Posts Tagged ‘Sheryl Crow’

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize that prisoner was you. ~~~ Lewis B. Smedes

I love a port wine cheese ball. I can’t even fathom a Thanksgiving or a Christmas get-together without a port wine cheese ball being placed somewhere on the serving table. Now, I know this is not exactly elegant or even in good taste — but the port wine cheese ball makes me happy… and why deny ourselves a little happy?

I was at the grocery store recently perusing all the foods that are completely unnecessary because I made the mistake of 1) going to the store hungry, 2) going to the store without a list, and 3) going to the store with the intention of getting a few “special” things. I made my usual long stop in the cheese section and loaded my cart with sharp cheddar and shredded mozzarella and American slices and mini Babybel — and then, as if the seas had parted to show me the way, a plastic tub that read spreadable port wine. Spreadable port wine? In a plastic tub? That I could spread on a cracker and not have to worry about getting all those almonds that usually cover any good cheese ball on my cracker (I hate all those almonds). In the cart it went. I felt utterly satisfied at my find. I could practically savor the goodness of that cheap spreadable port wine cheese in a plastic tub. And here’s where my thoughts jumped from the cheese section of the grocery store and made a flying tackle on my self-deprecation…

Why the hell did I put off buying something that gave me such joy? Why didn’t I just buy the cheap plastic tub of port wine cheese earlier? Well, I think I know why… at least I think I have the beginnings of the “know why”, it came to me right there in the cheese cooler at the store. We get it in our heads that we aren’t good enough for something, that our own happiness has to be put off, that we need a reason to be kind to ourselves. We tend to perseverate on things that have happened and the whys of it all, we beat ourselves up when we should give ourselves a break, we hunker down in our protective covers when we should embrace our lives… ourselves.

It’s the human condition, I suppose — we seem programmed to loathe ourselves… or we aren’t. But, either way, we do… on occasion. We get stuck in a moment and we think we can’t get out of it. We look around for help, for guidance and everyone has walked away — maybe retreating back to their own protective covers. And there, in that moment, that moment in which we think we are stuck and have no way out — we see it… the spreadable port wine cheese in the plastic tub. And we realize… it’s ours if we want it.

I’ve come to the realization, after many ruminations, that thinking we humans (and by humans, I, of course, mean me) don’t deserve certain things in life is more commonplace than not — I don’t know why this feeling lingered for so long with me, really. I’m figuring that part out. I received this comment on a post I did recently from a wonderful new friend and blogger, Michael Lockhart. When I read the comment it made me immediately think about some events that have been taking place in my life recently. It struck me… deep — the mixed euphoria like when you cross the finish line after running a long race and you’re completely spent — you can do no more, but the act of crossing the finish line gave you the strength to think about the next race.

That comment did that for me — it shoved me on a train of thought that perplexed me, forced me to move… I gulped in a deep breath of cleansing air. I’m thinking about the next race, and the next poem, and the next blog post, and the next friend, and the next kid I get to work with, and the next time I go camping, and I’m thinking about all the things I deserve to have in my life — the people I deserve to have in my life. I am buying the cheap-tacky-spreadable-port-wine cheese ball and I am savoring every bite.

I am not without fault. I am not asking you to ignore my trepidations. I am not asking anything of you… I’m asking it of me. I am asking to be… to just be.¬†I’m setting some prisoners free… what about you? Any prisoners you want to set free?

Life is full of these beautiful scary little moments meant to remind us of who we are and who we can be. ~~~ Sheryl Crow

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I’m dating now. Wow — releasing that from my thoughts and onto this page made me break out in hives and a small pimple has just erupted on my chin. No… this isn’t going to become “Becky’s Dating Blog”. Chances are I’ll never actually write about a date — so, all you potential suitors… relax. Although, I can’t guarantee I won’t call up my best friends late in the evening and gossip like we are 13 year-olds just home from our first school dance. And the reason I would even say that I’m dating has nothing to do with actually going on dates — it’s just the feeling. The feeling that something new is happening. The feeling that butterflies are dancing around in my lungs, preventing me from taking a deep breath. The feeling that newness is wonderful and scary and awkward and amazing.

At this point, it doesn’t seem like too much time has passed since I needed my best friend to make that initial approach to a boy. The one where she asked if he thought I was nice and pretty. I would wait anxiously for her to come back to me with the news — back then it was easy… check yes, no, maybe. If the news was bad, I would send her off to the next cute boy. I think I was much better at being the liaison for my friends then they were for me. I remember coming back to tell them good news much more than they told me (I will say this is because of my cool wit and charm when I was speaking to the boys for them). Having a friend make that initial approach seemed vital then — we were all so awkward and afraid and unaware of what our own feelings meant. Having my best friend do my talking for me was the greatest thing in the world.

I picked my daughter and her best friend up from school recently. They’re freshmen now — a time when everything is new. When my daughter got in the car she asked if I saw “him”.

“Who?”, I said.

“Him”, she said, “my boyfriend — the one I was walking with.”

Well, the boy she was walking with was actually walking about 30 feet away from her, no eye contact, not even a glance in each other’s direction. When she and her best friend got settled in the car, the best friend started receiving texts from “him”, and she would relay the message to my daughter. This made me laugh — and it made me miss my best friend. The thought of doing this alone…

So, now I’m dating… again. I’m talking and meeting and learning and embracing¬†the fun and joy and horror of it all. But… I can’t help but wish my best friend was standing beside me. Helping me with that initial hello. Prodding me to say “hi”. Letting me know which boy is going to laugh when she says, “guess who thinks you’re cute”? Letting me know which boy has a bad reputation and which boy doesn’t do well in school and which boy smarts off to the teacher. Something about going at it alone this time around makes the knots in my stomach swell up even worse.

But, here I go. The newness, the awkward pauses, the nervous dinners. I think I’ll enjoy the talks and the walks and the laughs — but, mostly… I’ll enjoy the late night chat sessions with my best friends to tell them which ones like me back. So, if you promise not to panic… neither will I, and we’ll never have to speak of this dating thing again (unless I have your phone number).

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