Day 166: So long can be too long

Tonight my brother and parents came over for a little while to say, “so long.” They’ve been in Tennessee for a week or so to help my sister on her new addition, and may be traveling back to their respective homes tomorrow. So they came and sat with us a while. We laughed, and shared rotten puns, and laughed some more. I was almost crying at one point, a good laughter that shook me to my soul.

The reason I laughed was because I did a “Betty.” I had to teach them what that meant. A “Bettyism” is named after my kindred, Betty. She is famous for switching words (never on purpose), and saying some things that will leave you in tears. Her most famous “Betty” was when she was asking someone if they had watched the movie, “Saving Private Ryan;” but what she asked was if they had seen “Saving Ryan’s Privates.” That one can still leave me giggling to myself if I think about it for a few moments too long.

So, my brother made a comment about having something wrong with his ear. I repeated what he said, or at least I tried to, and what I asked was, “You have something in your rear?” It was definitely a “Betty,” and my ribs hurt after laughing through that one. It made me wish she were here because she would have enjoyed that one.

We lingered for a while and though no one wanted to break up the sweet moment of family, it was getting late, and we knew what we needed to do. So we hugged and we held on tight, breathing in smells and searing a memory on our minds. We can’t take moments like these for granted. So we gulp them down as we can, and say “so long” until the next time.

DAY 166 HOMEWORK: Savor the relationships you have. Drink them in, and make lasting memories by laughing and using all your senses. It helps to write them on your heart.

 

 

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Day 165: Pushing on through

It’s nice when you find a vendor who you actually can call a friend. Tonight, we met with one such vendor, and it’s always the highlight of the season. Edie is a doll and full of fun. We try a new restaurant in town and eat a bit of everything.We laugh and chat non-stop.

I had a dull headache all day and considered bowing out tonight, but I couldn’t NOT go. It’s one of those events that you just have to get to. That’s how you can tell someone is a kindred. You want to spend time with them. And I’m so glad I went. Great food, great company. And we weren’t out too late. Bonus!!

By the time I got home, my head was wanting to split in two. But after a few minutes with my family, it started to feel better. I’m just glad I didn’t let a headache hold me back from connecting with a woman I like spending an evening with from time-to-time. I would have done that before this journey began, so the progress I’m making is remarkable…at least to me. Growth makes me happy!

DAY 165 HOMEWORK: What holds you back from connecting with people? Don’t let it. Push through it and invest in people.

Day 164: Today’s car ride

A few of us went to lend support to a  coworker today, as she said goodbye to her sister. It was a hard day for her, and the funeral was a couple of hours away, but we couldn’t let her face the day alone. So we piled in the pool car and took off. The four of us talked about a myriad of topics, but one topic took over our discussion for a good portion of the way there.

My friend, who was driving, said she recently had a dream that she had fallen asleep in a movie theatre and had a hard time waking up, but then she realized that she was late for work. There were other parts of dream that we laughed about, and then they laughed at me when I told them about a recent dream I had about chasing a baby T-Rex around my house, while he destroyed my furniture with his tail.

So the others in the car started to Google dream interpretation. The “being late” interpretation that popped up said my friend may be waffling with decisions or new opportunities in life, or taking on too much in her life.

The “dinosaur”? They said it could mean it was time to put things behind me and move on from a situation that has been holding me back. And because I was “chasing” it, I may have some type of unresolved or unobtainable desire.

It was interesting to hear the theories, and there were many, so I could pick any interpretation that fit my current situation. We then moved on to recurring dreams. I asked what Google said about “flood” dreams, since I have them frequently. I don’t really know what the true meaning is, but it was interesting that one of the interpretations of flood dreams was that I have bottled-up emotions I want to release and that when I release the emotions, it will let the flood gates open.

That IS what I’m doing through this blog; I’m releasing my voice that has been bottled up inside me for a long time. I’m releasing my perfectionism. In letting go of these things, I’m making quick progress in letting my real self shine.

I still don’t know what destroyed furniture means…maybe I’ll have to keep up the research, or just go buy a new sofa.

DAY 164 HOMEWORK: Today’s connection was about supporting those around you in need, but the dream conversation was just fun. I don’t know the true science behind dream interpretation, but if you have a recurring dream, google it just for fun. Consider what your subconscious may be trying to tell you.

 

Day 163: Be a miracle

Happy Easter! Jesus is risen! It’s our greatest miracle, and one Christians get to celebrate daily. The death and resurrection of Jesus is what gives us hope and a future.

Talking about great miracles, we went to see Miracles from Heaven yesterday at the matinee. It was based on a true story of this little girl who got critically ill and the spiritual battle that her mother, in particular, went through during the illness. You can tell by the title that miracles happened in this family’s life, so that isn’t a spoiler. I hope you get a chance to see it, because it’s encouraging, but bring a box of tissues!

At one point, the mom in the movie quoted Albert Einstein. It went something like this: “You can go through life looking like nothing is a miracle, or you can go through life looking like everything is a miracle.”

It was thought-provoking, and made me think about how we approach every moment of our lives. We can ignore the miraculous around us, or we can be amazed at the miracles that swirl around us at every turn. If we are aware at the miraculous around us, we see the beauty in flowers, in sunsets or sunrises. We see miracles as we meet people, or as friends step up to help out in our times of need. And there are things that we can’t see.

