Thursday, August 2, 2012

...sAviNg gRaCe...

We all have those days.  Some are worse than others.  You know, the ones where nothing seems to go right.  It's interesting how small acts in the middle of one of those days can either make the day feel unsalvagable or make it totally manageable...maybe even a little better.  It's like a saving grace.  It's nothing that is OWED to you, but it's more like a gift from out of nowhere.  I experienced this today and it made me think about my own interactions with people.

Today has felt like the day that will never end.  At times, I've wondered how I would get all the places I needed to go and anticipated what the next thing to go wrong would be.  When I ran into Subway to buy sandwiches for my kids before I had to rush off to go see my oldest daughter sing in a recital, it didn't surprise me at all when things went wrong.  When I went to pay, I realized that I had left my wallet on my table in the entryway of my house when I took it out to pay a tow truck driver.  I felt the surge of frustration and stress welling up inside me as I explained that I would leave the sandwiches and be right back to pay.  I expected the men working to be annoyed or disinterested at the very least, but I was wrong.  One smiled at me and said, "Take the sandwiches.  It sounds like you are having a tough day and I don't want them to get cold.  Then, you can come back and pay.  I've seen you in here and I know you'll be back."  A wash of relief came over me.  I was STILL without my wallet, and this was STILL going to make me run behind, but that small gesture of kindness and the kindness that I was shown somehow made it not feel so bad.

As I drove home, I thought about what had happened.  I wondered why a complete stranger...a man that I probably have nothing in common with...was willing to trust me and offer a "lending hand" to me.  It made me think of this quote by philosophy:  
"grace is one simple act that makes an amazing impact. one compliment, one lending hand, one thoughtful gesture. all it takes is one second of your day to make an impression that can last a lifetime."   
That's exactly what it was...grace.  I thought about how differently I would've felt had he been annoyed or treated me badly.  But MORE importantly, I wondered what I would've done if I were on the other side of the counter.  
It reminded me that even the smallest gesture can make a difference and it changed me a little.  Lately, I've been pretty caught up in my own feelings and fears about the future.  I've experienced the sting of disappointment and almost felt like I had the right to be bitter.  Today was a little wake up call.  What happened in that Subway, gave me the desire to look outside myself and my own suffering.  I decided that the next time things aren't going well for another person, I want to do my part to make people feel better around me rather than thinking about how another's misfortune might impact meMaybe then, I can be someone's "saving grace."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


There are things in life... feelings...disappointments...experiences that are indescribable.  The first time your heart gets broken...catching a person in a lie...having someone you look up to not be worthy of that position...realizing that you love someone that doesn't love you back...hearing you have a serious illness...these are just a few of those things.  In that moment, it's almost as if time stand still temporarily.  You can be the the most talented writer with the best vocabulary and sometimes there just are no words that do a situation justice or adequately describe the level of hurt or sadness it may bring.

I've often wondered why we all feel the need to tell each other that we understand.  Because as much as I hate it, I've done this very thing myself.  Is it because it's easier to say those words than to really DO something?  Is it because we are responsible?  Is it because we are too lazy or afraid to figure out what to do?  Is it because we think it somehow heals the hurt of another person to just say the words?  Maybe we do to a certain extent, but do we REALLY, FULLY understand how another feels?  I believe the answer is no.

We all have different "backdrops"...different "actors"...different points of view in the "play" of our lives, and so try as we might...I do not believe that any of us can ever truly understand how another person feels especially when it's an emotion or situation that is indescribable.  Maybe we would be better served to take the time to figure out what we can do that is in no way self serving to SHOW people that we care.  Maybe we should be a little less lazy and a lot more think of people not AFTER the fact, but before.  Maybe we should learn to be brave and not run from things that hurt.  Maybe we need less talking and more DOing in our lives.   Maybe then we wouldn't need to say "I understand" because the people we truly care about...would know.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

..."Love Story"...

I never have the TV on in the morning, but I fell asleep without putting the sleep timer on last night so when I woke up...the TV was still on and I never turned it off because it was quiet noise in the background of my room as I did some work on my computer.  It was nice to get a break from my usual silence...nice to hear "conversation" even if it came in the form of interviews on The Today Show.

