Carry – to hold or support while moving. Hold. Support. Move forward. We all need a little of this sometimes, right? To be carried. Not some huge grand gesture, but instead small sign of support when we most need it. The kind words genuinely spoken. A few minutes taken out of the day to listen. The reassuring words when they exist and gentle honesty when they don’t. We can use someone hoping a little harder or having just a little more faith than us in that very moment.
Sometimes we carry each other in face-to-face tangible ways. Maybe by baking a favorite dessert or listening over coffee (or beer, or wine). Taking a moment to send a note or an e-mail. Sometimes it’s as simple as a smile and a hug; a hand held. Other times we may simply carry someone close to our heart; thinking of them first and last each day.
Near or far; known or unknown – doesn’t matter. What matters is that we keep carrying each other.
Oh, my brother
Won’t you stand here beside me
We shall carry each other
And should your soul grow weary
And the strength leave your bones
Oh my brother
I will carry you home
*The beautiful words above belong to Robbie Schaefer. The song is Oh My Brother performed by Eddie from Ohio. It’s proved elusive online, but if you have a way to look it up and listen I promise it will be time well spent.
Words. What can I say? I’m hopelessly in love with them. Song lyrics and essays and blog posts and novels and poems. Thousands and millions and billions of ways to string them together and create beauty. Inspire deep thought. Shift the lens through which I see the world just a bit. Express perfectly and succinctly exactly the things I wasn’t even quite aware I felt.
And sometimes (not unlike the people we fall in love with) these lovely perfect words come from the least expected of places; when we’re not looking for them at all. I’m not a mother. I would never have sought out a blog about being one, but today I followed a link from a friend’s Facebook page right into this beautiful bunch of words, which were exactly what I needed.*
A big thank you to Glennon and all the other writers and bloggers and lyricists and essayists and poets whose words enrich my life daily.
*See especially the second half of her post.
(Also note: my mention of using Facebook in no way means I have abandoned the attempt to disengage a bit referenced in my last post. I’m working on it, I promise . . . just as soon as I log off . . .)
Transitions; from high school to college, college to first job, single to married, married to single, small town to big city and vice versa. They’re everywhere. Often quite desirable. Sometimes not so much. But always inevitable. Whether fully embraced or fought kicking and screaming, change happens.
I recently experienced the really good kind of transition as I moved into a new job. It was the right step for my career at exactly the right moment in the environment I most wanted. I could not be happier. And yet it was still a transition. There was still stress. I still wanted to finish it all at my old job as my inner perfectionist continued to try to cajole me into a full-blown ball of stress. And while I wish I could say I took a deep breath and talked her down, I can’t.
At least not for the better part of my two weeks. I tried to be the picture of calm, cool, collected and do what I can by 3:00pm on Friday, but instead I stumbled through it with unrealistic expectations and ill-though out timelines. All the while, trying as hard as I could to talk myself back to normal.
It was an e-mail from a wise sage (aka, my mom) that finally helped me round that corner. Here’s what she said:
“You are conscientious and kind and you want to leave things so that others will not be left with more to do, which is going to be the case anyway.”
And there it was. There was nothing I could do. Leaving always creates a hole. There is no way to fill that hole until someone new is hired. No amount of work I could do would ever fill it. Walking away does not change who I fundamentally am. It does not make me less kind.
Just as stumbling through this transition didn’t make me any less excited about the new opportunities on the horizon. It just simply made me grateful that I am able to recognize the things that make me lose my solid footing and that I’ve got those sages standing by to steady me.
So whatever happened to those spent grain cooking projects and that stack of journals? How is the $3.00 tomato plant doing, anyway? I am sure you are all lying awake at night wondering about these things, so let me help you sleep through the night with a few updates:
The brewer with whom I live was working on a series of beers for a friend’s upcoming party. The cookies, granola and banana bread came from the first three in the series (a porter, English pale ale and an amber). The last brew was a witbier and the grains were sort of a combination of oatmeal and a fine, flour-like powder. Not the best for my chosen project; spent grain veggie burgers. Rest assured, there will be more brewing and therefore more cooking.
The journals are still there and I’m sure there is more awesome-ness inside. I’ve been devoting my reading time to Susan Cain’s, Quiet (which was highly recommended to me in response to this post). I checked it out from the library and in addition to being wonderful it also must be returned by June 4. More from the journals after I meet this deadline!
I am sorry to report that the $3.00 tomato is no longer with us. There was a time in my life when I would have blamed my far-from-green thumb, but I actually haven’t been doing too badly with plants as of late and I had a lot of good advice on this one. I think it was just its time to go. Open to suggestions for what to fill the largish tomato container with now . . .
So now you are all up to speed* and can sleep soundly tonight! You’re welcome!
*Something I just got up to speed on: I have been following Kindness Girl on Twitter for some time now – why it just occurred to me last week that I could also follow her blog on WordPress is beyond me. This post is a perfect example of the amazing-ness contained there! If you are feeling un-saitied after my silly update today I highly recommend reading it.