Love the ones you’re with

I’m feeling so thankful for family today. For all the love, support, prayers, affection, pep talks, advice — even all the game-playing — I feel incredibly blessed to share my life with these awesome people.

Take time today to think about your family, those people who — through birth or through love — share your life.  Let them know you love them. Cherish the time you get to spend with them. Don’t ever take them for granted.

Céad míle fáilte

Happy belated St. Patrick’s Day!

In real life, it looks like the Irish flag, but the green and orange chalk didn’t show up well in the photo.

I have no good excuse for not getting this posted in a timely manner; I took the picture, I wrote the title, I got ready to write the post, and then . . . nothing. Oh, well! You guys probably needed a break from me, anyway

But I digress!

For those of you who do not know any Irish words, the title of this post is “A hundred thousand welcomes.” (I don’t think Irish people actually say this, but you read it everywhere when you are there. In fact, the Irish Tourist Board used to be called “Bord Fáilte” – the Board of Welcome.)

I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about being welcoming. I struggle with this. Not because I don’t love people. Not because I don’t want to spend time with them. I do, on both counts! I want to open my house to people, invite them in, cook for them, laugh with them. Welcome them!

So, what’s my deal? I think it’s multi-faceted. There was a long time that I felt my house was too out of control to have people over. For years, I felt self-conscious about the fact that I didn’t really know how to cook. More recently, I’ve been afraid to make plans because my health was so unpredictable. I didn’t want to end up being flaky and canceling at the last minute.

This may be why I don’t stress about having the fry over. They don’t care if my house is a mess; they’ll eat whatever I put in front of them; if I don’t feel well, they’ll actually come up to my room and hang out on the bed with me and the dog. Even if I’m a mess, they don’t care.

I think with adults I feel more intimidated. I want to . . . not impress, actually, but just appear like a competent adult. Don’t worry: I know that’s silly. I know that the people who love me will love me regardless. It is kind of ridiculous, too, because my “issues” really aren’t even issues anymore! My house is basically company-ready most of the time (or 15-minutes-from-ready). Thanks to Blue Apron (my personal cooking school), I now know how to cook all kinds of tasty things. And, knowing my wonderful friends, even if I were truly feeling horrible, they would either a) understand, or b) be willing to come over and hang out with me anyway!

This is the point at which I want to make a pledge, start a new scheme, say I will have x number of people over in the next x number of weeks. But I’m not going to. I have been thinking that scheme-making is just setting myself up for failure. (I know, I know; you all realized this long ago.) But I am going to try to reach out more. The people in my life are so much more important to me than anything else, and I want to start living my life in a way that makes that real.

Back in the groove

We had a mini reunion tonight!

Old friends gathered at Laurie’s house, some of whom I met in 1977, some of whom I had not seen since 1984. Yet we fell right back into conversation with an ease that we might not even have had back then. (A group of 50-something-year-old women tend to be much more comfortable in their own skin than when they were teens!)

We remembered things about each other, too, small things that we might not have expected to recall: where we each ended up going to college, who was in whose homeroom back in junior high, which boy once ate worms on a dare. Alison remembered I’d been a National Merit Semifinalist, Julie remembered I’d had mono our junior year, Loie remembered I’d lived just over the fence from Robinwood School. So it went with each of us. Parents, siblings, carpools, piano lessons — all the everyday details of life, still locked in our minds after 30 or 40 years.

Considering I had practically vanished from sight after I moved to Oregon for school (“You live far away! You lift right out!”), I’ve had to rely on Facebook for any current news of everyone else. But all the old stuff? It’s amazing how it stays with you.