“It’s the friends you can call up at 4am that matter.”
– Marlene Dietrick
So, this morning, I pulled up my chair and my coffee and opened my reader to peruse the blogs that have been updated. I do this most mornings. Why would today be any different?
I met Debra via Twitter. I don’t even remember who followed whom first. But I found her to be engaging and honest and lovely. We hit it off and we became part of each other’s lives, as much as is possible when we live more than 1,200 miles apart.
For a long time, Debra and I spoke via Twitter, or on the phone, daily. We heard about each other’s successes and hardships. There were well-wishes and hugs being sent through the ether, back and forth as needed. We both knew that if a 4am call was needed, that would be okay too.
At the end of 2010, Debra made a trip out to meet me. I met her in person. And she was just as lovely as I had imagined. She did spend a good amount of time stalking a giant lobster while she was here, but even that was endearing.
At the start of 2011, we had both been through a fabulous class together. (I was only able to attend due to Debra’s generosity.) We both started 2011 full of the desire to make significant changes in how we approach life. Sadly, my desire waned and, while I did make some changes, I ended 2011 not too differently than how I ended 2010.
Debra, however, made lasting and wonderful changes. It was exciting to watch the change which was visible in the tone and content of her Tweets and blog posts. It is my opinion that in 2011, she became fully Debra last year. The changes she displays are profound and noticeable and inspirational.
So, what is my problem today?
This. This is my problem.
And before you say it, I *know* this post isn’t about me. The decisions she’s made aren’t about me in any way shape or form. They are decisions she’s made to continue her own growth and happiness and (jeepers, I hate this word) journey.
And all of that? I am applauding and cheering and I honestly cannot wait to see how it all turns out.
I couldn’t even leave an appropriate comment to that post. (Sorry, Debra.) And for a while, I couldn’t even figure out why.
And then I did.
Friendships are fragile things and require as much care
in handling as any other fragile and precious thing.
– Randolph S. Bourne
1,200+ miles is a long distance. For anyone.
Now that Debra is not on Twitter, I won’t see her smiling face in my timeline. I won’t see her smiling face on Facebook. I don’t really see the point of G+, so that’s not a big thing.
But the reason Debra’s post affected me this morning is that I am afraid. And a little envious. And afraid.
I am afraid that this friendship is going to end? I don’t know that that is the correct word. I think on some level we will always be friends. I think my fear is that we will become polite acquaintances. And that will make me sad. What makes me sadder is that if that *does* happen, it will be my fault.
Because I am a terrible friend. I am working on making that an invalid statement, but for now? It’s true. It stems from my own insecurities. It manifests in that I am rarely the one to reach out because, in my mind, the other person always has something better to do. The other person gets tired of always being the initiator. And understandably so. I would get sick of that too.
I have lost a lot of friends this way. Looking back, I know now that some of those people were not “friends” in the true sense of the word. But others were.
Reading Debra’s post affected me the way it did because I immediately went to that place of “I’m losing yet another friend! What is wrong with me??” In my self-centered mind, I immediately made it about me – how it would affect me, what that would mean to me. Rather than celebrating that Debra is now fully Debra, and that she is out there, actually LIVING life, I internalized it just like I always do.
This is where the envy comes in to play too. I see how far she has progressed since we first met, how happy she is, how many positive changes she has made, and I think: Why not me? When will it happen for me? Why can’t I have epiphanies like that?
I know the answers to those questions, by the way. Debra has put in the time, and the work, and the effort. I haven’t.
“Some friends come and go like a season. Others are arranged in our lives for good reason.”
Debra – this is to you.
I have watched you grow and change and become happy, over the past few years. I think you are amazing and an inspiration. Thank you for letting me be a part of your life. I don’t think this will be the end of our friendship, but too often, we never say thank you to our friends. Or even indicate the role they have played in our lives.
Thank you for your post. It shook me. It showed me how wonderful life can be when fully embraced. It showed me to not rely on cyber-friends exclusively.
Thank you. You have set such an exciting path for yourself. I cannot wait to see where you go, where you end up.
These are the feelings I am having.
Do you know Chibijeebs? I don’t. Not really. I follow her on twitter, but I don’t know her. I’ve never met her in person, and, like most people I follow on twitter, likely never will. But I have such admiration for her, that sometimes it feels a little creepy, even to me.
