Shower the people you love with love … and maybe a little whipped cream?

6 07 2008

How Blue Palaces SHOULD look!!

How Blue Palaces SHOULD look!!

I have a tendency to train solo. I just do. It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s that I know I tend to get competitive while, in the same breath, get very embarrassed when people have to wait for me. It took a lot for me to ride with the folks down to Manitou Springs for the Garden of the Gods 10 miler … but I wouldn’t have traded getting to know folks and hanging out with one of my best buds for anything … especially the ride back when I probably would have been slightly unsafe driving.

I’m one of those people who simply believes in putting as much of my heart, energy and soul into friends and things I believe in. When I was a kid, I really meant it when I said “Have a nice day!” to people … it wasn’t a trite saying. As I grew older, I got a bit jaded about a lot of things due to some of my life experiences … but I would still go out of my way for people … unlike most, I didn’t expect anything in return … ok except maybe a thank you note or something. I know what it feels like to feel helpless, alone, unloved, unlovable, unworthy and just plain depressed with no end in sight.  It’s not some strange false modesty – it’s because I want to do things for the right reasons. I see too many people doing things for self agrandizement. It really hurt for me to be accused of doing the same because I do pour a lot of myself in to things. It spoils the memory of doing something right. I believe I put myself out there to draw attention to causes I (or friends) believe in – with the hope that I might be able to be part of the catalyst that makes a good change in the world.

Last week, when I was getting hit with a lot of other barbs from people, I got some distressing and hard to take news from one of the closest people to me. I couldn’t stop tearing up, as I am right now, because I wonder if anything makes a difference.  But I know it does. And I’m more than a little honored that this very private person felt comfortable enough to let me know what is going on … and I think she knows I’ll do anying (including leaving her name out of a blog!) at the drop of a hat for her and her family. It did get me thinking, however. We all get busy … races, life, family, boy/girlfriends, kids, stupid things … that many of us procrastinate our relationships and wonder … say five years down the road … where the time has gone. We just think that they’ve always been there, so they always will be without taking the time to nurture the friendship with contact and new experiences. We just don’t have the time to risk on new things/people/relationships … it takes too much effort. I will never forget a dear friend of mine from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science being disgusted when Costco ruined the only photo of the two of us and his peony flowers. I smiled and said “We’ll have another chance!” Saul passed away that November. I didn’t really learn the lesson too deeply, but wanted to make certain I had photographs and connected with folks when I could. One of them was my old mentor who passed away this year. Like Yoda, he laughed and said it was time for me to accept myself … and for the last ten months of his life he slammed lessons in my head long distance.  To date, I’ve lost 8 people this year who were close to me … and before Gareth died he warned me of my tendency to not let people get very close because of the pain in losing them. “Lilly – we all touch people in different ways. Be yourself and the right people will show up. Acceptance, as you well know, is the name of the game … but it’s time for you to accept their being there for you!” (thwack upside the head as we were in person at that point)

Some of the risks I’ve taken … and others have taken on me … have yielded some of my closest friends. HOWEVER – I’m probably the worst at personal contact. I am lousy about the phone. I refer to my mom’s answering machine as my third parent and honestly belive most of the time when I call, I’m intruding on peoples’ space. I like texting because then you can know if they’re free to talk – but most don’t ‘do’ texting … and I’m at a loss. I like writing and receiving letters — such a nice diversion from the load of bills and junk mail … but I’ve been told it’s a lost art because of the time involved. So – it’s e-mail. I’ve been criticized for being married to my ‘life line’ of e-mail. That could be true. Typing is so second nature to me … but you do lose the warmth of a voice and the sharing of a hug.

Ah – herein lies the rub. I’ve been described as a hermit because I tend to beg off of ‘hanging out’ places and I keep myself so busy whenever possible. It just stems from not knowing when it’s OK to relax and be me. Too many emotional vampires in my past … and … honestly … my being one through my depression. I knew it was inevitable that the more I racewalked in running races, I would have to do that here in Colorado. Can’t afford escaping to other states as much as I would like (Penne … send me the 411 on that race you want me to do btw!). Q thought he was relaxing me for the Colfax 1/2 Marathon by saying “Lizzy – it’s a home town race! You won’t be out alone!” Instead it terrified me. There’s nothing like the feeling of someone actually cheering you in … and there’s nothing like the let-down of thinking that someone might be there … just for you and isn’t. He still doesn’t seem to see through the veneer when I’ve made the road runner races … each one is harder than the last … but the crew cheers like there is no tomorrow and gets me across their finish lines. A friend of mine waited for me to come in after the Bolder Boulder and I was truly shocked as the weather was terrible. I was so sore and crabby that I couldn’t really enjoy the time we hung out until a day later! Sheila … now that gal … she’s gotten me in after two races … and really taught me how good it feels just seeing one of your closest buds just before the finish line giving you that last bit of energy to cross the line … when they’re surrounded by people you don’t know at all.

What I guess I’m stumbling around and avoiding reading about the underpinnings of today’s military waste and deep seeded bias’ is this:

  • Make sure your closest friends know how much they mean to you. Don’t simply assume they somehow know it. Assuming makes an ass out of everyone. Taking for granted is almost as bad … people do float away, but some will come back.
  • When it’s time to let go … realize it’s ok to do it. I’m working on this one myself. The people who are supposed to be here will still be floating right near by … and maybe by seeing what you’re doing will be able to do it in their lives also.
  • I learned the most about unconditional love from animals … maybe take those lessons and apply them. BUT don’t be a doormat. There are a lot of emotional vampires out there … some are more innocent than others.
  • Make room for sunsets, spontaneity, time with friends, and laughter. I’ve made this mistake too many times it’s become a habit. It’s like buying strawberries and bunches of grapes and not enjoying them when you have the chance … because, although there is another basket at the grocery, you don’t want to miss out on the flavor of today.
  • Push out of the comfort zone … take others with you because they’ll take you too!
  • Follow your heart and intuition … and take the risk in letting people know you care. By the same token – if you’re slammed, ask them to wait for you – don’t put bad out there … you never know what might happen …

I’m far from perfect …. and I’ve got a lot to learn about taking the time to make the time … and for eating the fruit in the fridge before it molds …

See you at the races … maybe … unless I’ve already left after cheering everyone in!

L.

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