Posts Tagged ‘hugs’

Life is full of things we have to let go of, things we have to, have to — no question — let go of. But, what about the things we don’t intend to let go of — the things that we will keep because they make us strong and happy and fun and intelligent and all the good things we can be? I guess the point is, I always hear people say, “I’m letting go of …”, but I haven’t really heard anyone say, “Hey, this I’m keeping, this will never be on my ‘letting go’ list.”

So, I made a list.

An “I have no intention of ever letting these things go no matter if they beg me to, if they go out of style, if they disappear, if they…” . Ok, that may be too long of a name for a list but, I’m not letting go of it.

1) Dr. Marten boots — I have a pair and I’m never letting them go. I don’t wear them anymore. They sit in my closet, in the back, under some other crap. But, I have them.

2) Tennis rackets — I don’t mean good tennis rackets. I mean the ones I used in college. The ones that aren’t made anymore. The ones that people stare at when I pull them out of my bag — yea, I’m keeping them.

3) My guitar — I got this guitar when I was in the fourth grade. It’s strung for a left-handed person because I am. I can play it. I’m not letting it go.

4) My “work girls” — Courtney, Adrienne, Amanda, Lynnette, and Ada. They made me promise to include their names on the blog at some point. They make me laugh and think and talk and hug and talk some more. I’m not letting them go.

5) My kids — I know we, as parents, are supposed to teach them to fly and send them out on their own. I really think that’s just a load of crap. I have every intention of home-schooling my kids when they become college age (no sense in doing it now, public schools are working for them). I’m not letting them go — not yet.

6) A couple of friends that will be stuck with me for life — again, I’ve heard that saying “If you love something, set it free…blah, blah, blah”. I’m a smotherer (something I discovered rather recently). My new motto is, “if you love something, hold it so tight that it will either love you back or die”. Ok — on second thought, I better rethink this philosophy. I’ll let go of the new motto, but not the friends — they’re stuck with me, for life.

7) My love of dogs – I’m not letting this go. In particular my love of my dogs (even the annoying one). I guess they’re stuck with me. My dog is sweet and neurotic and needy and independent — we are good for each other.

8) My memories — I’m not letting them go. I have quite a good memory — almost too good. I remember things people promised me or said to me or events or vacations or cars. Maybe I hold people to what they’ve said too much — not everyone has as good a memory as me. I’m not letting it go.

9) Righteous Indignation — I haven’t possessed this for very long, but I like it. It’s acquired. I’m still learning — I’m not letting it go.

10) Myself — I’m quirky and needy and smothering and jealous and possessive and funny and smart and … some other things. I’m not letting go of myself. I’m actually gaining more of myself — more of the good. Some things I have to let go of — I have to — let go of. But I need to keep enough that it’s still me. Maybe I’m a puzzle with some missing pieces, waiting for it all to get assembled. I think we are always acquiring new pieces of ourselves. It depends on the people you let in your life — what piece of you are they waiting to give you? So, I’m not letting go of myself.

That’s my list.

What are you not letting go of?

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I Just Need A Hug

I’ve learned about hugs. Laugh, but it’s true. I’m the person who when I was pregnant, if you dared touch my belly as if it were your own, I would growl. I’m the person, who never liked for people to touch me and if you dared attempt to wrap your arms around me — I never reciprocated. I’m the person who shied away from any type of physical contact with friends.

But, I’ve learned about hugs.

You know I had to google about hugs to see what was so magical, here’s what I found:

Hugging is good medicine. It transfers energy, and gives the person hugged an emotional boost. You need four hugs a day for survival, eight for maintenance, and twelve for growth. A hug makes you feel good. The skin is the largest organ we have and it needs a great deal of care. A hug can cover a lot of skin and gives the message that you care. It is also a form of communication. It can say things you don’t have words for. The nicest thing about a hug is that you usually can’t give one without getting one.

Wow. That sounds pretty serious. Like this hugging thing could be medically related and therefore not just make me sappy (although, I’ve learned about sappy too). I had a friend tell me that a hug that lasts for at least 6 seconds can actually make you feel better. So, of course, I googled and here’s what I found out about that:

When you hug, oxytocin is released in the brain. Oxytocin does more than make us feel good. It lowers the levels of stress hormones in the body, reducing blood pressure, improving mood, increasing tolerance for pain and perhaps even speeding how fast wounds heal. It also seems to play an important role in our relationships. It’s been linked, for example, to how much we trust others.

Now that is significant — I think. Hugging can actually help you trust other people — trust your friends. That statement alone should probably make you go and hug a friend.

I love to hug my kids — that I can do. But maybe I don’t hug them enough as they get older. Maybe the hugs seem to fade with age — I’m sure that’s not the way it is supposed to be. So, I’ve made a conscious decision to give my kids ample 6 second hugs each day — when I wake them up, when I see them off to school, when they greet me each day I arrive home, when I tuck them in at night. With them, it’s easy.

I’ve always had a certain longing to be one of those girls who can hug and touch and hold and not feel completing incapacitated by it. They always make their friends feel so good. My youngest daughter’s kindergarten teacher is one of those girls — she gave me a 6 second hug just today. In turn, I passed it on to a friend I hadn’t seen in a month or so — maybe she passed it on too, that’s what we do as girls — I’m learning that too.

I’m learning that we are emotional creatures — (you’re gonna love this poem by Eve Ensler), some of us just learn it later than others.

So, if you see me, expect a hug. Evolution can be a wonderful thing.

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