Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Sometimes it’s hard.
Sometimes putting one foot in front of the other is the best you can do.
Sometimes just standing still in the current of your life is the best you can do.
Sometimes not falling down is the best you can do.
Sometimes truth hits you like a 2 x 4 in the face.
Sometimes it trickles in.
Sometimes you can only accept it one little bit at a time
But sometimes it all seeps in.
And sometimes you have to accept it.
Sometimes you have to act, even if you know the outcome will not be what you want.

Sometimes you have to accept that what you want is not what you need.
Sometimes what you need is far simpler than you ever dreamed.
Sometimes you have to let go to hang on.
Sometimes you have cry.
Sometimes you have to laugh.
Sometimes you have to bang your head against the wall.
Sometimes you have to bang someone ELSE’s head against the wall.
Sometimes you have to accept that banging someone else’s head against the wall is not really your job.
Sometimes you have to wait for life to be their Great Teacher.

Sometimes you have to look for your blessings.
Sometimes you have to get a new blessings bucket because yours has overflowed.
Sometimes you have to look at your trials with new eyes to see how they fit in your buckets of blessings.
Sometimes you have to wait.
Sometimes you have to breathe.
Sometimes life isn’t what you want.

Sometimes people aren’t who you want them to be.
Sometimes YOU aren’t who you want to be.
Sometimes you keep going, anyway.

And sometimes you smile.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

From a bench at the mall...

I saw a delicate brown-eyed little girl, barely toddling.  She bent to examine something shiny, and I wanted to tell her to remember this moment.  I wanted her to appreciate that the wonder of the little things fades as we grow, and that the shiny of a coin would become commonplace, and that she would forget.  She would forget to be amazed.  And I wanted her to remember this moment in her heart.

I saw, through the store window, another girl of 10.  She danced to the video game, and I wanted to tell her to remember this moment too.  Someday, she might be a gawky teen or even adult, and she would be too embarrassed for the world to see her try.  So I wanted her to remember this moment of complete lack of self-consciousness.  I wanted her to remember what it was to dance and not care who knew.

I saw a group of high school girls, giggly and yet pretending to be grown-up.  I wanted to tell them to remember this moment… that friendship and time to connect would not always come this easily. I wanted them to know how lucky they were to have each other, to have people they enjoyed to do life with.  I wanted them to appreciate the laughter and the good times and to hold their friendships sacred. Too easily lost, too often thrown away.  And I wanted them to remember what it is they played with.

I saw a young mom, tired and worn out, as her child wouldn’t be consoled.  I wanted to tell her to remember this moment too.  I wanted her to know that it was okay, that children sometimes just cry.  I wanted her to remember the times when she could fix everything with a  cookie and a band-aid… that someday, the scrapes and bruises of the knees would become wounds of the heart and slightly less treatable with chocolate chips and strips of cotton.  I wanted her to remember the chubby arms around her neck and the sticky kisses on her cheeks.  I wanted her to know that this, too, shall pass.  But that this applies to the sticky kisses as well as the crying through the mall, and to appreciate where she was right in that moment.

As I drove home, I realized it wasn’t them I wanted to tell.  It was me.

I wanted to remember what it was to be amazed by the smallest of things. I wanted to remember what it was to dance, to not care who was watching me, to act without inhibition. I wanted to remember the gift of friendship and I wanted to give it the respect it deserves. I wanted to remember when everything could be fixed with graham crackers and a mother’s kiss.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

There's a song for that.

Isn't music a magical wonderful thing?  I was thinking about how blessed we are to have it.  I can think of nothing else that is so universal in its ability to heal, encourage, motivate, and inspire.  I love how there is music for everything... whether you want it to reflect where you are in this moment or if you want it to spur you onto something different, there is a song that fits where you are and what you need.  

Just got dumped and want to cry?  There's a song for that.

In love and want the world to know?  There's a song for that.

Totally pissed off?  There’s a song for that.

I recently came out of a season of hurt.  It doesn't really matter what for, just that it hurt.  All those peppy songs that were on my playlist needed to go.  It was like they were taunting me in their very delight with life.  Off they went, and in their place came a set of music that spoke to the hurting heart.   I don’t know why, but there’s something just a bit exquisite about twisting that knife one turn more, isn’t there?  It’s not that it feels good, but there’s a sense of savoring the pain.  My, that sounds masochistic.  It’s not really that. They say that it’s our trials that build our character.  That’s all nice and cliché, but I think maybe it’s tasting that very hurt that allows us to push past it.

Sometimes I wonder why, when we’re going through hard times, we seek out that music that allows us to wallow just a bit… because we do.  It seems that it would be better for us to jump to that which would motivate us to climb out of it.  But, it’s not the wallowing really. I find it’s more the comfort of knowing that somewhere, at some time, even if just for the time it took them to write that song, there was someone who understood what you felt. There is reassurance in that, in knowing that you aren’t alone.

A couple weeks of wallowing and I found that I didn’t really so much need that reassurance anymore, and the songs I found myself playing were ones that spoke of healing, of surviving, of moving forward.  There are songs for this, too, when you come to the point where you can move away from protecting the hurt, where you’ve emerged from your turtle shell to go on.  (ha!  See what I did there??)  I always appreciate music so much during this part of the healing. 

“Climbing out” seems to describe the process so well.  You start up the incline to the top, but there are always those moments where you want to give up.  It’s too hard, you can’t do it, and there’s the inclination to give up and fall back to the bottom.  Sure, it’s dark and cold down there, but you don’t have to work so hard.  Admittedly, I don’t really do a lot of climbing out of holes in my real life, so I suppose I can’t compare accurately.  But it SEEMS like it would be a good metaphor.  Right, so you’re wanting to give up… and it’s at these moments when you just can’t go on anymore that music is so valuable.  It becomes that friend at your side that says “keep going… you’re almost there.”  And combined with the REAL friends saying the same thing, it makes reaching the top quite attainable.

And now, here we are at the top.  I look behind me at the six weeks that came before and I’m grateful for the music that got me through.  Thank you, my melodic friends, for being what I needed when I needed you.  I daresay there will come a time that I will need you again… and in truth, there are a couple of you that I came to love so much that you’ll get to stick around awhile yet. 

But right now, I’m ready to smile again.  I’m ready to laugh.  So welcome back, Footloose and Top Gun.  Welcome back, Brad and Little Big Town.  Welcome back, Mellencamp and Billy Joel.  I rather think that I’ve missed you and I’m ready to do a little more dancing.  I believe there’s a song for that, too.

I almost feel that I need to apologize to you, my friends and readers.  This became far more personal than I had intended when I started writing.  The blog I originally wrote in my head was far more generic!! I didn’t really want to write about this just yet.  I’m not sure I wanted to let you in this far.  I’m not sure I do even now, and I’m not sure I’ll hit that submit button come the morning.

Vulnerability comes with a price, and not one I always like paying.  But there seems little reason to do this without an attempt at honesty and openness.  Isn’t that part of why we blog?  So, if you’re reading this, it means I decided to trust you.  It means I decided to let you in.  And it means I’m hoping you love me enough to honor that.

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