Thursday, February 21, 2013

More Little Things?

I think that one of the things I find myself struggling with sometimes is finding the ability to stop and really appreciate the small things on a regular basis.  There will be moments when I am struck by something so simple, yet so overwhelming that I stop and say "Now this is beautiful".  Sometimes a late summer evening will be just exactly right, the right temperature, the right smell in the air, the sky just the right color and I will stop in that moment and really appreciate what I am seeing, but those moments don't happen often.  I find it difficult to stop and appreciate the small things in every day life.  Maybe it's because a lot of the time my life is going in a million directions at once, so I fail to slow down and pay attention to some of the remarkable things that are probably happening on a daily basis.  It could also be that I get so wrapped up in what has gone wrong on any given day that I forget to recognize the things that have gone right.  I just think about what I didn't accomplish, or what I didn't do as well as I would have liked.  Sometimes I can be very single minded, and very task oriented.  I always think "I can't do this until after I finish this..." and sometimes that makes me a really annoying person to be around.  It makes spontaneity a bit difficult, and if I'm interrupted in a task, or I have a timeline to follow that gets thrown off, all I can think about is what I should be doing.  That may mean that even if I'm interrupted by something fun, I can't actually let myself have fun because I keep thinking about the list I had in my head.

On one hand, this makes me super efficient in tasks.  I can scrub a bathroom top to bottom in 30 minutes, including the tub, so when we have company over it's really nice to be that efficient.  But, most of the time, it just means that I'm not paying attention to anything but my tasks.  I sometimes read blogs by people who find comfort and beauty in little mundane every day stuff.  People who actually appreciate the feel of bread dough as they knead it, or see all of the moments in a day that are filled with beauty.  They see wool socks and it's they're not just utilitarian items for keeping feet warm, they're something lovely and to be appreciated.  It's not like I'm not grateful for anything, it's just that I don't stop and see the loveliness and beauty in every day stuff.  I don't stop and smell the roses, so to speak.  Socks are socks.  They keep your feet warm.  I guess what I'm saying is that I need to figure out a way to see a sock as more than just a sock, without over romanticizing the whole thing.  I need to find more joy in the small things.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Things That Make Me Happy Today

  1. Tea
  2. Warm Scarves
  3. Baking
  4. The idea of Spring
  5. Hot showers
  6. Freshly cleaned bathroom
  7. The smell of freshly washed sheets
  8. Ronan's pouty face
  9. A house full of laughter
  10. Fancy grilled cheeses

Monday, February 4, 2013

All the Rusted Edges


I often find that when there are big questions, or big conversations to be had in live, the Green brothers seem to hit the nail on the head every time.  Last week I was watching this video that Hank posted about friendship and making friends.  He had a comment about how friendship is about seeing past that pretty and clean front we put up for everyone, and taking a look at the rusted edges of people and liking them anyway.  I think he has a good point.  It's easy to like someone on a superficial level, and I think that's probably why a lot of people never progress past that superficial, fun person face with those around them.  It takes a lot of courage to show those rusted edges and I think there's a certain amount of fear associated with being that open with another individual. I think it's a two way street though.  I think if a person is brave enough to show all of those rusted edges to another person, the other person has a certain amount of responsibility to respect that bravery and also to not add to the rust, regardless of whether they decide they still like that person or not.

We're all a tempest under the surface, at some level.  We're all fighting our own mighty battles, and some may be larger than others, but for each person I'm sure it feels large no matter what.  I agree with Hank that being able to see those rusted edges and still like that other person is a rare quality.  It's hard to see a person with all of their flaws exposed and still say "It's ok, I like who you really are anyway".  I think that because we have such a hard time accepting people who are not like us, or who have problems that we can't relate to, or people who struggle to fix the problems they have, we find it easier to try to change them.  The problem with that is that sometimes they don't need changed, and even if they do it's not the job of an external individual to force that change on someone else.  People are fragile creatures, and no one wants to be molded into what someone else thinks they should be.  I think support and love go a lot further in helping someone than just telling them that they're a big mess.  I think deep down, everyone knows they're a big mess.  They don't need their flaws reflected and magnified for them, they just need someone to say "Yeah, you have a battle to fight.  Let me pick up a sword and help you out".  And each person accepts help differently, and needs different kinds of help.  It's a very tricky thing to help someone who is struggling.  It's very easy to make them feel broken, insignificant, ridiculed, and weak.  I think the good friend is the one who says "This is a rough patch.  You'll get through it, and when you do you'll still be you on the other side, just a happier you". 

Plus, it's entirely possible that you see the rusted edges and decide that you don't really like or care about a person as much as you thought you did.  It's fine to realize that some people aren't good for each other as friends.  It's not ok to turn it into the fault of any one individual involved.  If someone was brave enough to show you their flaws, it's not ok to blame them for being too messed up and saying that's why your friendship died.  It's not ok to add to the rust.  Just be realistic and say that you're not compatible, because it's a big world and not everyone is going to get along all the time.  It just doesn't seem right to me that anyone should be so cruel as to take someone they've seen as broken and break them even more.

I think I've just been rolling this subject over in my mind since I watched the video last week.  I just keep thinking about how humans are pretty awful to each other most of the time.  On the whole, humanity can be really terrible to itself, and people in this world all seem to think themselves superior to something or someone else.  We have this need to feel like we're better than this or that or whatever.  I just think that maybe we're not all compatible.  Maybe we're not all meant to get along and be completely happy and content with each other individual on this planet, but I think we could be a little kinder to everyone.  I think we could all stand to be better friends, and as a result, we might all be able to be better as a human race.  I don't know why we feel the need to make something else hurt so that we can feel superior.  I don't know anyone who isn't guilty of this, and it makes me sad.  Maybe I'm idealistic and maybe I'm completely stupid, but it just seems if we could at least start by not adding to the rust in each other, maybe we'll stop rusting.