Nostalgia

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Nostalgia has been hitting me hard lately, and not in ways you would think. Lots of people take trips down memory lane and experience happy fond memories to the point of thinking those times were better and its a shame everything has changed. But I am not so sure.

I follow Ryan Lawless on Youtube. He is a coach both for sports and life. I know him from Edmonton’s running community and have always found him wise. He now has a biweekly vlog that challenges me. His perspective is sometimes the same as mine but like me, he questions everything. His vlog about nostalgia felt like a punch in the gut. He said… well a lot of things, but what stands out for me is this “nostalgia has purpose”.

I have memories that give me a sick feeling. I want to forget but for some reason, I can’t. They play over and over unless I practice mindfulness or distract myself with something. Everyone has these memories. The kind that pops into your head until you squeeze your eyes shut and change focus. A lot of my memories circle around bullies, but a lot circle around fun vacations and holidays. The fun ones are classed as nostalgia.

nos·tal·gia
/näˈstaljə,nəˈstaljə/
noun
  1. a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

Lately, people from my past have been popping up into my life flooding it with nostalgia.

  • An old friend and I went for drinks. We were in the trenches as young mothers. We helped each other through everything. We will get together more frequently now but at the time it was almost daily and I loved every minute of it.
  • A co-worker from back in the day when we felt like we were the only people who weren’t crazy. When I saw her at the farmers market, we gazed into each other’s eyes and embraced for a long time. Her hug was giving, not taking. I love those kinds of hugs. I fondly remember her because, without her, I would have been lost.
  • A friend I have known since we were three and lived in Sherwood Park. We pop in and out of each other’s lives every few years. We joked about not seeing each other until we are in the same senior’s home in the future. She was always a lovely human, kind and thoughtful.

I have spent a considerable amount of time thinking over the nostalgic moments. There is something healing in all of the memories. From overcoming bullies to remembering how good things felt. I think I agree with Ryan’s assessment of nostalgia having a purpose. While it’s fun to trip down memory lane, it is better to see how far you’ve come.

 

 

Listen

Day two of my Staycation had me exploring Whyte Avenue in Old Strathcona. When I was in my 20’s, I worked and played in Old Strathcona. It still is a place that I love to explore but I don’t get here very often anymore because to unwind I tend to head into the forest. It energizes me. Occasionally I need to be around people and that’s when I grab a friend or famjam member and head to Whyte Ave.

We popped into shops, bought books from Wee Book Inn and a tiny plant from The Little Plant Shop. We ate the best ice cream on the planet at Made By Marcus, saw cool and interesting things at the Plaid Giraffe and headed towards Chapters before it leaves the neighbourhood.

Along the way we spotted this sign:

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I was intrigued.

There were two people, one male and one female, sitting back to back with chairs in front of them. The female had a gentleman sitting in her chair and he was talking to her. Her partner looked at me and offered me a chair. Not one to miss an opportunity to try something new, I sat opposite him. He began to explain that he was there to listen to anything I had to say. He promised a safe environment where no one would know what we talked about unless I confessed a murder or something else that was criminal because he would have to report that. But other than that he encouraged me to talk to him about anything. My companion stood beside me and I asked them to leave because I wanted some private time with the listening man.

I looked into his eyes and felt compassion. He smiled and asked me what I wanted to talk about. So I began to tell him how angry and hurt I was over a situation I have been living with and I didn’t know what to do with the feelings. He asked questions that made me think and draw out the conversation. For the first time in a long while, I felt like someone was invested and interested in what I had to say. But me being me, I quickly turned the tables and began asking him questions about why he was doing this and to tell me his story because I am also a listener. He began telling me his story and then as if he could hear the sound of a needle scratching a record, he said “Whoa whoa whoa…You are supposed to be talking and I am the listener.”

I smiled because I am good at gaining other people’s confidences and getting them to talk about themselves. I explained, “This is what I do. I get people to talk so I don’t have to talk about myself.”

Listener: Why do you think that is?

Me: Easy question, it keeps me safe.

