A different relationship with disappointment.

I didn’t coin the phrase. A wise, beautiful woman who helps lawyers achieve their goals, kind of like a fabulous fairy godmother (for a fee), said this today in a meeting at which we were making an honest assessment of our successes–and disappointments–of the last year.

She asked me to articulate some of my greatest achievements of 2014 and I was stymied. After some coaxing and reflection, I realized it was a great year in so many ways. But my first thoughts were mired in the disappointments. They poured into my thinking chamber and I was drowning in a failure flood. It’s just so easy to focus on the the stuff that sucked, on the moments I sucked, on the times when I was told in sometimes gentle and well-intentioned but still painful ways, you suck.

The meeting was great and emotionally charged, sad and hopeful. It was important.

Our fairy godmother was speaking truth and we were responding with truth. And I came away with so much to think about further, so much to do–all with the aim of doing less of what sucks and more of what doesn’t. I came away with the notion that disappointment abounds but I’m not going to dwell in it anymore.

I’m going to move on from it and not wear it like some ill-fitting shapewear that is riding up in all the wrong places and squeezing the breath out of me. I’m going to learn from it, make a new plan and be kinder to myself. To be as empathic to me as I am (mostly) to others and to be happy.

Coaches, consultants, yoga instructors and self-help authors are full of the kind of phrases that end up set in weird fonts over Facebook pictures of serene waters or close up shots of pale pink roses.

Energy follows intention.

There’s no such thing as luck.

Every disappointment is an opportunity to make a positive change.

They’re all true in some sense or another. Some are worth 30 minutes of pondering while typing out a blog post on your iPhone. And some are worth repeating or tacking up next to your office computer. Some, not so much.

Today though, I’m thinking about disappointments in a new way. And, if I’m lucky (in the self-made sense) and my energy follows my well-designed intentions, this time next year I’ll say to the same group of fabulous ladies (without any coaxing or coaching) that last year was a great year–with more successes than suckage. And I’ll be telling the truth.

Advertisements

Who needs friends?

My then-4 year old announced proudly from the back row of the minivan, “I have lots of friends, but I don’t need any of them!”

We were discussing my still-6 year old’s efforts to make new friends at summer camp. The older sister was stoic. She’d “almost made a friend” that day, but that almost-friend ran in to a full-on-friend midday so the new friendship fizzled. She’d try again tomorrow, with a new friend prospect, and her stated strategy was to be herself and “find a friend that likes math games as much as [she] does.”

It was equal parts heart-breaking and heart-warming to hear her process her feelings about friendship out loud. Her sister’s response, eschewing all need for friends carried the same balance in my heart. I was proud of her independence but I was also quick to tell her she was wrong. As wrong as you can be about anything. Like as wrong as a same-day-only free ticket to an all you can eat sushi, store-bought hummus, unpasteurized soft cheese and Champagne tasting buffet for a first-time, 12 weeks pregnant lady.  (I say first-time, because…well, I would have taken the ticket the second and third times around).

She surely didn’t need a lot of friends, but I guaranteed her that she did in fact need some–or at least one.

Friends, I told her, are a necessity. Everyone comes to a point (or a thousand points) in life, when a friend is the difference between being tossed overboard and clear sailing. Friends can carry you over a bridge when you are frozen with fear of falling, or wake you up when you’re unconscious in a sorrow or shame-induced zombie slumber–these are the kind of points in life when friends come in handy. And those points will come, no matter how self-sufficient you are. Continue reading

When it’s time to say goodbye.

I completely lost my shit on the phone.  Hello, ma’am.  Are you there?

Yes, I’m here.  I just can’t breathe.  I am calling the vet for a recommendation for at-home pet euthanasia services and I cannot make the words come out of my mouth.  I can’t say euthenasia.  It sounds like a lost continent.  I’d rather be on that continent.  Even if it’s like a tundra, where even a bug is meat.  I’d rather be standing on the battlefield between two warring tribes of outermost Euthenasia than saying the word euthenasia in reference to my sweet, first, canine baby.

Oh God, that tundra thing is something my mom used to say.  The tundra: where even a bug is meat.  Where did that come from?  I can’t even remember the context.

I can’t.

I can’t say goodbye to Hudson.

But it’s time.

And I’ve been here before.  Saying goodbye when I was absolutely not fucking ready.  Feeling all of the Kübler-Ross stages of grief at the same time in one debris-flying tornado of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

I said the word.  I got a recommendation and I made the appointment.  We are going to say goodbye soon.

Here comes the tornado again.  Damn it to Euthenasia, that hell-hole of a continent!

And there goes any chance of making 2015 a less potty-mouthed year.  Good thing that was someone else’s resolution that I was thinking of stealing.  I’ll have to make another–maybe something more positive. Something not stolen. Yup, not stealing is a good start.

So, here’s to more laughter, more love, more making and revisiting of great memories with creatures big and small, and more ice cream in 2015.

Here’s to sweet Hudson.

Hudson, Me, Mom (with Sassy in the oven) and Peanut leading the charge.

Hudson, Me, Mom (with Sassy in the oven) and Peanut leading the charge.