the lessons as it were.

My aim this week is to nurture some of those buds tenderly, to have conversations that need to be had in an attempt to provide the right circumstances for things to bloom- even if it scares me. I plan to take stock, and find ways in which I can best support what is already in bloom. I will also take out the sheers and deadhead what is no longer serving me and taking away energy, creating a fresh space for new growth to happen.

Wish me luck!
S

Tech savvy and terrific

Today I am grateful for kind words, helpful spirits and getting things accomplished.

I’ve been delaying upgrading my phone since Sprint is now T-Mobile. That kind of stuff stresses me out and typically causes frustration, largely because I’m a creature of habit and I like my things like I like them. However, after about 10 days of technical difficulties, calls not always coming in or going out, and a few other issues, I had added a visit to the local store to my to-do list this weekend. I even went so far as to reach out to a friend who works for T-Mobile because I knew she’d help and it would have been great to see her face… but she wasn’t working again until Monday. I seriously considered waiting until then, however gravity had other plans.

While disposing of our epic pumpkin carvings, my phone jumped out of my pocket and gave the sidewalk a hug, leaving a spiderweb in the broken glass as evidence of the love they had shared. There was also a growing area of black goop under the glass where the LCD screen had broken. With a bit of an exasperated sigh, knowing I wouldn’t have my friend to help me, I grabbed my daughter and headed off to the store.

We waited around, looked at a couple things and joked while we passed the time. After about fifteen minutes of meandering, a guy asked how he could help us. For the next hour or so, he helped close out the sprint stuff and get me set up with my new phone. He laughed and joked with us, helped entertain my daughter when needed and let her help as the process allowed. As we got ready to leave, I thanked him for being awesome and it seemed to make his day.

What was anticipated to be a stressful and potentially overwhelming thing turned out to be quite enjoyable, and I’m grateful!

We have his card and he’s our new buddy! I love adding kind and helpful people to the circle!

From the new phone,

S

Words, man.

I heard once, years ago, an explanation for why words matter so much: “Words have power and magic, that’s why it’s called spelling.” I always kind of took that to heart, and have tried (albeit failed many times) to use that power for good.

There’s many things out in the world now about words and how to use them; sayings like “Your word is your bond” or principles such as “Be impeccable with your word” and sometimes harsh truths of “No response is a response, remember that.”

I think, if we remember the latter and focus on the former, we’ll be in pretty good shape. If you’re impeccable with your word, and treat your word as your bond, you’ll show up in integrity. On the way into work each morning, I pass an electric billboard that usually has some little nugget of inspiration. The last few days it has said, “What you’re doing speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying.”

Believe it or not, the good comes back to you.

That got me thinking about the importance of how we choose to show up in the world. I think, by and large, the merit and character of a person has far more weight than what they accomplish. Who someone is, at their core, trumps their deeds. If you want to be seen as dependable, be someone others can depend on. If you want to be seen as a confidant, be someone people can confide in and know that it’s a safe space to do so. If you want more love, understanding and acceptance- give it away! If you’re doing any of those things, to gain the title or recognition (from a character or achievement standpoint), I think your motives are skewed.

Today, I am grateful for those who share their words with me and allow me to share mine. Free, open and safe, the conversations had within our circle remain there only. I appreciate the trust, the love, the constructive criticism and the assistance. We’re ever growing and learning, and it’s a privilege to get to do so along side some amazing people.

In appreciation of those who encourage me to grow,

S

The little things

How often do you slow down and take note of the simple things? The thumbnail sliver of a waning moon rising just before the sun? The soul gripping notes of your favorite song? The smile on the normally surly guy at work, who’s smile makes you join him because it’s a rarity? The kind words from a friend? The thoughtful gesture by residents at work?

What about the person who let you merge into traffic hassle-free? Or the open checkout at the grocery store? What about the dinner shared with family? Passing a yawn around a group of people, because they are contagious after all? The memories created in simple moments, the inside jokes and bonds strengthened? The song sent by a friend?

There are countless moments in any given day, in every single day, that are worthy of our thanks. These are just a few that my tired brain can come up with after an evening spent with my Brother, Sister Lady, Girl Kid and a Meow. Please don’t take for granted the little things, they have a huge ripple effect.

With love and tired eyes,

S