I am a people person. I am fascinated by other individuals. What makes them tick. What inspires them. What makes them do the things they do (whether good or bad). Really each of us have our own modus operandi — and that is what I care about understanding. I want to know what fuels people to live their lives. What creates a fire in a person, what calls forth their badass self.
Due to the fact that people amaze me, I have also been called out for staring. Yes, I stare. I want to learn everything I can about someone. From what they wear to their accent, to how they treat others, to how they get the job done, to how they relax. It all matters to me. Ever last bit. I learn a lot from others. Sometimes it is poise, other times leadership, sometimes it is patience, or passion, or humor, but I believe that everyone is on this earth to teach us something. Often we do not even know what it is they are here to teach us, but we know that they are meant to be in our life for a reason.
What if we tried to suck the learnings from every individual we encounter each and everyday? We could learn a lot. Not just what we want to be and do, but what we do not want to be and do. I learned a lot from my parents and how I did not want to live my life. Maybe that has made me more cautious and maybe that has meant that I have often taken the safe route, but what I experienced with them meant that I had a life with constant unknowns (food, electricity, etc). All I wanted was to know that I would have the basic essentials every day. If I have that now, then generally speaking I am good to go.
Can you tell that about people? Can you tell what they need? Is it words of affirmation? Patience for their life situation? Humor to get them through the day? Whatever it may be, we each need something different. We each are amazing, and need each other to be our best selves. How are you helping someone else be amazing today?
It is Friday, it has been a long week, and I have a hunch we all need a good laugh. Somehow office banter, jokes, and odd behavior keeps the workday light and potentially fun. Chris and I have been catching up on our DVR and old Saturday Night Live episodes. Since the entire season had already recorded, we watched it backwards, and eventually got to the episode with Louis CK. I have always found him funny, and this particular skit made me laugh.
(Apologies for the ad that you have to allow to play before watching.)
Maybe it is not your kind of humor, but I had this strange desire to try to pull it off in the office for a day. My problem: I would not be able to keep a straight face, and would bust out laughing on my first try.
Have a wonderful long weekend (if you live in the US, and have Monday off).
What if we all took time out of each day to be silly? How would that affect the way we interacted with others? Would it bring more joy to our conversations? Would others find you more lighthearted? I have been thinking about how hard most of us work, and how little we play. What if in 2013 we all focused on being sillier?
I am going to try it. I feel I have almost perfected my silliness with Chris. I can tickle like the best of them, and I do all that I can to try and make him laugh. Much of the time I do that by being silly. Dancing, tickling, saying odd things, and last but not least being downright silly! If I get a laugh, then I have succeeded. (Of course, I love to succeed and win!)
I often think of silliness as a similar action as playfulness. I ebb and flow with my playfulness abilities. It depends on my circumstances. If I am surrounded by little children I get down on their level, whether squatting down to talk to them at their eye level, or to get down and sit and play with them. That is when I am most playful and silly (oh yes, and when I am silly around Chris). Yet, there are so many times when I could be more silly. Times when I could relax more, or not care about an outcome of a situation. My silliness that is buried like the moth balls in a closet, needs to be pulled out of hibernation and aired out.
Sometimes it gets aired out when I am in a grumpy mood, and something or someone spurs the silliness in me and my playful side comes out and my grumpy-self releases to a joy-filled, positive state. Silliness = positive mood. When we are silly we forget all the other crap happening around us. We let go of our frustrations and are present. Silliness = being in the now.
So as we get older, why is it seemingly so hard to be silly? Maybe that is not the right question to ask. What if the question had more to do with how do we stay more present in our lives, and live more in the now? The answer could very well be, bring more silliness into your life. What do you think? Does silliness come easily to you?
Thank you, Kim, for posting this on Facebook. It made my day. Usually I will put a recap of the story or experience I am linking to, but for this one, I cannot do it justice, you just have to read the entire story. It is called: “The Fart that Almost Altered My Destiny.”
Not to be gross, but just like the book: “Everybody Poops” – everyone also farts. I had a similar experience with Chris when we were first dating, only maybe I did not find it as mortifying. I think I probably found it fairly funny. I found it funny because at the time we met (well and now too) I was at a point in my life where I was who I was and I was not embarrassed about it. So breaking that barrier at the beginning of our dating time was not anything that would worry me. I think if I remember correctly I figured if he wanted to run the other way, then maybe it was not meant to be.
I think that we should be completely and utterly raw, our absolute selves. Then those that love us see us for who we really are, without the make-up, or the put together outfit, or on our crankiest day. Sometimes this also means that they are capable of taking care of us when our bodily functions (from either end) do not obey us. I have had many situations when driving to the airport or other excursions where I yell: “Drive very, very fast!” He is used to it, he gets me, and he goes fast. That my friend, is what you call love.
My favorite line of her article was: “Well, thank you boobs. You saved us. You saved our destiny.” I guess you will have to read the above link to know what that means.
Do you know how you look back on your childhood, or maybe your high school or college years and remember embarrassing moments that you know you will never forget? I can think of plenty. There are times when I look back on those moments and cringe. Maybe I cringe because it was not my fault that we could not afford the trendy clothes, that I often had hand me downs, or that my mom would attempt to make my clothes. I think what embarrassed me most was my mom making my clothes as I always felt it was obvious that it was homemade. Now I appreciate so much what she was trying to do. Other times I look back and know that I survived many embarrassing moments and that they actually made me stronger. Which is why I really loved this quote from Jenny’s memoir:
“But most important, I see me … or rather, the me I’ve become. Because I can finally see that all the terrible parts of my life, the embarrassing parts, the incidents I wanted to pretend never happened, and the things that make me “weird” and “different,” were actually the most important parts of my life. There were the parts that made me me. And this was the very reason I decided to tell this story … to celebrate the strange, to give thanks to the bizarre, and to one day help my daughter understand that the reason her mother appeared mostly naked on Fox News (that’s in book two, sorry) is probably the same reason her grandfather occasionally brings his pet donkey into bars: Because you are defined not by life’s imperfect moments, but by your reaction to them. Because there is joy in embracing–rather than running screaming from–the utter absurdity of life.” page 308
Do you remember those embarrassing moments of your life? Or the ones when you just felt completely awkward? I still have them. Do you? These days I am a little more bold about those embarrassing moments. Like the other day at work, I pronounced challah bread with the “Ch” at the beginning. I pronounced it phonetically. Does that ever happen to you? Where you may sometimes say something and then realize what you were thinking and what came out of your mouth are different things. And, then I started laughing at myself, when I heard my mistake. I brought it up again later in the week, making fun of myself. I think it is good to do that once in a while. It keeps us on our toes and reminds us that life is funny, people are funny, and even if it is slightly embarrassing (trust me I embarrass myself all the time) to go with it, have fun with the moment, laugh, and move on with your life.
So I leave you with a reminder to be YOU in all your bizarreness, and in Jenny’s words: “Because you are defined not by life’s imperfect moments, but by your reaction to them.”