You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2015.

Life will throw you curve balls.

This is an inevitability, no matter how much you try to have control. Control, I have learned, is ultimately just an illusion.

So, you do what you can. You just need to show up and try your best and trust you will be guided to exactly where you need to go.

Some weeks—hopefully the very weeks when the pitcher’s curve ball comes speeding past your ear—you find yourself surrounded by love and support and so, so much grace. Those are the times love builds a foundation underneath you. And you are lifted up, prepared to face whatever comes your way.

This week I learned how so very lucky I am to have people in my life who make me feel deeply loved.

I wish that for you, too.

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xo, with goodness and grace.

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I am not easy to get to know.

There are many reasons for this—I’ve given it lots of thought over the years—but mostly, it requires a certain amount of vulnerability. And I don’t do that well. Coupled with the fact that I’ve managed to create a life full of busy-ness, this is not always conducive to making deep friendships.

I thought about this yesterday, as I was having breakfast with my friend Kathryn. We worked together years ago and were friendly enough, the way coworkers sometimes are. When she left that job and moved away, we lost touch, until last year when she was coming to town and reached out to say hello and to see if I wanted to meet up for lunch.

We met and spent an afternoon walking around the city and catching up. In the span of a few hours, we developed a deep bond, the kind where someone sees you, hears you, understands you.

We’ve stayed in touch, and she’s reached out many times since whenever she’s in town.  I, of course, have been too busy to make a plan. All perfectly valid reasons for why I couldn’t be spontaneous.

Finally, this weekend, I had the time.

As we caught up yesterday over eggs and smoked salmon, she spoke animatedly about what was going on in her life.  At one point she paused.

“I gotta tell you,’ she began.  “I’m so glad we can stay in touch and get together, when there are so many reasons not to.”

It made me think.  How many opportunities have i missed to get to know someone because of my schedule?  Perhaps busy isn’t a good enough reason to not develop friendships.

But i also know it’s deeper than that.  Sometimes it’s easier to be busy than it is to be open.

After breakfast, we walked through Central Park before I left her where she was staying.  We talked about relationships.  At one point I said, “You know we’ll see a few brides today.”  There are always brides in Central Park, especially on a beautiful weekend day.

We said our goodbyes, and I ran some errands.  As I made my way back home, i once again walked through the park.  Sure enough, my prediction came true.

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I looked at that couple and thought, it takes a special kind of vulnerability to get married.  I wondered if I could ever be that unguarded, that open.

Maybe I could start with my friends.

And then I thought, friendships are just as important—sometimes more—than romantic relationships.  Maybe I could open up just a little bit more.   Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to try.

xo, with goodness and grace.

I never used to exit the building from the south side. I thought it would feel depressing or sad or uncomfortable.

Now, I seek its hush of peace.

The downtown neighborhood of my office is a work in progress. It’s not so much a neighborhood as it is a construction zone. At lunch time I walk north and away from the construction, into the neighborhood full of moms and children and office workers. I need to walk during the day, to step away from whatever I’m working on and to feel fresh air on my face.

It wasn’t until last week that I began walking through the 9/11 memorial area.  At first it seemed wrong—who wanted a reminder of that time every single day?  But then I noticed the bright green of the trees in first bloom, so I decided to keep going.

I could hear the quiet, even when it was crowded—and even when crowds of people were talking.  There’s a reverence in the air, a sacredness.  The light seems to fall differently, no matter what time of day.

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We rebuild, not what was, but for what we are to become. The nearby construction is the perfect metaphor for rebuilding all those areas of our lives where we took a wrong turn and felt the aftermath of destruction. We can begin again.

As I walk through the memorial, looking at the names of those lost on September 11, it hasn’t failed to put whatever worries on my mind into perspective. Not once. Its grace is a reminder we only have now.

Maybe it’s time to make the most of it.

xo, with goodness and grace.

It’s Sunday evening, and today is Mother’s Day. I spent the day hanging out with my mom. We ate, we watched TV, we ate some more. I love my mother. I’ve always recognized how fortunate I am to be so close to my family, to have people in my life who would literally do anything for me.

But as I scrolled through all of my friends’ social media posts today, with idealized versions of their mothers and what today means, I kept thinking how complicated life can be. I kept thinking of the things that lie in the shadows, all the things we don’t say. And my heart broke a little thinking about the people who cannot sum up their feelings in 140 characters or in the caption of a photo throwing back to their younger years.

In the last few days, strangers—store cashiers, restaurant servers, bus drivers—have ended interactions with me with three cheery words.

Happy Mother’s Day.

I do not have children.

Now, these well wishes did not bother me. I knew each of the people meant well. But, their words did make me understand how complex our lives are and how varied our experiences.

There are women who are mothers, yet mourn the simpler times before their children were born. There are women who long to have children, yet know from years of medical procedures this will likely not come to pass. There are women who have disdain for their mothers, because their mothers did not know how to mother them in the all the ways people need to be loved. There are women who have lost their mothers, who will never get over the pain of not being able to share another Mother’s Day with them. I have known all of these women.

But the truth is, we all mother something. We care for ourselves, our friends, nieces and nephews, strangers in need. And, we all give birth to something, whether through creativity or creating a home or making a life, we all make something from nothing.  We all bring life and energy and love into the world every single day. That has to matter for something. This, too, should be celebrated.

So, for all of you who don’t have the words to describe today, who feel less than, who feel lonely and not worthy of a day dedicated to you, hear this:  you matter.

You and all of the love bursting in you matters.  You have mothered things into this world.  You have loved things into being.  And you will continue to do this, because it’s the essence of who you are.

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And, you are loved.

xo, with goodness and grace.

I walked onto the elevator in my apartment building, beginning my journey to work. As the door opened, I heard the woman inside heave an exasperated sigh. As I strode on, one foot barely in the elevator car, she angrily pressed the “door close” button.

Lucky for me, I got in before the door closed. But this was not quickly enough for the woman. She shook her head and looked down at her watch.

We’re all in such a hurry.

I could tell you how rude the woman was and how I took her impatience personally, but the truth is I’ve been that person.  I understand her. I’ve been her more times than i would like to acknowledge.

This, too often, is city life. In a hurry to get from one place to another. In a hurry to make it happen. We often don’t know what that is, but we do know we have to get there—now.

Last week, I got hurt. I did something awful to my tailbone and could hardly move for a few days. This was awful in many ways. There was also an unexpected benefit.

I was forced to slow down.

Instead, I noticed how the world has gone pink.  Nature, emerging from the harsh gray and brown of winter, has blossomed into a range of pastels of soft, girly blush and fiery fuchsia.

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It’s not that I just observed this—the last two posts will show you that—but now, I could feel this burst of energy permeate through me.

Because I was in pain, I had to slow down my normal hurried pace. I began to walk slowly and take carefully measured steps. I felt the brisk air on my face and took notice of how the breezes made the budding trees sway.  Not speed walking through my morning, I saw how quickly everyone moved. I saw how everyone was lost in their phones or in their thoughts. I saw a city of people who have learned to pay no attention to the humanity around them.

I want to make a better effort at paying attention.

I took my time getting to work, and a funny thing happened. I still arrived on time, if not before. I noticed I was less stressed as I sat down at my desk, and less stressed throughout the day. Though I was in physical discomfort, I felt more at ease.

Does this mean my life is changed and I won’t rush around anymore? No. But it does mean I know there’s a better way.

Sometimes it takes some pain to be awakened to something better.

xo, with goodness and grace.

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