I didn't pay much attention but as I got up to feed the cat that was "crying" at my feet...there was interview beginning with Ryan O'Neal about his new memoir that he had written about his life and love affair with Farrah Fawcett.  He described it as his real life "Love Story".  As much as I deny it and hate it, I am a secretly hopeless romantic and I was immediately sucked in.  It was fascinating to me to watch him speak.  It was strange and sweet and disconnected and present.  He was honest about what a turbulent relationship they had.  There were stories about fights that escalated violently at times, but then he talked about her with such tenderness and love.  He looked so far away when he spoke of how much he misses her and how their relationship evolved in the end before she died.
As they flashed pictures of him and Farrah on the screen and I listened to him talk, my mind wandered for a moment.  I don't like to fight with people I love.  I'm not a fan of unhealthy or violent relationships, but I just couldn't help but think about how sometimes the most impossible kind of that can make you crazy in good and bad ways...can be so hard to find.  I'm not talking about the kind of love that you can force.  I'm not talking about the kind of love that makes sense or is easy.  I'm not talking about the kind of love that comes up as "compatible" when you read your horoscope.  I'm talking about the kind that is just there with some people...even when the odds are against you...or you are at different points in your life.  It's the kind of love where your mind tells you that the practical, right, respectable thing to do is walk away, but your heart and soul beg you not to.
 I don't have the answers, but I have lots of questions.  Is it better to have reliable, practical love that makes sense?  Is it better to have a relationship that is healthy and sturdy, but has no excitement and little passion?  Or is it better to have love that tests your limits and makes no sense on paper?  I guess the perfect love is somewhere in between, but it seems to be so elusive.  I don't know how to get it or even if I'm worthy, but I do know what I want.
 I want someone that loves the challenges that come with me being a little difficult and high maintenance at times.  I want someone that appreciates my strength but also allows me to be weak and need them sometimes.   I want someone that thinks my quirky ways are cute.  I want someone that appreciates the fact that I will always tell you like it is and I will insist expect you stretch to become the best you can be...for me and for yourself.  I want someone that values my fierce loyalty and realizes how unusual it is these days.  I want someone that challenges me and even says "NO" sometimes.  I want someone that impressed with my ability to argue like an experienced attorney when I feel truly passionate about something or when I desperately need to feel understood.  I want someone that I can feel safe sharing my weakness with and that I can lie in bed and laugh with in the dark.  I want someone that will miss me terribly when I'm gone.  I don't know if I'll ever have my real life "Love Story", but somewhere deep inside...I still have a tiny glimmer of hope that I will. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

...LiFe iS nOt LiKe tHe mOviEs...

It's a very rare occasion for me to just sit during the day and watch a movie.  It feels so wasteful to me because I'm always so busy and I'm never really caught up with work.  So...because I've worked really, REALLY hard for the past week, I decided to give myself the luxury of climbing under my favorite quilt, on my bed, on a rainy Saturday afternoon to watch a movie.  I'm not a super picky person when it comes to movies.  If they entertain me in any way...I like them.  I watched a romantic comedy and when it was over, my house was dark and quiet and I started to think about life and how different real life is from life in the movies.

In real life, friendships break up...and many times they can't be fixed.  In real life, chemistry and love aren't always enough to make another person want you as much as you want them.  In real life, cheaters win...and bullies never get beat up and left to run home crying.  In real life, mean girls grow up to be mean women.  In real life, some crushes are never confessed.  In real life, kisses in the pouring rain never happen, and if they did...your hair would look crazy and your makeup would smear.  In real life, people that are deserving and talented sometimes never see true success because they never catch their one big break.  In real life, there is no perfect soundtrack playing in the background.  Real life is just that. It's real...and many times, it's confusing and sometimes it's hard.
I pride myself on my realistic view of life, but for a moment I found myself wishing that life were a little more like the movies.  I wish I could write a script and make people say all the right things.  I wish I could lend people my script so they could see how I really feel and know that I care even when I pretend that I don't.  I wish I had a stunt double to do all the scary and uncomfortable things for me.  I wish there were retakes and blooper reels that could be tossed aside.  I wish there was someone else there to "direct" me and make sure that I get my happy ending but there's not.  I have to face disappointments and heartache, and I have to live not knowing how my story will end.  Even though it would be nice to be guaranteed a perfect story and a happy ending...I'm grateful that life is real.  I'm glad that I get to experience all different types of emotions.  I appreciate the twists and turns and ups and downs.  My life may not be like the movies, but it's MY life and everyday is a new adventure and a new chance to be tested.