We continued the conversation and he had me thinking about my role in my relationships. It takes two to have a conversation. Equal parts sharing and equal parts listening. I do feel as if I trusted the wrong people and maybe that shouldn’t stop me from trusting completely. Not everyone can be who I need them to be, but I do need to accept who they are. I often feel like I take things too seriously when I should be practicing the social norm of How are you, I am fine type of conversation. But I detest small talk. I’d rather jump right into the conversation. I test people to see if they are loyal, trustworthy and kind. When they blow me off, I get my answer. I haven’t found the loyalty I am looking for. With people I am close with, I haven’t shared enough.

I do know far more about other people than they know about me. Listening man gave me lots to think about by just listening and asking the right kind of questions. I briefly fell in love with him while he listened and asked questions for clarity. It was a wonderful feeling to have someone be that …I don’t know the word….intense? Kind? Involved? Interested? Compassionate? Caring?

Me:  I am grateful you invited me to sit.

Listener: I am grateful you sat. I get as much from this as you do. Now, let’s circle back to your original story about your hurt and anger over that friend. What is it that you really want from them?

Me: <I thought about this for a minute or two.> I want them to say what they mean, be truthful and honest so it shows respect for me and my time. Show me that I am as important to them as they are to me. But what I really want is for everything to be different and that isn’t going to happen. I cannot change the past and turn it into something that never happened.

Me: I really appreciated this.

I reached in my purse and he was worried I was going to give him money.

Listener: NO NO NO, keep your money.

Me: Can I take a photo of your sign?

Him: Absolutely.

We shook hands and I stood to leave but I wanted to hug him. I thought about taking his photo but I knew his face would be etched into my memory forever. He was the kindest man, the type you suspect was an angel that came to chat with me because I needed it and he likely doesn’t exist in this realm.

I thought a lot about what he had to say and how he made me feel. I think that is the important part. He listened hard enough so I knew he cared and that made me feel special. I have been thinking about our conversation since.

As you go about your day or your week or the rest of the year when someone talks to you maybe you should listen. I mean really listen.

  1. Ask them questions so you can gain clarity. This helps them think you are interested.
  2. Don’t offer solutions, they just want an ear. If they want your opinion they will ask for it.
  3. Look them in the eye or gaze on their face. Check to see what they are looking at.
  4. Don’t make it about you. It’s not about you. It’s about them and how they feel. They aren’t thinking about you at that moment.

I haven’t been a good listener or a good friend lately. Listening isn’t as easy as you might think. But when you find that friend who is really good at it, hang onto them. They are a keeper.

 

The Search

 

img_3824I have been wandering around all week in search of something. I suppose if I really think about it, I have been searching for a while. I can’t put my finger on it, I can’t tell you what I am searching for, I only know I don’t have it.

People drift in and out of my life, as do people come and go from yours. I have been deliberate with goodbyes and cautious of hellos. I crave that connection from that one person who gets me, understands me inside and out. Who is empathetic and vulnerable and allows me to be vulnerable back. The person who I can ‘click’ with. I crave this person I haven’t met yet. Its been a while since I felt that way about a friend.

I remember back when I was three and my best friend was Tanya. We lived in a townhouse complex with a stand of trees across the tiny parking lot. We spent every waking hour together and ran through the trees like our hair was on fire. Our imagination was what we built our days with. We were our own superheroes and saved humanity every single day from peril. When I turned six we moved to Canada’s Arctic and I lived on the shores of Great Slave Lake. I didn’t find that connection I was seeking like I had when I was 3. I was one of a handful of white kids with the First Nation kids outnumbering us. You’d think this would mean I would experience oppression but no, These kids looked downcast at us and not speak out of fear or something else. Upon 45 years of reflection, I now know they didn’t see me as an equal, they felt inferior.

When I moved back to Alberta, I lived in a community that was white. This was the opposite experience I had from my life in the Arctic. I hadn’t met a good friend or someone I found reliable. People were fine but loneliness was deep. The internal dialogue pounded my brain with “I am ugly, I am stupid, I am unworthy”. When you think that way, people treat you that way. When people treat you that way, you think that way. It is an unending cycle.

As I progressed into junior high and high school, I found a few people who were closer to what I was looking for. My internal dialogue had not changed but I kept it hidden and forged ahead anyway. The pressure to succeed or meet the expectations of my surroundings were great as they are with everyone. Eventually, I pulled away from these people too.

