I'm 12 again. At the office with my mother, playing on her computer while she finishes up some work. I haven't gone to the vend area for hot chocolate just yet but I'm sure I will.
Quick thoughts I want to discuss later:
1) Creation v. destruction
2) Finding Neverland
4) The Tsunami
I know, it's a lot to talk about. Later though, I have to go make copies for Mom.
I know, I'm a couple days early but I just sat with my husband, Steve, for the past hour or so and opened presents. We'll be leaving in the morning to fly to Orlando to be with family for the holiday so instead of dragging our gifts to each other down there, we opened tonight. It was fun.
He amazes me. He gave me boots - I needed some boots. He gave me a book of letters written by Ronald Reagan and a ww.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0684807610/002-1790216-8163241?v=glance">book about Ben Franklin - because I mentioned a while back that I wanted to read more biographies. I’ll let you know what I think of them. He gave me a pink sweater, and some other tops. These were all good things. I was thrilled. It being our first Christmas as a married couple (at least to each other), you never really know what you are going to get. Could be pretty bad. I don't need to explain that, you know what I’m talking about.
Then I opened my final gift from him. It was in a HUGE box wrapped in red paper. The box was extraordinarily heavy. I ripped at the paper and dug through the tape. Inside was a 20 lb weight and a small blue plastic bag. Fooler.
Inside the small plastic bag was a stack of cards. Christmas cards. Not just the cheapo ones either, but real life Hallmark, gold sticker on the envelope cards. I pulled them out as he was saying to me, "My big gift to you, honey, is words."
Now, this is significant. Why? Because it tells me he knows me. It tells me he understands my "lovelanguages"> It tells me he cares. I'm looking across the room right now at that stack of cards. There must be 12 to 15 cards over there. Each card has a pre-written message, of course, but in each card, he's written something. Something meaningful, significant, powerful. He’s filled the empty space of the cards and sometimes written right on top of the pre-written words. He’s written words of acknowledgement, words of understanding, words of love and passion. Words. Words. Words.
He’s that kind of man.
It reminded me again that written words are very powerful things. Written words have started and ended wars.Written words have started and ended relationships.Written words got me into college and written words ended my first marriage. Written words have the ability to change opinion, impact behavior and touch souls.
I’m not going to lie to you; I’ve had a hard week.I felt the power of words in many ways this week.I was wounded by words.There were words this week that made me cry and played over and over in my head for a few days.There were words that made me question my worth, my impact and my decisions.I’ll take sticks and stones any day.
And then, after all of that, wrapped in blue plastic and sealed in white envelopes I found words that healed me.
That’s the power of the written word.
Sure makes that billfold I got him pale in comparison, huh?
I used to know a guy named Jason.Jason once told me a story.The story changed my life. The story goes like this:
Jason was in kindergarten.He was sitting on the floor in a circle with the other 5 year olds in his class.The teacher was asking each tot what they wanted to be when they grew up.Pretty typical conversation to have with a 5 year old. Mary (2 kids to the left of Jason) said she wanted to be a ballerina. Jennifer (sitting uncomfortably close to Jason) said she wanted to be a doctor.Jason piped up that he wanted to be the president.And Jeff – who sat immediately to Jason’s right, said he wanted to be a fire truck.
“A fireman?” asked Mrs. Fries hopefully.
<"No.” came the reply, “a fire truck.”
At this point in telling the story, Jason – now in his 30s and no where close to being president, of anything – leaned in and said, “Now, even at 5 I had a pretty good idea I might not be president … but I KNEW Jeff would never be a fire truck.”
and we all laughed.
What? You don’t think this story would change your life?Keep reading.
I think Mrs. Fries question was wrong. Common, but wrong. I think – because of Mrs. Fries and our parents and society in general - we spend much too much time trying to figure out what we are going to be and not who we are going to be.In fact, I think we take it even further.We think more about what we are going to do than what we are going to be and even less thinking about who we are going to be.Who we are going to be …you know, when we are grown up.
