Sunday, October 30, 2011

Looking Up

I turned around at work when I heard something I couldn't quite identify. It was just the coffee pot making some post-perculatory (not a real word) noises. When I turned I caught a glimpse of the sky through the trees out of our window. And the sky was amazing. It was just a few minutes ago and it's already changed so it's hard to explain, but there was such a warm, pink glow to it that it instantly calmed me.

The sky is beautiful at 7:15 on Sunday mornings sometimes.

And before I saw that sky I was tempted to write a blog about how some lessons take a really long time to learn. For example, if someone is a douche or someone is thoughtless then chances are, no matter how nice or nurturing you are to them, especially if this person comes into your life as a grown-up, chances are they will always be that way. That ends the lesson/negative portion of this blog.

I woke up this morning and I was miffed. The red numbers glowing menacingly on the clock read 5:16. These numbers in themselves are not evil, of course, but when I've set the alarm for 5:35, you can see how I'd find them to be a little bit evil because it wasn't as if I was going to just fall back into peaceful slumber for another twenty minutes. Nope, my body doesn't work that way.

So I lumbered through getting ready and went to put on my makeup and found some eyeshadow in my Sephora assortment (possibly the best $25 I ever spent even if it's not the same as the one I bought last year with my gift certificate [thanks, Sarah!])that made me look like I was awake and curled my hair and it came out okay and then I got outside to my car and saw the sky, which looked completely different then, at 6:45, than it did at 7:15. And I thought to myself, "Holy crap. The sky looks AMAZING."

Last night when we got home from the super awesome Haunted Hallway at Ellerhorst (though Kayla's reaction to the thrills and chills will be document later in my Kayla blog), as soon as I got out of the car I noticed the moon. It was a crescent, but it was so ridiculously bright, and sometimes you can't really see the part of the moon that's hidden in shadow too well, but last night that part looked so cool, like a deep, dark blue-black. I can't explain why it looked so cool, I can only tell you that it did. And the sky at 7:30 last night also looked really amazing.

So sometimes dumping the negative thoughts is as easy as looking up. Not always, but sometimes.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Life is Like a Potluck... Don't Bring Haggis

"Be the change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

More than one friend has posted this quote on Facebook before and it's in my mind this morning because I think it sort of relates to want I want to say.

I was in the bathroom this morning getting ready and it's funny how sometimes things strike you while you're topless and curling your hair. Don't get me started on the fact that using hot appliances with a considerable amount of skin bare is a bad idea, and don't think that I get inspired by that bare skin because that pretty much just usually inspires laughter.

So what struck me is that life is like a potluck. But some people look at it like it's a buffet. Let me explain. And when I say that, I mean I'm going to attempt to figure out what I'm trying to say and at the same time explain it to you.

The idea of a potluck is to come together and share. You bring something and you get to partake of the goodies that others have contributed. It's give and take. You give something, and you get to take something in return.

Life is this way. Sometimes it's about a relationship. Any relationship is a partnership. Whether you're friends or lovers or spouses or parent and child or work mates. You bring something to it, and the other person is supposed to bring the same amount. Of course, this can be tricky if you're talking about a parent and a child, and certainly with spouses this is sometimes only a theory, but you get the idea.

I'm thinking particularly about what you bring that can't be quantified. How are you showing up? What's your attitude? What sort of energy are you bringing? Either to your office or your home in your interaction with your kids or your spouse or your friends? Do you bring what you would like to get back?

Do you bring a casserole made of haggis, head cheese, and random animal testicles (thank you, Facebook friends! [and no matter how fancy a chef makes them, testicles OF ANY ANIMAL are never going to be anything I try, like the lamb "fries" I saw on Chopped]) and then expect to eat lobster, caviar, fancy delicious cheeses, and Doritos? Well, it doesn't work that way.

You get back what you give, pure and simple.

Buffets are awesome things. You get to show up and take whatever you want. Life is not like that. You need to give something, and you should give what you want to get back.

Do you walk into a room and light it up? Or do you come in under a gray cloud and spread it all over the place? If you do that second thing, STOP DOING THAT.

The people who will read this probably don't do that. So let me talk to the rest of us. But first I'll say, I've totally been that cloud. I can't lie. Like, especially at certain times of the month, get out your umbrella because there might be nothing but gray skies and rain all around my space bubble. But I really really really try not to be that person. And I really really really try not let that kind of person drag me down.

But let's face it, it's hard. We're only human, for goodness sake. It's hard not to get sucked into some jacked up energy, especially if you're not in a great place and having one of those "fake it 'til you make it" days (and by the way, I am a really big fan of faking it 'til I make it, because it sometimes really works).

Now look, sometimes stuff is just really super crazy awful bad. So bad that you'd be a freak if you could figure out a way to put a positive spin on it. Some of the stuff that people endure from which they come back fighting AMAZES me. They are my heroes. So I'm not talking about sucking it up when it comes to real problems.

I am talking about being positive when you can be. When you have the choice between positive and negative, choose positive. When you have the choice between a frown and smile, pick the smile. When you can't decide whether to laugh or have a rage stroke, try the laughter.

I know, this all seems so basic, but you would be amazed at how not basic it is for some people. You know, the people who probably aren't reading this.

I'm not really sure that my opening quote really goes with what I what I just rambled about, but I'll keep it there because it's a good one anyway.

Like with almost anything I write, I do this so that I can remind myself to be this person more. So thanks for letting me talk to you in an effort to work on my stuff.

And please, if I ever have a potluck, do not bring that casserole. Thanks.