As an adult, I found a couple of people who I could be vulnerable and real with for brief moments. Events happen and suddenly people are scared, hurt or angry and no longer want to be connected. Sometimes it’s onesided. Sometimes them, sometimes me.

So here I am in my early 50’s living a life that isn’t much different from my childhood. People still think they can say things to change me to be what suits them. Hurtful and angry things then wonder why I pull away. It changes dynamics and others ask for proof these people did these things. I wonder if they consider how it must feel to be me. Empathy is the missing ingredient. Everyone is caught up in self. The ego dominates life choices. I can clearly see why they said and did those things. I understand and forgive where it needs to happen. Forgiveness does not mean allowing it to continue. It just means I accept the past could not have been different. REM Had it right with Everybody hurts….sometimes.

Accepting.

Lashing out is the road I used to take. Now I just accept and turn away. It is not easy but it feels better. I don’t live with anger anymore. Meditation changed me. I meditated in 1994 after I left my first husband. It helped tremendously but for some reason, I stopped. Now, I have meditated for 952 consecutive days. I began in the fall of 2016 because the anger and hurt were so intense I had nowhere to put it. I began meditating a couple days a week. It soon became a beautiful way to begin my day. I sat in silence trying to wrangle my thoughts. I would ask myself questions and answers would come. I would ask for direction and it would come. I soon craved a daily practice so I accepted a challenge to meditate every day for a year. I didn’t know where it would take me but I knew I didn’t want to be angry and hateful anymore. I began waking up earlier so I could sit in silence. I began to see this as self-care. Something I deserved to do for myself. Once 365 days passed, I knew I could never stop.

The faces behind the anger began to fade. The reasons I was angry in the first place didn’t disappear but they became insignificant. I changed. Great learnings happened. But I still find myself searching for something. I will let you know when I find it.

 

Everybody Hurts
When your day is long
And the night
The night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough
Of this life
Well hang on
Don’t let yourself go
‘Cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
Sometimes everything is wrong
Now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone (hold on)
(Hold on) if you feel like letting go (hold on)
If you think you’ve had too much
Of this life
Well, hang on
‘Cause everybody hurts
Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts
Don’t throw your hand
Oh, no
Don’t throw your hand
If you feel like you’re alone
No, no, no, you’re not alone
If you’re on your own
In this life
The days and nights are long
When you think you’ve had too much
Of this life
To hang on
Well, everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes
So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Everybody hurts
You are not alone

Kindred Spirits

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There was a gift sitting on my chair today. An early Christmas present. An infinity scarf with words written on it. Well, it’s more than words. I picked it up and read “When Mr. Phillips was in the back of the room hearing Prissy…” I knew immediately the text on the scarf was an excerpt from Anne of Green Gables. I cried a little.

To have a friend know you well enough to see the perfect gift and then be thoughtful enough to get it for you? I have to admit I cried. I got exactly what I wanted for Christmas.

I bet you are thinking I wanted the scarf. I didn’t even know I wanted the scarf until I received one. But that is not what I wanted. I asked for a friend who I can have deep and meaningful conversations with. I got one.

It has been years since I had a girlfriend who I can share everything with. I have had two of these types of girlfriends in my life. The first one was in Grade 7. She was new to my school but lived fairly close by. We slept over at each other’s homes, her mom was my other mom and I felt as comfortable being in my jammies at her house as I was in my own home. We were the original BFF. After high school, life changed and we drifted. I still think of her fondly and we are Facebook friends.

I met my second BFF when my son entered kindergarten. She was the mom of one of his friends. She just moved to Canada. We had the same humour, the same interests and loved coffee. When our kids graduated from junior high school we drifted apart. She is still in my phone and when we run into each other at the grocery store we stand and chat for hours. If she called me in a panic I would still run to her. I think of her fondly.

I asked the universe for a friend I could share deep and meaningful conversation with. Someone who was similar in age and shared the same values and who would listen to me. Friends who listen are rare.  My new friend arrived and we love books. We often read the same ones and discuss over lunch. Sometimes we talk about existential questions and search for answers. We strategize, we dissect, we both have husbands with the same name. She is my Diana.