She has no idea I’m writing this post. And since there are really only about 4 of you who actually read this blog, it’s probably a safe bet that she never will. However, I’m going to put a link to her blog, so she might. If so, HI CHIBI! *waves*
So why am I writing a slightly ooky post about some woman I have never met? I have a bit of a girl crush on her.
There. I said it.
I don’t even remember how I started following Chibijeebs on twitter. Someone recommended her to me, and for that, I am grateful. She is lovely. And delightful. And an inspiration to me. She posts links to empowering and uplifting articles. And she is never shy about being honest about herself.
After I got to know her on twitter, I started
stalking her reading her blog. Part of her blog is her story. And while I admit that I started reading her story with a morbid curiosity (sort of like those rubber-neckers on the highway, looking at an accident), I finished reading her story because it portrayed a woman of great strength and integrity and awareness. So many people in this world blame their upbringing for being horrible, destructive people. If you read Chibijeebs story, you will see that a bad childhood is NOT a reason for behaving badly.
stalk follow Chibijeebs on Pinterest. Many of the things she posts there I end up “liking” or repinning.
I’m pretty sure that if I were to meet Chibijeebs in person, I would like her immensely. I learn from almost everything she writes. I’m sure I would learn from her by being her friend.
I hope this isn’t too strange. As part of my year of KIND, I want to take the time to tell people good things. I do it in real life too. There is a house near my parents that recently changed owners. I know this because for the past year, we have been watching the transformation of the property from one of extraordinary disrepair to one that is clean, neat and beautifully landscaped.
One day, after visiting my parents, I was riding my bike home and saw the owner in the yard. I pulled in to tell her what a tremendous job she has done. We talked for a bit and then I went on my way. I hope that visit made her smile. Just as I hope this post lets Chibijeebs know that what she writes/posts makes a difference in someone else’s life.
Thank you, Chibijeebs.
Update: Okay, before I hit publish, I asked her if it would be okay. I don’t want invade anyone’s privacy or make them uncomfortable. So I have permission. *whew*
Oh, hello!! I’m just making coffee. Want some?
So, it seems that there is good news just popping up all over the place today! Not for me, yet, but as much as I hate to admit it, it’s not *always* about me. Apparently.
Tall dude at work got a new chair. Which may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it is.
Mr. Russia sold an old iPhone for almost $200 – 1st generation. 4 years old. Holy cr@p!
Greg’s fiance got her new ring – the old one had much wrong with it (Thanks, Jared) so they had to get her a new one.
It’s possible that someone will be tendering his resignation here, in order to pursue what sounds like a very exciting new opportunity.
And one of my besties has a new gig that I can’t talk about, but it’s VERY exciting!!
And through it all, I’m celebrating with them. The best part for me – because I’ll make it about me if it kills me – is that where I normally would have a pang of jealousy and would think “When will it be *my* turn??”… That didn’t happen. I’m truly thrilled for each of these people and the wonderful events in their lives.
It’s so nice to hear the good stuff. There’s too much focus on the bad stuff in this world. So, today, I’m asking you to celebrate the good stuff – even the small things like a new chair. Let’s make the small wins more important for a while.
YAY for everyone!!!
Oh, hello! Come in. I made a full Irish breakfast for you today.
I just got back from Girls’ Weekend. What a blast!! But that’s not what I want to vent about today.
While I was away, I noticed something about myself that I don’t really like very much, so I want to change it.
At breakfast one morning, I was watching someone who was reading the Specials Board. She was complaining that something was “gross” and she couldn’t possibly eat it and she needed a menu instead. Whatever it was, it was something that she hadn’t tried before; yet she was sure it was gross and she wouldn’t like it and she couldn’t understand how anyone else could eat it.
So, full of righteous indignation, I turned to the K2Kid, with whom I was eating breakfast, and got myself all whipped up about what a jerk this girl was and why doesn’t she just try it and isn’t she just ridiculous.
Then I stopped.
And I caught what I was actually saying.
And I came to the realization that I was taking on the Judgey McJudgerson role. What the hell do I care if she doesn’t want to try something? How is her decision to NOT try something, in any way, shape or form, impacting me or my life, at all? Just because I am willing to try new things doesn’t make me better or worse (or anything else) than anyONE else. They like what they like and good for them.
