Friendship and passion …


Friendship comes in many forms—family, pets, people we know, and people we used to know. Losing friends is hard but the natural way of things. Friends move away physically, mentally, or emotionally. Friends grow apart. Friends pass away.

I lost two friends this week.

My Siamese cat, Emily, lived with me for 14 years and, yesterday, I had her put down. She had been ill for some time and it was best for her, and for me as well. My house feels so very empty.

This morning, I learned that an old friend from college passed away a few days ago. We were best friends back then and we brought out the best, and sometimes the worst, in each other. We both drifted away over the years. Maybe because I thought she made crazy life choices and I’m pretty sure she thought I was a stick-in-the-mud.

She dated a friend of mine in college. One of the kindest, most honorable people I’ve ever known. She dumped him for another guy. I chalked it up to immaturity. We were still friends but, looking back, maybe that was the beginning of the drift.

After a while, she married the new guy and settled into what seemed to be the perfect life. A few years later, though, she left him. I knew what happened, the event that finally drove them apart, but can remember trying to figure out what was at the heart of what went wrong for them and I couldn’t so I chalked it up to selfishness. We were still friends but drifting further and further away.

A few years later, she reconnected with my friend from college. They got married and had a couple of kids and I was very happy for both of them. He’d won back the girl he loved and she seemed to be at peace with herself and very happy. She adored being a mom. She loved her children and would move the world for them. The marriage, unfortunately, didn’t last. I asked her why she left and she said she needed passion in her life. I chalked that one up to pure stupidity. I just didn’t understand.

A bit later on, she married and had a third child and seemed to finally be really happy. We drifted further apart, however, and over time just lost touch completely. I’d think of her from time to time and wonder whatever happened to her. If they were still together, how her kids were doing, where she ended up living? The usual kind of things we all wonder about old friends that have drifted away.

A few years ago, she found me on Facebook and we reconnected. From her Facebook posts, I learned that she was not well and that her marriage was in trouble. We made plans to get together and, when I visited her, we spent a couple of hours sharing our lives since we’d last talked, some fifteen years earlier. I’m glad that we had that time together. It was the last time I saw her.

Since that visit, though, we kept track of each other on Facebook and that’s how I found out this morning that she had passed. We hadn’t been close friends in many, many years but it still breaks my heart that she’s gone. That her children have lost their mother.

Back when we were close friends, I would tell her ridiculous stories just to hear her laugh. I loved the way she laughed. She was one of the most vibrant, alive people I’ve ever known. She was intelligent, capable, curious, creative, adventurous, free-spirited, exuberant, and she loved her children, always.

She had a passion for life that I will never fully understand but maybe I’m beginning to.

She was full to the brim with passion and I will miss her, always.

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Regrets and reprieves


Ever wonder about what might have been?  I don’t very often but in the last few weeks have indulged in a romanticized trip down memory lane.

A friend from college recently mentioned via Facebook that a mutual friend from back then wasn’t doing very well. You see, the mutual friend was tucked way back in a cubbyhole in my brain as “the one that got away.” It’s a really long story and I won’t torture you with the details except to say that I always thought it was my own fault. I’ve carried around regret for years and, from time to time, wondered what might have been—until my friend and I took our conversation offline (yes, people do still have conversations outside of Facebook) and I learned more.

You see, I’ve always believed in fate, that things happen for a reason. Maybe not the things I want, much less the reason I want them, or when for that matter, but there is always a reason. As a result, I’ve pretty much strolled through life going with gut instinct. I learned early on that over-thinking big decisions leads me down the wrong path. Doesn’t matter what the decision is about. Whether it’s to pick up and move across the country or what color car to buy, if I over think it, it does not work out well for me. (I still, to this day, can’t fathom why I bought that gray car. I hated it. I hate gray. Yet, it seemed like such a good idea at the time.)

I digress.

Hearing more about our friend, and how he’s conducted his life, brought an end to my little excursion down memory lane. You see, it turns out that if the “one that got away” hadn’t, I would have gotten what I wanted at the time, but would have regretted it year after year after year. That regretful reality would have been so much worse that my regretful “what might have been” illusion.

Which leads me to reprieve.

From where I sit now, it looks like that fateful day, regretful though it was at the time, was my reprieve from a lifetime of disillusion.

Moving forward

This happy camper’s big decision today is whether to go with dusting first or running the vacuum. H-m-m-m, my gut says read my new book.

😉

Shades of gray


I recently passed the 5th module in my quest for CCP (Certified Compensation Professional) via WorldatWork’s certification program. Past the halfway mark, with the toughest ones out-of-the-way, I can focus on the fun stuff like job analysis, documentation, and evaluation. Yippee!

I am not being sarcastic. I enjoy this stuff. Really.

What I don’t enjoy is cleaning house. Which is obvious to anyone who steps in the door.

Dust is my friend, dust is my friend, dust is my friend …

Last summer—in a moment of insanity—I bought new bedroom furniture. The insane part wasn’t buying the furniture because I’d had the same stuff for about 30 years and new furniture was way overdue.

The craziness was buying mahogany furniture with a black stain. Every, and I mean every, fleck of dust shows on every surface.

This stuff starts showing dust on the end of the dresser I just dusted by the time I get to the other end. And, I always know when my cat, Emily, walked across it because she leaves a trail of paw prints.

I could have bought the same set in white but was afraid it would show dirt too easily given Emily’s penchant for walking all over furniture.

Silly me.

So, in the spirit of “if you can’t beat ’em join ’em” I’ve decided I can live with shades of gray.

I draw the line, though, when it starts looking like it’s been sprinkled with baby powder. Dirty snow is not a good look.

 

 

 

Well, I went and did it!


Yep, I set up another blog even though I barely have time to spend on this one. Well, actually, I have time, I just like doing other things too.

You see, blogging just has a way of worming itself into the fabric of ones existence and making it impossible to do all the other things one likes to do. Unless, of course, one is diligent enough to exercise great control over the blogging impulse. Me? I got no control. I just blather on like an idiot in this blog and hope no one actually sees it. (Is no one one word or two? I forget.)

So, while I am somewhat able to curb the impulse to ramble on, here’s some info about my other blog:

  • It is work-related and offers helpful hints about managing organizational compensation (I think they’re helpful but you can decide for yourself.)
  • My company does know about it but can pull the plug so I can’t get too carried away with sharing comp info
  • I promise to keep the plugs for my company (BLR) to a minimum (At least until the marketing types find out about it. When that happens, all bets are off.)

I hope you’ll check it out — http://compable.wordpress.com

PS: I’ve finally licked my addiction to Storage Wars!

 

 

Saying what comes naturally


I was reading a great post at the Jotter’s Joint earlier and it reminded me of something that happened recently …

I was at a work luncheon the other day. It was one of those service award things  and I sitting at a table with 5 coworkers from departments outside my own who apparently weren’t in the mood to talk.

After a while it got awkward

Being the dyed-in-the-wool introvert that I am, I was perfectly fine with just munching my lunch and enjoying the scenery. But, as I looked around at the others, it seemed as though some were a bit uncomfortable with the quiet. So, beginning with the guy sitting next to me, I started asking questions.

I guess I went around the table a couple of times asking more and more questions until, after a bit, one of them commented that I sounded like I was interviewing them for a job. Without batting an eyelash, I switched gears and asked … if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

You see, in my job I write about HR topics and, like most folks when trying to make conversation, I tend to focus on things that come naturally to me. For example to get the conversation going, I asked …

How long have you been in your current job?

What is it about your job that you like the best?

My coworker was right

I was asking questions like a job interviewer, like the HR director I used to be. It just comes naturally. Small talk, unfortunately,  does not.

The neat thing, at least for me, was that once I asked the lame question about the tree, everyone cracked up. The ice broke.

The point is

It doesn’t really matter what your small talk is about. What matters is that you throw it out there.

Sometimes, it might fall flat. But, other times, it just may open the gate to a trip into other people’s worlds.

And, much like writing whatever is on your mind to keep the juices flowing, it is well worth the effort.

Even for us introverts.

A hearty thank you to the Jotter’s Joint for sharing some juice with this old girl!