Sunday Rest

There is something about a truly restorative weekend – one where you get everything done that you need to accomplish, you enjoy quality time with good people, you have something decadent, you rest, and you feel prepared for the week ahead. Your living space feels de-cluttered and free of chaos. You expressed yourself in some creative way.

I don’t typically have this experience, but this is always the goal. More often than not, the only way I could accomplish all of this would be with an extended weekend. Even a three-day weekend feels short. Definitely works if we institute a four-day weekend.

A three-day workweek may not be very long, but I can tell you this: if I was looking forward to a four-day weekend, I’d be incredibly productive.

Though much of my time this weekend was eaten up by travel, I got to spend quality time with some good friends, have a good cigar and some cocktails, enjoy the sunshine on a beautiful Sunday, run some errands, and relax while watching my team in the playoffs. Maybe I didn’t get as much accomplished as I would have liked, and I didn’t necessarily prep for the week the way I’d like to, but I got in many of the good things. I didn’t check my work email too often, I laughed and had some really thought-provoking conversation, and I got to see some friendly faces.

One particular conversation touched on important aspects of life that matter most: finances, personal health, and friends/family. Though these things may seem narrow, they’re really umbrellas for career, personal goals, happiness, autonomy, etc. The other stuff is just ancillary. It was nice to feel like someone else related to that. Those three are enough to juggle, without worrying about outside factors that can certainly be complementary but aren’t necessities.

There are a lot of things you can’t control, but within these three categories, there is more than enough to focus on. Let the other stuff fall into place.

Mindfulness

I’ve been chomping at the bit to blog the last two weeks, but (as you may have noticed), my site has been undergoing some changes. I’m officially self-hosting my domain (as opposed to having my blog hosted by WordPress. The transfer process took longer than I anticipated, but I’m finally master of my own site, and I’m excited to explore some of that potential.

I read a quote yesterday that stuck with me:

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nat Hanh

I’ve been thinking a lot about mindset lately, about making sure I’m in the right headspace when it comes to work, health, body. About being unapologetically, 100% me.

It’s not that I’m afraid to show who I am, insecurities and all. It’s more that I’m fighting with having these insecurities. I see some of them as silly, but here they are. They’re in my thoughts every day. And I’m working on many of them, but we are in this age and time now, where we want such instant results with everything. The truth is, none of these insecurities developed overnight.

There are things that I’ve found hard to accept over the last decade. Physical changes, professional challenges, loss, differences among friends. And I know that experiences help to shape who you are, circumstances can humbling, the people you cross paths with can influence you. But through all of this, I’ve been fighting with acceptance.

I let some really strong words from other people influence how I saw myself and my abilities, and I accepted for a long time that they were right. That all I amounted to were what they said. That they said what they did as some sort of “tough love” or “I’m your friend so I’ll tell you the real truth” kind of intention.

I never for a second questioned the people making the statements or their motives. Instead, I believed them. Blindly. Like a lost puppy. And I have to own that; it was my mistake to think their opinion mattered more than my own. That I could know better than others I held in such high esteem.

As I work on this novel, and I push her through some uncomfortable realities, I realize that I’m facing them myself. A part of my block is that I need to get to the other side of the tunnel as much as she does. I have to accept me for what I am now, and not who I can be, who I think I should be, or who anyone else believes me to be. I can strive to be more, try harder, and improve, but I can’t deny present time.

Sometimes, I think we worry so much about the future that we never really pay attention to right now. Where are we right now? Who are we right now? What can we be grateful for in this moment? When I saw “we,” I guess I’m talking about myself.

Anyway, one of my resolutions this year is to be more present, take more ownership, and really affect the change that I want to see in myself. If nothing else about me changes, and I’m in a vacuum exactly as I am now for the rest of my life, I am good with me right now. It’s taken a lot for me to be able to say that.

Do I see areas where I believe I can improve? Absolutely. But I’m accepting who I am, where I am, how I am. It’s all a testament of where I’ve been, what I’ve been through, and how I’ve handled myself. I can’t be mad at that, and I won’t apologize for being me.

I actually think I’m inherently good, kind, and generous to others, though often to a fault. I need to be more generous to myself, but I’m working on that. I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish so far, and I feel like there are some personal accomplishments that I’m not far from reaching. I’ll keep plugging along, but I’m going to stop and take breaths to enjoy moments as they happen.

The Ever Elusive

Do you know those guys who find you online, who say they think you’re beautiful and that you seem like a cool person to get to know?  Oh yeah, and then they tell you that they’re not actually looking for anything beyond friendship.  Maybe they recently got out of something serious, or they just know they aren’t ready for serious.

