I remembered one of them when I went to stir my coffee this morning. Yesterday, I accidentally grabbed the spoon backwards and decided to try and stir my coffee with the indentation of the spoon faced in the opposite direction that I was stirring. It was unnatural and foreign. It felt all wrong. I tried to convince my head that the milk would be stirred into my coffee just as effectively but my hand did not believe it. I had to finish the job by 'doing it right'. I wonder how many little quirks (that are just-as-mundane) rule my life.
Try it. Stir something with the spoon facing the wrong way. I'll wait.
See? Weird, isn't it?
Sometime in and around the time of my deep and meaningful coffee stirring moment, my best-friend-from-forever-ago called me and we (really!) had a deep and meaningful conversation.
I'm not talking about coffee stirring here. I'm talking 'real'.
I confessed my sins-of-the-past to her. My imperfectness rose to the top of the heap the day prior and I felt like such a fraud to those-who-know-me-well. "No one knows this part about me! But it was me and part of who I was, is part of who I am..." I think that we probably all have little parts and pieces of themselves that is forgotten and rarely (if ever) rises to the forefront of our minds. I like to keep myself in check and I seem to have a habit of continually remembering and reminding myself of my (many) imperfections.
I confessed one of these sins to my friend yesterday and do you know what? It sounded worse in my head than it did when it fell off of my tongue. Do you know what else? My friend listened to my confession like I was telling her what I have probably told her a million times before. None of us are perfect. Everyone has little parts and pieces that don't come out into the forefront of their lives, that aren't talked about. And because my friend has walked by my side through almost forty years of friendship, she knows who I am is due to the evolution of who I was. She reminded me that I was human. And asked me what I would think of her if she told me the same thing.
Why do we forgive everyone else so easily but we don't forgive ourselves?
Now that was deeper than the backwards spoon stirring moment. I knew there was some depth in my day.
My friend and I talked about everything and nothing. We listened to each other with pure and utter forgiveness and understanding. We talk about the deepest and darkest corners of our lives. We always have. We always will. And after (almost) forty years, I really doubt that our friendship is in jeopardy because of who we once were.
I lived my Daycare Day and discovered something very early in the day. I believe that children are begging to find their limits and are comforted with rules, routine and expectations.
One of my Little People is going on vacation today, after only two days of me returning from my vacation. She will be gone for close to three weeks. So I was walking on eggshells with her. I wanted to make these 'two days back' feel light and easy so that she would be happy to return after her holiday. But do you know what? Her behaviour was (almost) atrocious. Day #1, I tried to let things slide off my back. But three minutes into Day #2, I thought "NO MORE!" I gave her a few chances to come around on her own but when it didn't happen, on the third strike she was out.
She had a time out in the kitchen and her screaming could (probably) be heard a block away. And that is with the doors and windows closed. She had some major frustrations to air. And she aired them. Repeatedly.
I didn't react to her reaction and simply let her vent. Oh, and I turned up the music really loud so that she (may) have thought that I couldn't hear her. Sometimes, I am really only a three-year-old taking care of another three-year-old. Honestly (these are the things that I confess to my friend-who-knows-everything-about-me).
And do you know what? It worked.
My little (almost) three-year-old came out of her time out and the little girl that I know and love returned and the little foreigner who was determined to defy kindness from the day that preceded yesterday? She was gone like the wind.
So there you have it. That was my day.
In summary ...
- Try doing something-that-you-do-every-day just a little bit differently today. I hear that it helps rewire your brain. Besides, it feels kind of cool and makes one wonder about small things.
- Talk openly to someone you know and trust. Tell them the little things that are weighing you down. Get them off your chest. It is the best weight-reduction-plan that I know of. And it feels wonderful.
- Forgive yourself as easily as you forgive others. If you do not forgive others easily, try it. It helps with that weight that is sitting (unnecessarily) upon your shoulders.
- Set limits. Others respect you for it but more importantly, you are respecting yourself when you impose a 'line in the sand' that you will not allow others to cross.
- Vent your frustrations when necessary. If you don't want anyone else to hear it, turn up the radio really, really loud. It lets you be free to be you and sometimes .... we just need to be loved no matter who we are.
- Liking is optional. Loving is easy. It is looking at the world and remembering that we all came into it as perfect human beings. Trying to blend in and please all of these other imperfect beings messes us up. Remember that. Be true to yourself and you will be true. (that is a new point that was invented because of my previous point; sorry it doesn't relate well to my story telling that preceded it).
- Do your best. If you always do your best, you will not have to forgive yourself for the times the best you once were isn't up to your new standard.
In closing, I will try to remember the three mantras that my Very Good Friend lives by:
- This too, shall pass
- When we know better, we do better
- What will be, will be (and some things are meant to be)
I think that I may have invented a few of those in my hurry to remember our conversation. I may have to check with my Wise Friend and come back later to edit her wisdom. I may be getting wiser by the day but this is necessary because I tend to remember less. Thankfully I am always absorbing as I go.
And with that Great Wisdom, comes a new day. Go out and just do your best with it. It is all that any of us can do. Any day.