When we believe that everything is a miracle, there are reasons for that slow car in front of us that is driving us crazy. There are reasons why certain jobs don’t come through, even when we really want them. There are reasons why we see who we see, when we see them, because people need your smile, or your greeting, or whatever you are there to give them. As such, you are someone else’s miracle.

I prefer looking at it like that: it makes me more mindful of my own actions, and the way I treat others. I don’t always get it right, but the more I can remind myself, the more I can be effective.

DAY 163 HOMEWORK: Whose miracle are you today? Pay attention and you might be surprised at who God sends your way.

Day 162: Progress Louisiana Style

My brother and I had a cool moment of connectivity last night. We were getting ready for dinner, so I had pulled out some ground turkey to make tacos. I got about halfway through the meal prep, and had to go online to see which of my new spices made the best sense in the recipe. (I’m trying not to do packaged spices as much as possible so I can be more aware of what we’re eating.)

While online, I got a notification that someone on our neighborhood Facebook page had just posted something about sharing his crawfish boil because he had too much. So I asked my brother if he was in the mood for crawfish…of course, he said yes. I’m not a huge crawfish fan. It’s ok, but it’s a ton of work for a little bite of meat, so though I’ve enjoyed it a time or two for the novelty of it, most days, I’m glad to have experienced it…glad to pass it up now.

But, my brother was serious, so I posted back that I’d be glad to take our new neighbor up on his offer. He told me where he lived and we got in the car to drive up to the far end of the neighborhood. We met Jason and his friend Mason. Mason is from Louisiana, so their crawfish boil was authentic. Huge crawfish, shrimp, corn on the cob, and potatoes filled the table. Spices filled the air. Crawfish were just coming out of the boiling pot, and even I was tempted to pick some up.

Jason and his family are relatively new to Greentree. But it was totally Finding Kindreds for Jason to post on the subdivision page that he wanted to share his crawfish. He even posted twice to reinforce that he was serious abut the offer. I’m not sure if anyone else in the neighborhood took him up on the offer, but I was so happy to reach out of my comfort zone to jump in. Before I started this blog, I may not have wandered from that safe place just to meet a new neighbor, even if there was a delicious reward at the end of the handshake. I would have been polite, but stuck to myself. It takes being intentional to build community and to find kindreds. Jason’s invitation was a nice check up on our progress.

DAY 162 HOMEWORK: How are you doing on your progress? Are you being intentional? Take a minute to evaluate and see where you can improve.

Day 161: The family advantage

My vacation is coming to an end, and though I still have a weekend to go, the days off work have flown by. The rest was needed, and I don’t mind that I didn’t go anywhere. It was good to take naps and get rid of some junk. The piles of paper are smaller, and I crossed some to-dos off of the list.I was definitely more tired than I thought. So I obviously needed to take care of me for a few days, and probably should get better at self-care.

The family time has been good too. My sister and her husband are building on to their “new” house (new to them). It’s going to be a cool addition when it’s done, but since they are putting in some sweat equity on the project, we’ve been over sweating with them. My parents came up from Florida earlier in the week, and Wednesday, my brother from Texas came in. We’ve been together, working on the construction, playing games, talking, and eating together. Those moments are precious, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

With a family spread out far and wide, like our family is, we have to take advantage of the time we have to be together, because it doesn’t happen very often. And the last time my whole family was together was probably six or seven years ago, so when we can grab some moments, we need to hold tight and live out each moment fully.

Here comes the weekend. You’ll find me in the midst of love. It’s called family.

DAY 161 HOMEWORK: Family, be it near or far, is still family. Many times family can be great kindreds…we may have just forgotten that. Take some time to reach out to your family. If they’re near, do it in person. If they’re far, pick up the phone. Re-connect, and take advantage of the time you have.

Day 160: Naps and apps

I’ve been taking a few days of stay-cation, and I guess I was more in need of some time off than I thought. I both slept in, AND took a long nap 2 days in a row. ME time was incredibly welcome. I’ve gotten a couple of home projects off my list, in my process of simplifying my life, and that’s also rejuvenating. And, I’ve been able to spend some time with my family who I don’t get to see often. So far, so good.

My company is trying to find a new communication/intranet app, and I’m trying to stay away from work, but today we got a 2-week trial version of one that I really like so I started to play with it. Some things I really love, and other things make me wonder if it will go over well, but as I was looking through it, I got thinking about the dichotomy of needing to move forward with an app in this technologically-advanced society, and the need to connect more one-on-one, in person, what I’ve been preaching the past 160 days on Finding Kindreds.

Of course, there’s no way in an organization of 2300 with associates all over the eastern half of the US, that we can communicate effectively and share company documents without moving forward with technology that’s current. And, if we find the right program, we should be making it easier for people outside the corporate office to feel like they’re right there, in the middle of any current news. And, we may be giving them more time if we make access to information easier for them.

But it is a bit odd to be preaching community and yet implementing something that could potentially pull people into their phones even more. I know it’s an inevitable part of progress today, and like everything else in this life, finding kindreds through community is an individual choice. Each of us can choose the amount of time we have our noses in our apps, and how much we pursue relationships with others.

And the end of my internal dialogue, my thought for this day is this: Technology is here to stay. It’s not likely going away, as much as someone might wish it. Choose balance. Look up. Engage with those around you. We need technology,  but we need other even more.

DAY 160 HOMEWORK: Technology makes some things in life easier, and in many ways better. But don’t let it take over your life. Put your technology down, when you need a nap, and when you’re with others. Engage people. Get them to look up from their technology, too. Keep building community.