Diana Barry was Anne Shirley Cuthbert’s bosom friend, kindred spirit and best friend. We aren’t quite there yet but anyone who knows me well enough to get me an Anne of Green Gables infinity scarf is very important to me. This is an old family favourite series for reasons that differ from most.

My Great Grandmother was born on Prince Edward Island. She talked about ‘Lucy’ in a way that was more familiar than a reader/author relationship. My first complicated novel was a gift from my little gram. Anne of Green Gables. She inscribed it “1978, For Robyn, Love Little Gram” Every birthday and Christmas I would get the next edition. All eight volumes were given to me. Only the first three were in hardcover.  But I have the complete set all gifted by my Little Gram. I read the stories because I wanted to know more about PEI, ‘The island you could walk across in a day”. I kept reading them because I was Anne. I was the mischief maker and child with a wild imagination. I was too sensitive and I had imaginary friends. Mine was Lucy, not Katie.

I travelled to France and was sad for Anne knowing Walter was buried there. I had a hard time separating fictional Anne from my best friend Anne. Intellectually I knew she wasn’t real, but she felt real. Still does. I am caught up in the Netflix series Anne with an E. Its different from the books but the spirit is there and I am caught up in expanded adventures. It takes me back to Little Gram, my childhood chums, my adult friends and my love of reading. I recognize the true gift of what I received today. I received a friend who truly understands me. It’s been a long time since I felt this way.

Thank you, Friend.

The Mystery Box

My friend came to stay for a visit and brought a box as a gift. A simple wood box with dovetail corners, a 6″ square cube  with the lid glued shut.

With the lid glued shut there are two options. Pry it open, or leave it shut.

This gift came to me as part of a deeper meaning. It all stems from this video:

The premise of the box is The Unseen Mystery.

I spent some quality time with the box this morning. Holding it, flipping it around and wondering if something was put in the box or was it just glued shut while being empty.

Part of me wants to rip the thing open and see for myself. Chances are it is empty. But there are a myriad of items that could fit into it. I wouldn’t put it past my friend to put something in it. All of the possibilities would be just things. The meaning of objects becomes less powerful once it becomes a thing. 

Once I gave a my bestie a Grape Soda Bottle Cap Pin. It had nothing to do with the pin itself and everything to do with the meaning behind the pin. It was about taking risks, seizing the moment and trying new things. Risks were hard for both of us, but it was something we both were willing to try. So with pins in hand, we set out to try new things and report back on our experiences. So far, this has been a very successful adventure. New risks happen weekly. Some are terrifying and some are fun, but knowing we have the support of “YOU CAN DO IT!” behind us, it makes the leap of faith just that much easier.

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This box isn’t quite the same but it has meaning – so its similar.

While looking at the box, I knew what I wanted to be inside. I don’t need things or trinkets, I like meaningful things. So I would prefer a note to be inside. Something that has a sweeping tale of friendship and possibilities for the future. Places and new adventures that friendship brings.

What I like about the box is not knowing. Something that holds that much potential becomes invaluable. A source of inspiration that becomes endless because there is no beginning and no end.

I have decided not to share what my box looks like because it doesn’t meatier. It is mine, it is a gift and it is meaningful.

It’s very first inspirational job was helping me plan my next adventure.

Stay tuned…

With Great Failure comes Great Learning

Bansky-Flower-Brick-Thrower.

I am ready to say good-bye to 2014. It has been not as difficult as I think it was but it has been challenging both physically and emotionaly. I have not been able to finish any race healthy. Not one, not even a 5km distance. This frustrates me beyond words and I have learned more about self-love, self-kindness and patience in a single year than I have learned over my lifetime.

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Emotionally it was strange not to have to juggle school and life. But I learned about work and life in ways that I had never experienced before. My new job taught me more about empathy and compassion than one might think…especially since I was a teacher of young children with special needs and circumstances that was unbelievable to most – yet all true. The job I have now is not my ‘dream job’ because I have no idea what that means anymore. I like lots of thing about it, hate lots of things about it, but mostly it keeps me busy, validates that I am great at some things and not so great at others and work for a gentleman who in all respects has taught me more about empathy, compassion and self then any other human I have worked for.

