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Deep thoughts from the Funeral

Any week in your life when you say goodbye to a friend is going to be difficult. I found myself asking the difficult question, “is this the tipping point in life, more funerals than weddings or baby showers. More sadness than celebration?”

Intellectually I know that is not the truth. Life keeps moving on, and there are always things to celebrate. I have been working diligently in the recent past to celebrate everything I can, and plan to continue that. I believe it is important. 

I am finding strength and support from new friends as I grow and change. I grow more distant from those who I once treasured so dearly.  

I have thought a lot recently about how growth is pain.  Much like fruit on the vine, that which does not grow is left to wither and die. Fruit that does grow, changes and is forced into a new shape, it enlarges, and is forced by the conditions around it, and the nutrition available to adapt, thrive, or whither and die.  Did you know they can make watermelons square, or pears shaped like Buddha? Adaptation to environment, and the result of need or desire for change. That pear or watermelon grew as it was forced, not all end up the same and that’s ok. 

It’s hard to think about loss because it makes us look sat ourselves. What is the legacy I want to leave behind? Would anyone come to my funeral? What would people say about me? As I sat in the pew at mass I did have the passing though that I did not care if anyone showed up at my funeral because those that matter show up when you are here. 

Funerals are not for the dead they are for the living… and while I am out living I want to be surrounded by the amazing and magical people that keep showing up.  This is why I invite people to be part of my life. Be present because you are a gift of spirit. 

You can raise someone up, or drag them down and it is your choice how to handle a situation. I will continue to raise others and myself up, saying yes and showing up when asked at every chance my body allows. We only get one shot in this life, find joy where we can, embrace it where it lives in whatever form it arrives in. 

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Adulting

Sometimes it is strange to me to realize I am an adult. We all joke about that time when you look around and remember you are the adult in the room. You are the one responsible for making decisions, blazing the trail, setting the example. 

I don’t remember a lot of time in my life spent being irresponsible, carefree, or reckless. I know I have made bad decisions, and I don’t know nearly as much about the world as I wish to (or even pretend to). I have subsisted largely in a world of fake it till you make it. This is probably why I am living the way I do now, so very out loud. My life is BIG. 

My old style of living (not sheltered, taking on much responsibility) led me to be less naive than most of my peers. Not to the point of being fully jaded, but to the point where I almost don’t remember that there are others out there who don’t see the world the way I do. I don’t lay blame to this fact, I just forget it because it’s just become such an inane part of me. 

I had a wonderful meal tonight at a tiny local sushi bar with a coworker. We had wonderful conversation and I felt like I learned a lot about how she sees the world. I enjoyed being the one to help crack her shell and expose her to a “hidden gem” in a local neighborhood. 

It never crossed my mind that people who lived so close to places would not see them would not venture outside their bubbles even though it may not be intentional. I love seeing the awe and amazement on people’s faces as they find something new and exciting or trespass outside of their comfort zones. 

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone is quite often cliche I must say, but truly it is awesome to see people start opening up to the possibilities life holds. that is an amazing gift. 
Yes I will admit, I am a pusher. I push people. I push you to try harder; I push you to dig deeper; I push you to feel what it might just be like to feel the fear, to go for what you want. When you push past that fear you find that bliss! You find the amazing confidence, that talent you didn’t know you had. That gift deep within you to grow and foster. Heck you may get to find that new place that none of your friendsknow about that you can show off and be the new in the know person,  and just leave everyone to figure out how you do it. 

You can’t let yourself be intimidated by life, or fear or the unknown. Use your street smarts, and all of your tools and get out there and try new things. I am enjoying trying to help draw my friends out of their shells. I am enjoying watching them start to find themselves and discover who they might turn into as I myself morph into the next incarnation of who or what I am supposed to be as an adult. …

…adult. A dull t. Never a dull moment. I may be the one that works and pays the bills. But I am certainly not going to be giving up on enjoying life as it comes. We only get one ride on this big marble. You know I’m going to make my roll count! 

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You are Beautiful

“You’re really beautiful” and “you’re really good at what you do; not your job how you handle your interactions with life”

Those two statements were given to me as I walked over the Mississippi River under the stars Friday night. Treasured words given to me by someone I am getting to know better. 

I can’t explain how amazing it has been to continue to see the evolution of myself. This transformation into a different person by simply choosing to live more in the now and do what makes me happy. It is a long road to figure out who and what you are in life. 

To hear that someone who I have only really known for a comparatively short period of time sees beauty in me, and sees that significance in the way I conduct my life is incredible. 

The brief walk and talk we shared from the bar I’m sure was part sweet intoxication, but inside all drunken stupors there is some truth. Truth that the shift I have made in life has given way to my happiness. 

Those statements a out who I am are probably the best gifts I could receive as a birthday present this year; and they reinforce that living my best life and pushing the limits for myself and lifting others up is exactly what I need to continue to do. 

I may just have to start visiting the river more… it may become a new happy place.  

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Giving. Is it About What You Get or Something More?

For a few weeks I have been mulling over the same set of thoughts over and over again.  Giving. Having just had my birthday, I was the recipient of one of the MOST amazing gifts I have ever received. The gift on knowing just how much my hug, and honest friendship meant to someone in my life.

So often I see the same relationship when it comes to giving. People have a bargain-type relationship with giving. It is seen perfectly, in an exaggerated form, in an episode of The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon and Penny give each other gifts for the holidays.  Sheldon struggles to find something that will be an equal monetary value for the gift he may receive, and Penny gives a gift that is of significance.  This leaves Sheldon to try making up the difference.  Giving is not meant to be a relationship of exchange.  It is not, I will give this to you but you need to give that to me.  It is not a competition of who can outdo who, it is not a fucking transaction.  Do not give with expectations that is a business relationship.

I believe this is why so many people look to charity to relieve a bit of guilt that has built up from the give and get of these relationships.  In recent years those close to me have seen a shift in me, those that are newer to my life only know it as how I am.  I am doing my best to give from a place of gratitude.  I give because I am thankful for what I have, I am thankful to be able to share and thankful to be able to do what I can in the moment.

My friend Stephanie is doing her very first half ironman tri tomorrow! It did not even cross my mind to not be there.  Am I going because she drove up to Minneapolis in September? NO. Am I driving because she roomed with me at Fitbloggin? NO! Why am I doing it… because she is my Celery and I am her Carrot and giving support and cheering is something I can do.  I cannot imagine NOT being there.

So here I am on the eve of the tri basking in the greatness of gratitude in a suite at my hotel so happy to be able to give what I can on this day. Tonight will be dinner with friends old and new, tomorrow I will cry as my friend pursues her dreams and goals, and gives her all.

I guess I just want to raise your conscious level for a moment and make you think about giving.  Think the next time you GIVE why you are doing it.  Try to remove your expectations from the picture.  Hold the door, but don’t expect it to be held.  Buy a coffee and don’t worry if they pay it forward or not.  Do for other people.  Believe and BE LIVE IN THE MOMENT. Be present, it is a gift.