Once upon a time, I read our girl Rebbie's blog post in tribute to her father.
Her dad is easily my favorite anesthesiologist and is definitely and surely awesome.
One of her dad's sayings has stuck in my head since I read it
"Keep your eye on the ball until it hits your racket"
Now, I don't play tennis. You can ask James. One time he tried to teach me.
Basically it looked like me swinging the racket a lot and mostly not hitting the ball.
Sometimes I'm so ready to watch the ball go over the net that I don't wait long enough for it to hit my racket. I don't take the chance to look at it's lime green fuzzies and white stripes. The ball goes flying right past me because I was too busy planning for the future to enjoy the moment.
Unknown Person: This time of the year the weather is perfect, for a BONFIRE! This Thursday night 6:30, meet at...(details omitted as they are irrelevant to the story)
Me: Who is this?!
Unknown Person: That is a pretty demanding text, you wanna take that down a few notches?
Me: Omg. I like totally don't even know who this is...so can you like tell me or something? How's that? Or there's the standard: I got a new phone so I don't know who this is? route. Or, think I dropped my phone in the pool again. Who's this?
Unknown Person: Awful, but to avoid another text like that I'm just going to tell you who this is. [He told me his name, but I won't disclose it here] from the ward. I had to look him up online but then I realized it was the kid from this story.
Me: Okay, but in my defense, I never gave you my number and you did make fun of my bangs?
Him: I did not make fun of your bangs, I just pointed out how you were very conscious of them
Me: Oh right, you made fun of me but about my bangs :) totally different.
A long time ago I was talking to a friend. He told me he thought it's impossible for guys and girls to be just friends. If a guy and a girl are friends, he claimed, one of them likes the other one at least some of the time and usually they are both toying on and off with the idea of dating. I vehemently disagreed, and just to prove my point, we promptly started dating. (Bless my heart).
I went with a friend to Michelle's wedding reception. (Remember Michelle? From the snowshoeing debacle?). Said friend is charming and fabulous, and of course, after he left, it got me thinking about the whole idea: Can girls and boys bejust friends?
Once upon a time I told myself there were two categories of boys:
1-those I date
2-those I'm friends with
I told myself that the two categories couldn't overlap. I probably decided this shortly after JB broke my teenage (20 year old?) heart. I'm sure my reasoning was very well thought out and excellently articulated, but maybe, it's not as good an idea as I originally thought.
I've spent all this time dating boys who were collectively and/or individually
tall, ambitious, funny, charming, talented, flirtatious, athletic, and completely wrong for me.
Wouldn't it make more sense to date the attractive, fun boys who I already think are fantastic? The ones who it's easy to talk to and banter with? The ones around whom I can be completely, totally, 100% myself?
Met one of my neighbors tonight. Young man. Probably late 20's, early 30's. Tall. Pretty good looking. Presumably single.
Me: (undoubtedly saying something totally charming and witty and funny)
Him: (interrupting) Hey Liz, how do you like your bangs?
Me: I like them, why?
Him: (in front of a small group of people) Because you keep playing with them.
As always, this conversation is adapted for brevity and wit, but is more or less accurate. :)
This morning I was putting on my makeup as I watched the semi-annual General Conference of my church. My little nephew (about two and a half) came up and started to help me. "You need this?" He'd say as he brushed my bangs with my (covered) razor, my eyelash curler, my eyeliner brush. He even helped me with the powder and the bronzer. When I was sufficiently gussied up, he grabbed his little toy mirror, showed me my face in it and said, "You look so handsome!"
I recently read a book by a Christian-hating atheist. The gist was basically, he hates Christians because they hate him because he doesn't believe in God.. It's a big, ugly cycle of hatred.
Now I happen to be a very devout Christian. Because of my belief in Jesus Christ, I believe that I should be willing to act like he acted and, even if I fall short, try to treat people with compassion and respect.
But even if I had never heard of Jesus Christ, even if I didn't believe in Him,
shouldn't I be willing to treat people with dignity and respect in my interactions with them based on the fact that they are humans and I am human and we have inherent value because we are alive?
As you may know, I recently gave up eating gluten. When I meet someone who is gluten free, our conversation usually goes something like this:
Me: You're gluten free? So am I. That's awesome.
Other gluten free person: How long have you been gluten free? Are you Celiac?
Me: For about 2 years, and I don't have Celiac so I can occasionally eat gluten if I want. Are you Celiac?
Other gluten free person: Yeah, and if I eat gluten, I pretty much die.
Random person in the room: This may be a really dumb question, but I don't know what gluten is? And what's Celiac?
Gluten free person: Not a dumb question at all, I didn't even know what gluten was until I stopped eating it. It's in wheat, barley and rye. People with Celiac disease can't eat gluten...
Random person in the room: That must be really hard.
Me: It's not too bad once you get used to shopping.
Other gluten free person: Yeah, that's true, at first it is really hard, but thank goodness for smart phones so you can look up which foods do and don't have gluten.
Random person: That's really interesting.
Me & Other gluten free person: Yeah, it's been pretty eye opening.
No one says to me, "I can't believe you just gave it up 2 years ago" or "I can't believe that you still eat gluten sometimes." And for the most part, the person happily eating gluten doesn't say, "I can't believe that you don't eat gluten." or "Are you judging me for eating gluten?" Nor do I think, "You're such a bad person for eating gluten." "I can't believe you don't even know what gluten is."
Rather, it's all approached from a place of interest and a place of acceptance and respect for different perspectives.
Now I realize that this is a little more simple than some situations that we encounter. Nothing moral or ethical is at stake, but still, why can't the rest of life be more like that?
Maybe you and I disagree about our viewpoints. Maybe you think that my religion is full of crazy people. Maybe you think that God is awful. Maybe you disagree with some of my choices or viewpoints. Maybe I disagree with some of yours. Maybe you've encountered people of my faith who have been hateful. Maybe even I've been hateful in the past. Maybe I've run into hatred from those on your side of the fence. Maybe even from you.
Maybe maybe maybe, just maybe, that's okay.
I forgive you.
Will you forgive me?
Let's approach each other from a viewpoint of mutual respect and go from there.
Doesn't that seem like a better way to approach this whole mortality thing?