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.


Steph said...

Love this! I had to wait a breath or two to read it because I was giggling so much over the title though! I think that might be my new mantra!

Jennifer Moore-Skallerud said...

I am all for having a mantra that includes the word "haggis!" And like I told you, I should have posted a link so people could see the awesomeness that is haggis:

Anonymous said...

Jen, you would never bring haggis! You bring booze & toys :)
I think you are spot on with this analogy!


Jennifer Moore-Skallerud said...

Thanks, Sooz!! Right back at you, lady!