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.

In my dreams, I can run

Best Foot Forward

I dream of being a runner.

Not just in a figurative sense, mind you. I mean that I regularly dream of running.

It’s not just that I can run in my dreams, either – it’s how I run. Quickly. Effortlessly. As though I each one of my paces sends me a tremendous distance, floating a tiny bit above the air. (My real running is nothing like this, of course. It is lumbering and breathless and, frankly, demoralizing.)

I continue to daydream of running, although my progress toward this goal is hampered by the following conundrum:

  •  I am afraid of running. Afraid that I will lose my balance and fall, that I won’t be able to go more than about 30 yards, that my left foot will scream every time it hits the ground.
  • This is not pure conjecture; in the past couple of years, I have experienced all of these things when I have tried to run.
  •  Therefore, I rarely attempt to run.
  •  And, thus, I shall never become a proficient runner.

It’s silly, I suppose, to believe that it is a hopeless case. I mean, I lose my balance while standing still, I’ve fallen over while taking a simple walk, and my foot bugs the heck out of me on a regular basis. . . and yet I still get out there and walk around every single day. Why not let the same things happen while trying to go a little faster?

I’m cognitively aware that even tiny amounts of effort will lead to incremental success in building my skill, yet I still choose not to act. Perhaps it’s silly that I cling to this dream so tenaciously while putting so little effort into achieving it.

I’m sure that most of us have dreams we are not brave enough to strive for, things that we achieve only in our deepest sleep. Running is mine; what’s yours?

Best Foot Forward” by Maureen Barlin / BY CC

Stand in your truth

In keeping with my whole reduce-reuse-recycle goals (bet you though I forgot all about that, didn’t you?), I’ve decided to go through my Drafts folder here on the blog and see what the heck I decided to ditch before I ever hit publish.

My very oldest draft was one called “Stand in Your Truth” from way back in April August of 2011. I hadn’t actually done anything but cut and paste a quote (which I had to Google to find out was from Suze Orman):

You can’t build a foundation on lies. You can’t build a future if you do not know who you are. You can’t become who you are meant to be if you can’t tell the truth about who you are, what you have, and everything about your life. The truth is the absolute essence to your success, while lies are the absolute essence to your failures.

I have been trying to live this quote out this week. I have been shining a bright light on (among other things):

  • how much my mindless eating habits have contributed to my weight gain;
  • how much my time-sucking phone habits have contributed to my messy house;
  • how much my fear and confusion have contributed to my stresses at work.

It definitely hasn’t been pretty, but I think I will make better headway from here on out.