I don’t like this superiority trait in myself. *I’m* the one who gets all whipped up. *I’m* the one who gets agita. *I’m* the only one who is negatively affected. The person, or situation, that I am judging, goes on about their business, happy as a lark, and none the wiser to my judgement. Who the hell do I think I am? There are SO MANY things about me that are available for judgement by others. Why don’t I focus on those things first? Get my own house in order, so to speak.
I asked the K2Kid to help me with this. I asked her to point out to me when I started to go off. There were a few times I caught myself before I went off. There were a few times she had to say to me “It doesn’t affect you” so that I would stop. It was eye-opening to me. And suitably humbling.
Change is hard.
Learning a new lesson is hard.
But I’m learning. It’s hard, but I’m learning.
Oh, hello! Come in and have a mini Twix bar. And tea.
I absolutely LOVE Valentine’s day. (No pun intended.)
It is my favorite holiday of the year. You would think (or should think) that I would hate it, because in all honesty, I have NO IDEA when it was that I actually had a “Valentine” to share it with. Seriously, no recollection. None. (Please wait while I break out into “All By Myself”…)
I’m back. Sorry about that.
I love to see people at work get flowers. I love to see all the cards out there. I get it that people think it’s just a holiday created by the card makers to sell more cards. And that “everyday should be a day to show someone you love them.”
And that is very true. But, guess what? It doesn’t happen. People get wrapped up in daily life and forget to tell the people in their life that they love them or that they are happy to have that person in their life or that they make them smile. So, why not take one day for that. This way, the next time the dog horks up a piece of a chew toy, or the kids are ripping curtains off the windows, you both can know that there is still love in the air.
Many, many moons ago, on Valentine’s day, there were big red hearts taped up throughout the city. A caper committed by “The Valentine Bandit”. No one knew who did it, and no one claimed responsibility, but it was a nice thing to do, and it brought smiles to peoples’ faces. Turns out that it was the police department doing it, and the tradition continues and has bled over into adjacent cities and towns. Personally, I love that.
So, if you are with someone, make an extra effort on Sunday to tell, or show, that person how you feel. If you already do that every day, keep it up. And if, like me, you will be alone this Sunday, do something to show YOURSELF that you are the most important person in your life. See a movie. Buy yourself flowers. Buy yourself a fancy coffee. But do something that brings a smile to either yourself or to someone else. There’s too much yuck out there. Start spreading a little love in your corner of the world.
Big hugs to you.
Oh, hello! Come on in and have some tea.
So I’ve written about Meg and Ali here a couple of times. And I am going to write about them again today. I swear I should be getting paid for this. Or something. (I’m looking at you Mr. Meg…)
I work with Mr. Meg, and his wife and her friend started the company. You can read about that part of it on the website. I had written a post about how great their shirts were, with the complaint that the shirts are made for teeny people. Seriously, an extra-large fits a size 10? WTF?
Since I shared that thought in a post, and with Mr. Meg, the info got filtered back to the ladies, and they researched new vendors – because big girls need peace signs too!! And guess what?? We can now buy these shirts!!! WOOHOO!!
They had an open house at their shop last night, and Mr. Meg “encouraged me to go. I hadn’t been to the shop, nor had I met Meg or Ali before. So before I gushed about them again, I wanted to see how things work. I put on my M&A hat, and went to see where the magic happened.
Turns out, the magic doesn’t happen at their shop any more. The good news is that they have grown to such a point that they have “people” for manufacture. (YAY!) I found out that while they still pick the fabric, local folks do the sewing and cutting, etc. So hooray to Meg and Ali for employing people close to home. It seems that it’s really quite a process to get these beautiful shirts made. The quality reflects that.
There are new products too. Don’t bother looking at the website for them yet. Their webmaster has yet to update that… (still looking at you, Mr. Meg. *stinkeye*) But look:
I have a green one. It’s soft and really comfortable. Another new product is:
The little leather piece that holds the ribbon between your toes is made locally too! YAY for local cows!!
There are belts too. And aprons. AND! When you buy something? They put it into a cloth bag. No plastic. Totally reusable. YAY for going green! (I tried to get a picture of that this morning too, but at 6:30 in the morning, in the semi-darkness, fighting off cats? Not so much.) (I bought a shirt. Coincidentally, it looks just like the one I put in the original post – brown with the blue peace sign.) (Yes, I had to pay for it…) (I KNOW!!)