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I have worked for some people who were just mean, some who worried endlessly over what others thought of them, they failed to do the right thing, some who were ambivalent and some whose values clashed with mine so severely…I had to leave.

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Values are important to me. I have learned that compromising values means compromising self. I am worth too much to compromise self. I no longer struggle with what others think or assume. I could honestly care less – unless that person is someone I value. Then I step back and examine my actions.

I failed at that this year.

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I stumbled upon the artwork of Banksy today and his urban art made me really think about my humanity in ways I haven’t explored before. I discovered that I’d rather be the kind human rather than the judgmental busybody. Flipping through Banksy’s art had me thinking about my dad and how he always said, “It never hurts to be kind and polite. You don’t have to agree with people, but kindness goes a long way.”

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I discovered a truth this year that shook me to my core. I felt like a fool, I couldn’t believe the impact of the findings could devastate me the way they did. Over a period of many years I thought “IT” was true only to discover that I was duped. Had I know about ‘IT’ when it happened, my life would be very different today. I feel like I wasted so much of my life…if only I had known. If only….

So that left me with some choices. I immediately was angry, hurt and judgemental. When I think about it still, I get very angry. Letting it go has been incredibly difficult. One side of the story was easier for me to be empathetic towards than the other. But when I examined both very carefully, I realized I understood the why and was able to let the anger go and morph it into something akin to pity. How much easier it would have been to know the truth right from the beginning. Clearly this was Karma teaching me a life lesson.

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I have distance myself from the incident. It clashes with values I have and if others don’t share them, then perhaps they weren’t the friends I first thought they were. I have worked hard at not judging. HARD. I never want to be that bitter old woman clicking her teeth because I have judged.

Because I like the human compassionate side of me more than the angry mean side of me, I reached out to one of those friends today.

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I want her to know I understand her loneliness, I understand her need to feel desired and wanted. I understand her not feeling important. I also want her to know, she can do better. There are things she can do to change her life. She isn’t stuck where she is. The choices she made will not rescue her. He isn’t real. That is the fake him and he can’t be trusted.

I suppose that is why it hurt so much. I know the fake him and I guess don’t know the real him.

I learned a very hard lesson a few years ago about honesty and empathy. Empathy is the key. Putting yourself in other’s shoes becomes an impactful reason for honesty IF THESE PEOPLE ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU.

If they aren’t then the questions remain: Why do you stay? Why is everything a secret and for crying out loud, why are you lying?

The answer is simple.

You are afraid of hurting. You may be afraid of hurting yourself or the other person, but either way it makes you scared.

Simple truth.

If it has to be a secret, it is hurting someone.

As difficult as this year has been, my grinchy heart grew three sizes this year.

And what happened then–well, in Whoville they say
That the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day.
And then the true meaning of Christmas came through,
And the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches–plus two.

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Hey Universe! Thanks for the love!

IMG_3066There is a lot of crud and crappiness going on in the lives of my friends and other people who surround me.

Me included.

I have been knee deep in a pity party for two this week and before that, I was alone in pitiness. No running is hard for me and makes me cranky.
I miss the morning long run quiet through the ravine. I haven’t been alone with my thoughts for quite some time and it is beginning to show.

I am an introvert by nature. Meaning I need alone time to recharge my batteries. Introvertedness does not mean shy. I am a looooooooooong way from shy. I have enough brainy confidence to run a country – I may suck at it but who cares? I have the balls to do it.

I lack in confidence when it comes to sense of physical self. Running was fixing that. It firmed and toned and cleared the head. IT made me feel sexy and fit. Any woman knows that feeling sexy makes you sexy. I have come a long way from the massive me. Yesterday an old chum popped into the store and I hadn’t seen her for about 5 years – long before my transformation began. She couldn’t  believe how much I changed. I have changed…. A LOT! I have gone through a self depreciating time because of my lack of thinness. We all know thinness = hot and sexy right? Wrong.

WEll….. due to a pity party I was having, I was not feeling all to great about self. I think this streak began April 2011. The beginning of the darkest time in my life. Heart broken, pathetic, and depressed. This was me:

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I take a long time to heal.

