Monthly Archives: May 2016

things universal – 135/366

What is the last book I read?

 The last book I finished listening to was Rising Strong by Brené Brown. The last book I read (as in turn pages on) was The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

I’ve challenged myself to finish “reading” 52 books in 2016. I’ve read 29 so far.

 

 

 

final thoughts – 134/366

What was the last thing I thought about today?

In a concession I have made to fully participate in this prompt based daily writing I am referring to the last 24 hours.

Last night my head was full of a certain contentment. I was at a transition dinner for a board I sit on. I am a hold over, but we celebrated the ones who are rolling off and the ones who are rolling on.

Out of all my board experiences, this one has been wonderful. A president who set up a shared mission and allowed us to go our own way.

I have been on boards where there is such intense micromanagement that it becomes gross displeasure to serve on. Lessons learned there.

But last night, as I was laying in bed, pressing on so points that I had read were good at inducing sleep and thinking about how wonderful it has been to work with these women on helping create a better community.

Dear Texas

Dear Texas,

I was raised to be gentle but I am at the point where I just have to say something. So, I am choosing this platform where I only officially call out one person, and I call her out because her doing this seems so out of line with what her work is.

Your state pride borders on being a cult. When even Dr. Brene Brown will wax poetic and extol its virtues as some sort of sacred space (near the end of her book Rising Strong) as compared to others, in her case it was about its “women”, I think we have  a problem.  Actually, I hear this so much from my Texas friends, I think my eyes my roll right out of my head sometime soon.

There is not something magical in your water, the women are not better, smarter, better cooks, better looking, resilient… these kinds of women are from all over the world… I might even venture to say that the women who were born into poverty in a third world might be more resilient than “ya’ll” are.

I so really roll my eyes. I am a proud descendant of a long line of women that I know had to suffer through things like famine, war, loss, pain, drought… and I know they are no more special than any of you. Our ancestors fought similar battles.  You know, we are all our own people, it doesn’t matter where we were born, what was happening, who was there, who settled it, or even when it was… everyone on this planet is trying the best they can. Ya’ll talk real loud sometimes.

sometimes it feels like it, not that funny

P.S. I make a mean pecan pie and sheet cake, but that shit is unhealthy to eat too often.

“I told you so?” – 133/366

What is the most important thing I was told today…

Normally I would use the last 24 hours on days when I post early in the morning, but nothing stands out.

I am doing well, though I am emotionally frustrated.  Thankfully, I have enough of an awareness to keep working on that.

Perhaps the thing I was told today that I find interesting enough to mention is this:

Try this: Take a 1-inch x 1-inch square of paper and make a list of people whose opinions matter to you – those people who love you, not in spite of, but because of your vulnerabilities and imperfections. Brown says, “If you need more paper, you need to edit”.

I heard this on a book on tape but found this description, here.

I am working on mine, but I am having trouble deciding if the people who are coming to mind are truly eligible to be there.

How much is too much – 132/366

There is no such thing as too much____

Today on my ride in I heard Brene Brown call hope a cognitive process and not an emotion.  I thought this was interesting as I have made the same claim about joy. A cognitive process is a learned behavior, it is not an emotion. And since I had already ascribed this to joy and now I recognized that hope was an add in, I thought about the Christian “advent”. After all, the two I was thinking about were half of that.

The other two are faith and love. Faith, for me, is also a cognitive process. I will or may get back to this.  Then there is love (proclaimed at one biblical point to be the greatest of these).

There is something cyclical about these, a chicken or the egg dynamic. Which one leads, was first, the origin?

Anyway,  there is not such thing as too much of any of these… at least in their pure form (and not feigned of forced).

my marble jar inventory – 131/366

I have been very clear that I am struggling with some things. Those things seem to be centered on trust and so I am sharing some pieces of knowledge gained or work done while taking this class.

Do you have people in your life that you would consider marble jar friends? If so, who are they? If not, are these the kind of relationships that you’d like to cultivate? Why or why not?

Yes. People who I am comfortable seeing me as vulnerable. People who in the face of that are ready to help. People who don’t gossip as a main means of communication. People who celebrate victories.People who want to spend time with me.

How do the people in your life earn their marbles, or earn the right to hear your story? Identify specific behaviors.

They enjoy my company. They protect me when I am vulnerable. They don’t use me as an excuse or throw me under the bus. They support me when I am down. They include me. They mourn with me. They think of me and let me know it. Small sacrifices. They celebrate rather than ridicule. They recognize that being human is hard and so people should be gentle.

What does it mean to you to be a marble jar friend?

To be thoughtful. To be inclusive. To not be exclusive. To love in spite of flaws. To take care of people, be there for them. Help in times of difficulty, to be willing to listen. To support. To be vulnerable with them.

How about you?

By the way, take the class, there is so interesting guidance on trust and the best of all is that it is free!

The prompt for today is: What is my favorite dish to prepare. I love to make jams! There is something about the pops from a sealed jar that makes me so very happy, it is therapeutic.

Looking forward looking back – 130/366

What am I looking forward to?

I think I am most looking forward getting past the intense vulnerability of figuring out my post cancer diagnosis life.

I, early on, kind of expected that I would have some sort of trans-formative experience… It is what some say. Then I was reading some other survivor (and sometimes I hate this word) accounts that it may not happen, it doesn’t to everyone. Then I read that my job was to throw my self a pity party, but to stop that right away and move on. And then I wrote about my gratitude about the people the helped me, and then I got a text, email, and phone call from my mother about how I had insulted my aunt.  And the process I was searching for meaning in, disappeared.  And I became so bitter and angry. One of the main people who I had hoped would guide me gently through the process called me out and pointed out that I could not even do surviving cancer well.  I failed at living by getting cancer, and I was failing at getting past it, at surviving. When I tried to communicate the feelings I was told to get over and that life is tough and frankly that did not help, because that told me that I was not worthy of being gentle to.

What I am managing now is that process. Trying not to be devastated by my own mother, whose own research talks on the power of mothers, was a catalyst to my sense of failure.

I am trying to lean in to myself. to stop letting others define me… and perhaps hardest of all I am trying to learn what this very bumpy part of the path that is my life is trying to teach me.

 

 

purchases – 127/366

What is the last purchase I made?

I think it was the last meal subscription service I got – Plated this week I believe (blue apron last week) .

Aside from that I gave my son $22 dollars for a field trip that was for a band performance but included a trip to one of those new arcades that has things like video games, whack-a-mole, laser tag, and other such electronic entertainments.

His concert was awesome. He looked so grown up. I kept remembering him as a premature baby in the NICU in contrast to him today. He is a marvelous kid, and I am very proud of him!