Saturday, March 1, 2014

On friendship

"Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.”

Thanks to facebook I think we have all been forced to use the term “friend” a little too indiscriminately. Recent occasions, when someone I consider to be my friend has done or said something to me so unbelievably cruel it has taken my breath away, have made me seriously question the designation “friend.”

Generally speaking I don’t make friends easily or quickly. I am an introvert and making new friends is difficult for me. Forging relationships is a scary business because it means I have to put myself out there. Not only does it require letting another person in to see the real me, but it requires no small effort on their part to get past all my surface warts and prickles.

I find I prefer to spend time with people who listen when I talk instead of just waiting for their turn. Do that and I will try to do the same. Also, if you can find it in your heart to leave the drama out of conversations we will both be better off for it. I don’t appreciate drama in any form. Just tell it like it is or don’t tell it. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy a good and lively conversation, but I much prefer a conversation of substance. Small talk is not my forte and empty conversation is a complete waste of time, mine and yours.

For the record: it is not much fun to spend time with people who are constantly trying to one-up me because their kid/dog/car/house is better than mine. I appreciate hearing about your children and your home and your whatever, but I expect the same from you with regards to mine.

Like most, I enjoy being with people who genuinely care about me. Me. In turn, I promise to care about them. It is not that difficult. Superficial friendships are not my style. If you are my friend, I care.

In the past year or so I have tried very hard to weed out from my life those people who are a complete drain on my well-being. I have a small circle of amazing friends who value me as much as I them. If you are reading this, chances are you are one of them and for that, I thank you.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ode to Mom

You were on my mind rather a lot yesterday and again today.

Yesterday evening CJE and I set up the quilt frame. Your quilt frame. The only quilt frame I have any experience with at all.
It fits rather nicely in our great room. The new stapler Karen got you, and subsequently let me take as part of the whole quilting package, is a dream. So much easier to operate than the old one. So easy, in fact, I was able to get Jessica’s quilt on the frame mostly by myself.

Which is both a good and a bad thing.

Putting this first quilt on what is now my frame was definitely a bittersweet operation. Gosh, I miss you, Mom. I miss both your expertise and the haphazard way you used to approach this:
    “We’re not building a piano.”
My anal-retentive personality quirks are not doing me any favors. Without you here to balance me out, I am likely to get out the tape measure to make sure everything is square instead of trusting my eye as you always did.

In the spring when Willa, Karen, Carolyn and Nolda (and hopefully Sheri) are all here to help with the big quilts you left behind, I hope I can control my urge for perfection and just enjoy the time with them doing something you and Karen and I did so many times and had such fun doing.

I never realized or appreciated how much our different personality types complemented one another when it came to these projects we cooked up. There were many, many times your casual, good-enough attitude drove me crazy. I strive for perfection, apparently to the point that, that too, makes me crazy. I can see now how my type-A perfectionism probably made you want to run screaming from the room at times.

I’m sorry about that.

Ideally a mix of the two is incredibly helpful. I can certainly see that now.

I am just praying that I can channel you over Spring Break. You have to be here with me, Mom, so I can not be quite so picky and anal and make everyone want to go home. After all:
    “We are not building a piano.”