There is a big difference between do and be.There is a bigger difference between who and what. Take one minute right now and think about it.Who are you going to be? This question is one of the first things I ask people when they come to me for coaching and advice.“Let me ask you something,” I say.They nod, ready to be open and honest.“Who do you want to be?”Without fail, they will begin to answer another question all together.“I don’t know!” they will say.“I guess I want to continue working as a such and such but I’ve often thought maybe I could be a so-and-so.”Or they will say “Well, I’m really good at my job as a yadda-blah, I want to keep doing that, I guess.”And then I slowly shake my head and smile.“No, no,” I say, “I don’t really want to know what you want to DO.Try again.”And I ask, “Who do you want to BE?”And we both sit dumbfounded.
How about you?Can you answer the question?Try it.Let me know how it goes.This story may change your life.
I was standing in the lobby of my childhood church. Wait, they aren't called lobbies at church, are they? What are they ...that word ... vestibule? Yes, I was standing in the vestibule of my church. I was looking at a sapphire and diamond ring on the finger of Nancy Smith. I was sort of turning her hand this way and that admiring the gold and the gems. I was listening to her say "yes, I bought that for myself last month when I reached 21 and hadn't gotten a single traffic ticket."
It was a really pretty ring.It was tasteful and looked good on her.I was impressed with her – for setting a goal and keeping it and for not relying on someone else to give her an award.I didn’t tell her any of this.Mostly because I was thinking: Wow, 21! She’s old!
I was 15.
There are a number of events like this scattered throughout my childhood. Events where I can remember thinking: man, he/she is really old! Or: he/she acts really old, or: …looks really old or …dresses really old or …dances.... well you get the point.
Usually he/she was somewhere in their early 20s. My perspective was skewed.
Looking back, I think I was using “old” to mean “grown up.”But I didn’t really know what grown up meant.Everyone was grown up.He has a car = grown up.She has a bank account = grown up.She has an opinion about politics that is different from her parents = grown up.But were they really grown up?I don’t know.
I do know that when I hit my early 20s I didn’t feel grown up.I had my own car. I had my own bank account.I had my own opinions – and most of them started with a curse word.But I didn’t feel grown up.When you were grown up, you knew what to do.When you were grown up, people threw curve balls at you and you knew instinctively how to smack them out of the park.When you were grown up, you might not understand what was happening but you still handled it with grace and aplomb. When you were grown up you would know how to handle difficult times and how to come through it all with flying colors.When you were grown up, you were different. When you were grown up, you were okay.
I am now 35 and due to various events in my life today, I, maybe for the first time, am feeling like a grown up. Not because I finally have difficult circumstances – they’ve been around for a while, but because I think I finally am handling them like an adult.Misunderstanding? You bet. Curve ball? A wicked one at that. Difficult situation? You have no idea.
Aplomb? … the fact that I even know the word should tell you.
Mark it on your calendars, folks. Today I am a grown-up.
Sapphire and diamond ring? Check with me tomorrow, there is a Tiffany’s on my way home.
I love dogs. Growing up, we always had dogs. I can't imagine life without them. I can remember every dog we ever had and I especially remember Nick. Nick was a Lab/German Shepard mix. I adored him. I can remember going and picking him out. I can remember bringing him home. I remember setting up his bed and feeding him baby cereal because he was too little to eat anything else. And I can remember my dad threatening to take him out in the middle of nowhere and leaving him for dead when he bit my neighbor in the crotch.
This post isn't about dogs.
I sit here with mixed emotions. I finally have a blog - one I’m paying for - and I'm happy about it. I know it is going to be a great thing. And although I am energized about having a blog of my own, I sort of feel like I just got a new puppy. I knew other people that had one and they were so great to visit. The thought of it was so exciting.I couldn’t wait to pick it out and fix it up to be my very own. Now that I have it though, I’m realizing I have a lot of responsibility. I have to take care of it - nearly everyday. I have to pay attention to it. I have to think about it when I go on vacation. And when people visit, it is a reflection of me - my skills, my thoughts, my beliefs. That’s heavy stuff.
Hopefully my blog won't pee on the rug or bite you in the crotch. I’m not making any promises.