OH! And about Meg and Ali, personally? ADORABLE!! But do you remember back in high school, there were those really pretty, thin, friendly girls who you REALLY wanted to hate, but couldn’t? Because they were nice and sweet and kind? So you just had to stand back in awe of them for their fabulousness? That’s Meg and Ali. They are petite, gorgeous, thin, friendly, and quite honestly, I find it a little annoying and not just a little unfair. No one should be able to have that much YAY going for them. Just kidding, ladies. You are wonderful. I wouldn’t keep going on about it if it weren’t true. Ask Mr. Meg. He’ll tell you.
Anyhoo. If you haven’t gone to the website, please stop by and check things out. I’ll keep on Mr. Meg to update the inventory list on the site (*stinkeye*) so that you can see.
I’m sorry to keep posting about Meg and Ali. But to see a local business succeed? It gives me hope for the future. And if I have even a teeny part in helping them? That’s great too.
Oh, hello! Come over here and get yourself some Christmas cookies. I haven’t been around for so long and now you all look a little peckish.
So, where have I been? I’m glad you asked.
After a heart-hurting post about Madame X, I needed a break. I couldn’t face writing some blather that meant nothing to me or to anyone else. I had had such high hopes to complete NaBloPoMo AND NaNoWriMo, but ended up not finishing either. I did cheer others on to success, albeit from my sofa, while in the fetal position.
I learned that I missed you all. (*heh* I say “you all” like there are millions of you who actually read this dreck). I thought about writing something, but just couldn’t do it. K2Kid none-too-subtly asked me if I had given up blogging altogether. (*waves* at K2Kid while also giving *stinkeye* and thanking her for the kick in the rear.)
So here I am. What’s new? Let’s see:
1. I am no longer under the Leg Jiggler’s domain. He has been reallocated to a different group, as have I. Hoorah!! He is still here, in the next cell, but the dynamic has changed. I now report to someone up in Canadia. Yep, that’s right, everyone’s favorite Gas ‘n Sip keeps getting bigger! Now you can call us the Gas ‘n Sip, Eh?
2. Out of the blue, my friends at MegandAli.com gifted me a hat to say thank you for “reviewing” them. I was so surprised, even though I secretly know that Mr. Meg (aka Frank) wants me to do some free advertising for them. But that’s okay. I really do like their stuff, and if my wearing a hat helps them to be successful, I’m happy to do that. The hat itself? A basic baseball cap, soft, with their familiar peace sign on the front. I wore it on one of my trips to Canadia, in fact. It was comfy and didn’t end up causing my head to itch like so many other hats can. Mr. Meg told me they have to update the site, but check out the hats if you get a chance.
3. I am not sure I have ever mentioned this before, but I hate, *hate*, the holidays. Hate. I wish I didn’t, but I honestly don’t remember a truly happy one. People get SO stressed, and SO ugly, and SO cranky at this time of year. There is pressure to have a *perfect* tree/house/outfit/family/dog/iguana, and it becomes just another chore. Plus, the fact that the stores start with the Christmas-related crap as early as July or August. Really? I would love nothing more than to make it just another day, with a pleasant family meal, where we get together and have fun with a game or something. No pressure. No “jeez, did I get everyone the “right” gift?” No “have I sent out the cards?” ENOUGH! Enough of the commercialism. I mean, really. Hey, stores: if you can “mark stuff down” by some percentage for “holiday sales”, chances are IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE TO BEGIN WITH!!! (I have to stop my rant here. My sinus pressure is killing me, and this rant and thinking about the holidays is giving me a headache. I’ll revisit the topic when I feel better. Maybe.)
4. I had myself another Madame X breakdown last night. I’m not sure where that came from because, as far as I know, nothing has changed about her condition. But, there I was anyway, in a pile on my bed, sobbing, nearly suffocating, and thinking about how much my life will be “less” without her there. Today, I am exhausted with very pretty, puffy, tired eyes trying to look at it from the perspective of how much better my life has been because she has been in it, and what a joy it has been to have her there, and with complete comfort that she will be looking out for me once the inevitable happens. Someone please keep reminding me of that.
5. The Biggest Loser. Yeah, I didn’t do my recap of the last 2 shows. A few reasons for that: 1. my meltdown; 2. no one read them; 3. I didn’t feel like it. A new season starts January 5, and I’ll be watching it. Without my computer.
I guess that’s it for now. I feel like I am starting this blog thing over from scratch. Baby steps. But I will try to not leave again for so long. I really did miss you.