Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What They Don't Tell You

It's always in the fine print. The little tiny words that no one ever reads. The stuff that pops up just before you click, "I agree to these terms." What terms? Do YOU ever read the fine print? I don't. I mean to. I always tell myself, "Next time I make a purchase, I'll read the terms in advance." But I don't. 

So I'm caught unprepared. I'll admit, I like surprises, true surprises. Something unexpected that touches me. I love the feeling of delight a surprise can deliver. 

I received the most lovely gift this year on Christmas Eve. The gift itself wasn't a surprise, but still, I was caught unprepared. Had I known the depth to which this surprise would touch me, I don't know if I would have (or COULD have) agreed to the terms. Because this wasn't just a surprise--this was a change-your-life-forever-after gift. And how can you prepare for that? Even if someone TELLS you that things will never be the same, can you really comprehend those terms until you are LIVING with them? This was a I-don't-know-how-to-think-how-to-act-how-to-help-with-this surprise. I am unprepared. I should have advice to give, I should have time to give, I should have money to give, I should be better at this. I am unprepared. 

But I do have gratitude and love to give. As the recipient of such a precious, precious gift, I hope to give back as much as this gift has given me. More. I may not have read the terms of this gift in advance, but I hope to show how grateful I am with each action and word. 

I know there will be many more surprises. I won't remember to read the fine print, and I'll feel unprepared. But I'll be grateful and enjoy the unexpected treasures yet to come.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Not Yet

Nope, I haven't figured it out yet. Just when I think I'm on the right road, I realize I don't know where I'm going.

Do you ever feel like your daily life is supposed to be leading somewhere? I guess I'm a goal-oriented person, because I find myself thinking, "I'm almost there," or, "I'm almost done," on and off, all through the day. But when I stop and think, I'm not sure where "there" is, or what "done" means. And then I realize that I'm doing it wrong. Life. I'm doing life wrong. 

I believe I should be moving forward, and growing, changing, improving. But I need to remind myself to pay attention to the moments as they happen. Because it all moves so fast. It might feel great to be able to cross something off of my to-do list, but the real joy can be found in the moment of doing, and too often, I miss that moment on the way to "being done."

Go ahead, roll your eyes at my new-agey, happy hippie chatter. I know what I sound like. When I was your age,  my eyes would have rolled right out of my head at this, too. But now I'm at the right age to appreciate the idea that it really is the journey, not the destination. So I'm trying to get better at life. I guess that's the point, isn't it? 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

For you, my friend

Someone to crowd you with love,
Someone to force you to care,                                   
Someone to make you come through,
Who'll always be there,
As frightened as you
Of being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive.

                   
That's you, my friend. You're always with me. You're in my head, even when I wish you weren't. You know me so well, and yet, you still like me. Love me. 

Someone you have to let in,
Someone whose feelings you spare,
Someone who, like it or not,
Will want you to share
 

A little, a lot.

I've got to believe that friendship like ours is rare. It's too precious to be common. I can't explain why we have always had this connection. It's visceral, palpable, essential. It lives and breathes. 

Somebody, need me too much,
Somebody, know me too well,
Somebody, pull me up short
And put me through hell
And give me support
For being alive,
Make me alive.
from Company, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

 
Over miles, over years, in our dreams and in our waking. You're there. You make me want to be alive. You keep me alive. Thank you for making me one lucky chick.

 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Overjoyed

In "Broadcast News," William Hurt asks Albert Brooks, "What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams?" Brooks' character replies, "Keep it to yourself."  
It's a dilemma. When things are going poorly for me, I post cryptic messages on Facebook; I need to let it out, but I don't want to share too much. But when things are going well, I have a harder time sharing the news. I don't want to boast, I don't want to jinx it. I want to express how lucky I feel. I want to acknowledge that I don't take any of the positive for granted, and that I probably don't deserve most of what I've been given, but it feels like bragging. 
I think I'm a good person. I believe that sending good out brings good back in. So I guess I'll just say that right now, I must be sending a whole lot of good out to the universe. And I'm grateful for what I'm getting back. Stevie says it best:  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

And with the dawn...

It's a bright, sunny day. Cold, but sunny. I am not usually a fan of this kind of day. For some reason, bright sun brings on headaches for me. But not today.

There is just a hint of spring in the cold, cold air. The sounds of birds singing again, the daffodil buds barely peeking through the dirt, the squirrels playing their games of tag again in the yard. Just enough spring to lift my heart.

I spent the weekend sobbing, singing the "Poor me, poor me" song. But I'm over it. I still don't think I'm strong enough to visit my favorite eastside haunts yet--I know I'll get weepy without my constant companion. But today's dawn brings a hopeful promise of good things to come, and I'm gonna go with it. I have so much. I am so lucky. And grateful.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Grateful for the Grief

I'm so selfish. I can't believe that in the midst of good news, I am so sad. Parenting is filled with these dichotomies. No one tells you that. But even if someone had told me, and I had actually listened, until you live it, you can't understand it. And I certainly wouldn't change the track of my life, even if I knew that I'd have less grief if I'd never had my girls.
This is an exciting time for her. This is the beginning of the next part of her life. This is SUCH an amazing opportunity. Yet I sit here and sob. It doesn't mean I'm not thrilled for her, that I'm not excited for her, that I'm not so, so very proud of her. But I'm selfishly sad for me. For us. Because, despite a rock-solid foundation, things will change. Dramatically. And if you've followed this blog at all, you know that I'm not good with change. I retreat. I obsess. I grieve. 
So that's where I'm at. I don't want things to be different, because I WANT this chapter to begin for her. But I want it to stop hurting. I want to stop feeling so lonely already. I want to be a grown-up about it. And right now, I can't. I'm too raw. I know we will all survive and thrive. I know this. But right now, I'm sad. I'm grateful, but I'm sad. 
And now, to lighten the mood, Alison, here is the song I was trying to remember for you: