Posted in gifts, know better do better, mindset, thoughtfulness, vulnerability

The Golden Rule, and how we get it wrong

Treat others the way you want to be treated.

We get stuck in the details.

“Well, I like pedicures, but if the person I gift one to doesn’t like pedicures, then they’re not happy even though I treated them how I would like to be treated!”

That’s not what it means.

We want to be respected. We want to be known and heard and understood and loved.

Do that. The process, not the outcome.

(It’s harder than just giving other people things we like.)

Posted in gifts, gratitude

Hands

I’ve been somewhat fascinated with my hands lately.

I have callouses from rock climbing. I love my climbing callouses, which seems odd, but I think they’re just a reminder that I have time and ability to do something I enjoy doing on a regular basis. And maybe a splash of the badass feeling I had making it up that last route last time.

For a while, I’ve sometimes wished I had close up photos of my hand on a hold. It’s often a particular hold; I don’t know why. Usually outside; occasionally inside. I snapped a few using a large rock on the ground once near where we were climbing. My angles were bad, so they didn’t turn out at all as I’d like, but The Climbing Daddy jumped in and we ended up with some that were nice in that way.

My fingers can move in patterns to play songs on a myriad of different instruments. When I play ukulele enough (read: not lately), I have callouses for that, too.

One finger (right hand pinky) changed the course of my college career, which led to so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Another story for another day.

Of course, I use my fingers to type all of these posts. And emails. And social media posts. And whatever other things I type for work or for play.

And I use some of them to write. My book, so far, has been mostly hand-written, though as of earlier this week, there is also now an electronic copy.

My hands grip weights for lifting.

They hold hands. They rub backs. They tie shoes. They please my lover.

They pull the weeds, push the vacuum, chop the veggies, spread the nut butter, stir all the things.

A long time ago, I learned how to give a good hand massage. I didn’t use that skill, and I’ve forgotten. But I think it would be great for The Climbing Daddy and I to learn it, to be able to give some special lovin’ to these amazing hands that do so much for us every day.

(Every time I’ve read that last sentence, I’ve cringed at what sounds like hyperbole, but I truly am amazed by these things lately.)

 

 

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Posted in gifts, mental health, mindset, motivation, physical health

Gratitude for pain

So … I climbed on Tuesday until my hands wouldn’t hold onto the rocks on the wall any more.

My forearms (from gripping) and lats (from pulling) hurt for two days.

On the second of those days, I had a session with my trainer. Leg Day.

My legs were hurtin’ the next day. And, from all of the weights I held and moved in addition to just legs, my lats and forearms were unhappy an extra day.

How glorious!

My body is strong enough that I can try to climb fake rocks until I physically can’t any more. I can train (hard!) with a trainer. I can walk around at work all day, noticing that I’m sore. I can run 5Ks and ride my bike and play on the playground with my kid and move furniture and carry laundry.

Lucky me.

Why do it? Because you can.

A friend’s mom recently completed her first 5K. Except that she has a degenerative disorder, making walking long distances painful. She walked it. With a walker. Took WAY longer than everyone else. But she did it.

There are countless examples of people working through massive obstacles to be able to walk or run or lift or climb. (I’m sure there are examples in other sports, too–those are just the ones on my radar.)

Do it! Because you can!

Posted in differences, gifts, hope, thoughtfulness

A different kind of Christmas

While many of us have families that are less than ideal to spend time with, a couple of things have shown up lately that put some perspective on that.

First, in my On This Day on Facebook, my post about Santa coming to school has shown up multiple times. (Different days for different years.)

I used to work at a school in a very low-income neighborhood.

Our kids were the recipients of toys from a toy drive. Each December, Santa came to our school and gave a bag of gifts to every homeroom teacher (to distribute at the end of the day, and to be opened at home). One gift for every student in the school.

Kids, as you can imagine, were excited.

For some of them, that was it. Their Christmas present.

On behalf of those kids and kids everywhere like them, thank you for your toy donation. Thank you for not grumbling that it has to be new.

Some of them had parents that fit the low-income stereotype. But most of those kids had parents who loved them dearly, who worked two or three or four jobs to try to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. (Where are the kids who eat free breakfast and lunch at school eating this week? Or over spring break? Or over the summer?) What a gift for them to receive something nice. I have always hoped they got something they wanted.

Also on Facebook the other day, the following story was shared by a woman who had been a tutor for Child Protective Services.

“I had a child once ask me if Santa was real. After much inner debate I told him the truth. He breathed a huge sigh of relief. Why? Because, as he said, ‘That’s why Santa never came to my house!’ He knew his mother was abusive and neglectful, but the thought of Santa neglecting him meant that he really was unlovable. Santa is great for healthy homes but we need to be very mindful of the homes that aren’t.”

And we can rant and rage and wave our tiny fists at the parents all we want. At the end of the day, we want physically and emotionally healthy kids, and we need to be more of a village to help that to happen.

Posted in gifts, mindset, thoughtfulness

Random acts of kindness

I was the recipient of a random act of kindness yesterday. Even though it was “useless,” it made my day. Here’s what happened.

There was A Thing I saw at Costco and debated buying for a friend. Debated a bit, decided with The Climbing Daddy that yes, we should get it. Went back, and it was gone. Checked back a bit later and it was not restocked (and was not going to be).

The thing about Costco is that you can’t call and talk to someone about general stock. Or I couldn’t.

I’m not a phone person AT ALL, but I’m even less a “drive around to all of the local Costcos” person.

So we checked another (also sold out) and then asked them if they could tell us if any locations had it.

Yes, one. About half an hour from here.

So after work before picking up The Kid from school, I drove out there.

As I entered the section where it would be if it were still to be there, a chipper employee asked me if I needed help.

“I’m looking for A Thing and [other location] said you have a bunch.”

“Hm. How many is a bunch?” he asked as we started to walk towards the answer.

“They said you have nine, but I only need one.”

The conversation went on a bit before he clarified, “You came all the way up here from [other location]?”

Yup. No one else has them.

“We have to take care of you!” And he put A Thing in my cart. I thanked him, considered myself “taken care of,” and on we went.

A minute or so later, as I was finally getting out of that area (it was crowded! and Costco carts do not squeeze through anywhere…), he leaned over my cart, put in a roasted chicken with a note on it, and said, “Lunch!”

The note indicated to the cashier that it was free.

It was such a random and nice thing to do.

I don’t eat meat; been vegetarian for almost 11 years. No way he would have known that. Doesn’t diminish his kindness a bit.

(I texted The Climbing Daddy to see if he wanted it. If not, I would have offered it to a friend or given it to one of the panhandlers.)

So if this little kindness made my day, imagine what you could do for someone—whether you know them or not—with something unexpected and nice. Doesn’t have to be a gift.

(And if you know the person, it should be something that reflects them. If someone in my social circle gave me a cooked chicken, the reception would be different…)

I’ve gotten better about complimenting people I see out and about. I’ve been on and off the wagon with regards to sending people nice notes in the mail. (Real mail. Handwritten.)

How can you make someone’s day today?