I pick at a scab and examine it over and over.

Running was getting me through the bad bits. Okay….so was medication. But I was getting through it. I had reached a point where it really didn’t matter if I felt like crap because I could go for a run and feel fantastic.

I have run MAYBE 15 times all year.

One of them was the Calgary Half Marathon. It’s cool for me to run a half without a lot of training and still PR. That boosted the sense of self BIG TIME. Now I am anxious to run AND train to see how great I can do.

I am proud of my progress dammit! I have lost the size of a 16 year old girl. Imagine a 16 year old girl glued to your backside. Yep….I lost that.

I am not finished.

But I am missing the sexy mojo running brings. My girlfriends tell me I look great. The Hubs does too. But hearing it and feeling it are two different things. I have been slammed down by fake friends. These very same fake friends who feel crappy about themselves and used me to make themselves feel better. These women disgust me to my core. I am not judging them for their actions, I pity them. I am disgusted with myself for letting ME feel crappy about me so they could feel better.

It’s been a really long time since I woke up and felt great.

Well… It happened today.

I woke up.

My hair was awesome.

My skin is all soft and shiny – less wrinkles than other women my age.

My girls are perky and SMALL WOOOT!!!

I felt fab! It showed from head to toe. Rockin a smaller size jean. My toes still look great from my summer pedi, so the sandals were fab! I was smiling from the inside out.

Then it happened.

I looked down in the alley and found a Tim Card. I decided to treat myself to breakfast. I pull up to Timmy’s and order breakfast and a coffee. $5.09 was the total. I handed the gal my new card. $5.09 on the card. THANK YOU UNIVERSE! THIS MADE MY DAY!!!

It was like someone felt sorry for me and decided to treat me to a bit of kindness. I really needed it after the last few days.

Then it happened AGAIN!

I won $100 Future shop card! WOOT!

I went and bought a new keyboard for my Mac – a proper size one, not the mini one you get with the Computer. And blew the rest on iTunes cards.

I was smiling big by this time.

Then it HAPPENED AGAIN!

I got a Starbucks card from a friend who thanked me for something I did. I went and bought me and Chatterbox a coffee. The EXACT AMOUNT that was on the card.

Seriously, I know these are just ‘things’ but sometimes its the little things that can turn around a feel or even the whole day.

So here is to those fake friends who fish for information. Who hurt others while only thinking of themselves. Your life will still be sad while mine is awesome. I have just decided to turn you off.

Thank you Universe for sending some love my way!! New Day, New Life, Better Choices.

It’s all good.

 

 

 

The Friendship Dance

I learned that I don’t have friendships like those on sitcoms. I never had a band of friends at Central Perk, or hung out at the bar like the gang from How I met your mother. I wanted that…the college experience, of chums that you flop on their couch and pour your heart out to. That was never going to be my destiny.

I find as I get older there are friendships that mean more to me than I could ever imagine and friends that I could care less about…and that surprises me.

I had lunch today with an acquaintance who I have always had a certain connection with but because of circumstances, a friendship was not possible because of a conflict of interest in our professional lives. Well… Now that we have moved forward in our careers, it was decided that we both really want to be friends. We made that happen today and it was lovely.

I can count on one hand how many close female friends I have. Actually, on a couple of fingers. But ask me how many close male friends I have and they out number my female friends 3:1.

My new gal pal is the same. There are more male friends than female friends in our lives.

Why is that?

Without meaning to offend the entire female population, I am sure it has to do with how my brain is wired.

I also have learned this year that as I get older, the games females often play tire me out…or more importantly…bore me. I have no time to figure out the she said/she said of social-climbing. So I remove myself from that situation…permanently.

I like men.

I don’t have to worry about gossip or double meanings, men (typically – not always) mean what they say and say what they mean – no drama. That to me is restful.

I went out last week with men – just men. 3 of them who mean the world to me. We went to see John Cleese. It was a profound experience that none of my female friends understood, nor did they want to go. Cleese is a genius, a comedic god in my eyes and his presence on stage had me feeling as if I was in the presence of greatness. Then men I was with, understood that without me having to go into greater detail. They just got it.

