Saturday, October 30, 2010

October Lessons

Brought to you by candy, of the sweet sort.

It's been an interesting fall, hasn't it?  Today was warm and yesterday, while setting up for our event, I was shielding my face from the sun in the hopes of adding not one more brown spot to this pre middle age face.  I'm not sure how successful I was.  I might start wearing a bag over it so if you see me and I don't wave, well, now you know why.

An interesting fall it has been and even a better October full of bits of learnings and lessons and things I didn't know and now I do.  And I don't mean know in a BIG way but in that small tucked into your brain way that hopefully gets to the juicy parts and does the right amount of damage.  You know?  Makes change, bit by bit. 

I learned...

1. If a woman comes up to you, in a witch costume, beer in hand and starts yelling at you take it with a grain of witch-beer-infused salt.  She's probably a little intoxicated and even though all of her meanness comes out in her heightened beer state and that witch costume might just be Business Casual and not for Halloween, chances are she didn't mean to curse you, your future children or children's children.

2. Saying sorries a decade later is good.  Saying them in a year is better.  Saying them in a month is really good.  The same week or day? Rather brilliant.  Imagine if you apologized immediately after making an ass out of yourself, you know, the very next moment?  That would be downright emotionally mature.  Plus it feels good to say sorry when you tell your bartender to, "Get this effin bar together.  Now!"  Yes, that was me.  Ugh.

3. Take responsibility.  If you screw up, don't lay blame elsewhere.  Own it.  Not more than your part and not less than your part, just your part.  Be the exact opposite of every politician you know and forget about putting spin on your story.  Simply, say, "I blew it but I'm going to try not to blow it again."  How quickly we could move on if we'd take some ownership instead of mastering spin.

4. Share.  Try your absolute hardest to think of someone before yourself.  I saw grown adults maul a candy bar and little kids stand there with empty trick or treat bags.  That's not right, folks.  If you look around you, see - you there looking to the right and to the left - there are other people besides you.  Notice them and include them and think of them when you are filling your bag to the brim.  I think our bags are filled to the brim in many ways and can be shared with someone else.  Who needs your share?

5. Talk to strangers.  I don't mean in that sordid pedophile way.  I mean talk to a stranger that is ten feet away from you and you've nodded at or waved to or thought of saying more than a hi or bye with for months.  Those strangers.  Have conversations that last longer than a sound bite.  Ask someone about their day or their life or their greatest love.  Imagine what you'd find out if you took the time to meet someone new.

6. Hot chocolate helps.  It helps everything.  Well, when it's 83 degrees out it's a little strange but on most October days if you'll trust me and order it and add whip cream even though that will be so anti-wellness of you, it will help everything.  You'll feel better and younger and you'll remember you from back when you

7. Like your likes.  My niece Kristina just got her license which technically means she could drive when we go to LACMA but I'm not much of the "driving with a brand new driver on the freeway" sort of girl.  I think if you get the blessing of having children then you get the blessing of their freeway firsts, too.  So, Darling Girl wants to Museum Hop with me which makes me ultra happy and as we chatted I realized her tastes in art are very different than mine.  I like that.  I don't need her to like my likes.  Are you liking your likes?  I hope so.

I ended today at a wake celebrating the life of a dear family friend.  Ninety-six years of life lived by a woman that chose to be full of grace and full of civility and showed love and kindness each time I encountered her.

That's my goal.  I want that in my life.  Bits of learning and changes and growth and being less like today and more like I want to be tomorrow. Oh, that's the plan anyway. Sometimes I blow it and sometimes my days are a smashing success. Today, well, today was a good one.

Much love to you as we peak our heads around the corner at November,
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