Whatever the case, you sort of got your hopes up until he said that final piece.  And because you met online, now you feel no rush to actually meet him in person.  He’s that guy that texts you when he’s sick and wants to see if you’re free to bring him some soup, or the one who’s always heading out of town, so he has to cancel that dinner that you finally set up because you’re tired of having an acquaintance rather than a friend.

Obviously, I know such a guy.  I’ve known him now for about 8 months, and every time we set things up (truly with the best intentions), plans always fall through.  Normally, I’d just give up on someone like this, just because I really can’t stand flaky behavior.  But, for whatever reason, I find myself wondering why we get along so well when we actually do talk; how is it that he always understand?  Is he SURE he isn’t really ready to pursue anything with anyone?  Maybe he doesn’t really KNOW he’s ready.

No, no, NO.  I have to remind myself sometimes that they really are that simple.  If he wanted something, he’d say so.  If we were going to hang out and the stars aligned our schedules, we’d meet up.  In the meantime, don’t waste your time thinking about this guy.  He’s taken himself out of the equation, and you should too.

Potential Lost

And so it started, so it ended.  Quickly.  It was over so quickly, and I didn’t even really get a chance to understand or know what was happening.  Rather, the silence of one meant the end of the unit and confusion to the other. 

Obviously I know that either things would work out or they wouldn’t, but perhaps I gave him too much credit.  It’s not that it didn’t work out that upsets me, it’s HOW it didn’t work out.  Only in Los Angeles have I had someone, seemingly so into me, just choose to fall off the face of the earth.  All of a sudden there’s no response to a message, no call backs, no communication at all.  And it hurt, because I think I was ready for serious — exactly what he’d said he was looking for. 

I sent a text to him after a week of silence on his part, expressing how I felt, how much I’d liked him, and how I would have hoped he could at least speak to me.  That I’d deserved a goodbye.  It was the closure I needed to move on.  And another week of silence went by.  I assumed everything was over and that he’d chosen to judge me because, though we’re both Christian, his particular denomination isn’t mine.  I wasn’t closed off to his, or even in a mode of thought that one of us had to change, but apparently me not being a specific denomination, primed and ready, is a dealbreaker.  I get it, but I don’t.  If our core values are the exact same, and I’m accepting you and what you believe at face value, and who knows, maybe I’m even open to agreeing with some of your values once I learn more about them, what is the problem?  What I don’t like is being judged for the one thing that someone else doesn’t want to be judged for. 

But then something happened that was so unexpected.  After two weeks of silence, I received a friend request on Facebook.  Still silent — still no message — but I supposed you could call it a communication.  But what does that really mean?  Does that mean “let’s just be friends” without having to say it?  Does that mean “I’m sorry?”  Does that mean “I like you, but I’m just not ready for serious after all?”  All I knew was that I expected a message to follow this addition.  I added him thinking that, surely, he would not remain silent.  But he did.

I allowed us to be “friends” for about 24 hours, and then I just couldn’t deal with all of the unknowns.  I deserved better.  I deserved an explanation.  How are we so close, cutesy, kissy, handholding and all, and then he won’t speak to me again?  We never crossed the ultimate line, and he seemed so happy when I last saw him.  All smiles, our breath marking the cold air as we realized it was a random 42 degree morning. 

In a fit of self-righteous indignation, I unfriended him.  And I messaged him to tell him so.  We can’t go from where we were, to silence, to unspeaking Facebook friends.  Far too much transition in two weeks, and with no explanation for what ever happened to cause our demise.  It’s not that I’m against being friends, but why start out at friends if you’re going to give the other the silent treatment?

I don’t regret the decision, nor do I regret the message I sent following.  I really laid out there how I felt; that I felt blamed and judged and at fault just for being who I am — a person that I think deep down he actually really likes.  How I was willing to accept him as he was, and how I had hoped that this was something more than the trivial nonsense I’ve dealt with the last couple years.  How I could be friends, if that’s ultimately what he wanted, but that I couldn’t feign it if he didn’t even want to speak to me.  How all I really wanted was for him to speak to me.  And then I promised not to send him any more ranting messages.  After all, what is there left to say if he remains silent?

I get a sinking feeling that he was what I was looking for, and it makes me miss him, and I hate that.  I hate that I can’t just turn all of this off, because he doesn’t seem to want it.  He never bothered to see if maybe the things we were looking for actually lined up.  He just assumed they didn’t and moved on.  And while he may be the one that loses out (as most of my female friends would quickly say his choice creates his loss), this one feels like the one who got away.

He has this calm about him that I found so comforting.  And I loved how much he could make me smile.  But, I guess at least for now, it’s time to say goodbye to the butterflies.