People who get me, understand the humor and nonsense of the Fish Slapping Dance – click the image to see the dance. Seriously – Michael Palin’s dancing is marvelous!

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I love it when I am with my women friends and they just get it. It doesn’t happen often. I have 3 female friends who ‘just get me’ – in the same fashion as I ‘get’ Michael Palin and John Cleese.

Perhaps it isn’t a male/female thing. Perhaps it is a friendship thing.

As I age, I know what I want and surround myself with those who connect with me on the same level. I am selfish with my time and will only spend it with those who matter to me. The great thing about being older is the sexual tension of a friendship isn’t there. That alone is restful. Being friends with men because of who they are and what they stand for without the pressure of dating….delicious! It’s like grade 6 all over again! I LOVED the grade 6 boys, they were funny AND fun. The men in my life currently are the same, funny AND fun. Perhaps I have finally figured out what is important.

Friendships should be important, meaningful, fun, funny and safe.

I got rid of those her aren’t those things for me.

On Monday, the big #disneytrail reveal will happen. If you follow my social media feed, you may be wondering about it. It will be amazing and scary and challenging and more importantly, it will include some of my friends. Male and Female, people who make me feel safe, who make me laugh, who tease me incessantly and most of all, get me.

Why did it take me until the age of 46 to figure out this friendship game?

Better late than never.

 

 

That Goes Well With Rice and other M-isms

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Genetic Offspring has a group of friends who refer to themselves as “the Geek Squad”. The say things like “be nice to me, I will be your boss one day.” They are funny x10. They call themselves Wilson (he’s mine), M, Burn A Cabbage, and Yak. There are many others I call Skippy and Sparky – I refer to all of them as Skippy and Sparky – those fellas are on the fringe of the core group of friends.

M is my favorite. He makes me howl with laughter. He is smart – brilliant actually, dedicated to his family, artistic, and creative x10. His motto is “it goes well with Rice”. M claims everything goes well with rice. Being the token Asian guy in the group (his words not mine) he feels it’s his duty to impress upon the importance of rice. One day he helped bring in my groceries and he offered to carry the rice, so I gave him my tiny 3 cup bag. He ranted and raved and was shocked … “That is it? WE have enough rice in our basement to feed all of Africa.” I often grill him about our cultural differences and what it was like to move here from the Philippines at such a young age. Bottom line is, Wilson did good picking his friends.

M came over last night because his ride abandoned him. He had cousins that live by us, but he chose to seek out Wilson’s family for help. First of all, that made me feel great. Secondly, I love it when he visits. He is very charming and charismatic. He needed a ride home because dodge people hang out in the creek at night and didn’t want to walk that far alone. So Wilson and M piled into my car for the 5 minute drive.

He began chatting about how hard it is to find a suitable pompom.

Huh? What for?

For a hat he MADE for his GIRLFRIEND – well, she isn’t his girlfriend yet, there has been no official asking, but they talk every night. I pumped him for all the important info, like…

1) Where is she from?

2)What school did she attend?

3)Is she smart?

1)She is from South Africa but Chinese.

2)She was home schooled and is in school for the first time.

3)Ummm she is Chinese.

Then they fellas talked about how cute she is. So I said, tiny with long straight black hair? M asked if I knew her… HAHA Just your “type” M.

I then changed the subject and said, make a pompom.. His response was YOU CAN MAKE A POM POM? I explain how and invited him over if he needed help.

Wilson doesn’t want me to help. He doesn’t want M to have an official girlfriend. He made a bet with the Geek Squad that all of them would have a girlfriend before M. The bet is a slap – that’s right a slap bet. My son is book smart not street smart….oh the shame.

Wilson, Why would you think M wouldn’t have a girlfriend before you guys? Answer: because he gets carried away and doesn’t play it cool. Yak isn’t there anymore to hold him back and advisehim because they are in different schools.

No offense to Yak – but if you guys WANT girlfriends, listen to M. He has it all figured out. He is charming, goofy, funny, brilliant, kind, thoughtful AND attentive. He will be the richest one of the group because he doesn’t hold back. He is a risk taker. Wilson looked at me and thought….hmmm..

I guess we shall see who is right, me or Yak. Meanwhile, I will wait with ice for the results of the slap bet.