don’t sweater it

We tend to focus more on our shortcomings than our strengths.  It seems that almost everyone is seeking to improve X, Y, or Z so that they can accomplish 1, 2, and 3.  This game of improvement is a handmaiden of goal-setting and progress, and it’s important that we play along in order to grow as individuals.  The trick of the game, however, is to consistently consider your strengths and remember to value the abilities that you already possess.

With that said, I present to you my horribly unartistic community chalkboard.  The handwriting is almost embarrassing, but I’m focusing on the idea more than the design.  You with me?

Most my mornings start when Kinzie licks my face left right and center to wake me up.  Sticky and slobbery, I walk her around the neighborhood so she can do her thing.  I put a sticky chalkboard along our route, and I plan to leave daily messages on the board.

I’m hoping to get a little more inventive with my messages each day.  I’m also hoping that someone writes back one day (hint hint).
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boom boom room

Science tells us that every single cell in the human body replaces itself within 10 years.  Changes in the body are obvious to the eye, and we don’t question that our appearance will change over a period of ten years.   A more interesting question, perhaps, is how long it takes for change to occur in our hearts and minds.

I was having dinner with a group of friends when a disparaging comment was made about a mutual acquaintance from high school.  My friend Sarah asked why the comment was made, and the accuser recalled an episode from 9th grade. “Well,” Sarah replied, “9th grade was over ten years ago – don’t you think they’ve changed?  We’ve all made mistakes.”

Pure genius, right?
It takes strength to be kind, and it takes wisdom to realize we’re all flawed.  Each of us is constantly changing, growing, and learning, and we’re bound to make mistakes as we journey through life.   We do the best we can until we know better, and when we know better, hopefully, we do better (to rephrase Maya Angelou).

Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and practice forgiveness whenever you can.

serving goofiness at the picnic

this post was suppose to be about the romantic summer picnic that jon and i had last night, but it’s not, because the only thing on my mind is how strength rises out of vulnerability.  stay with me here, but today i was thinking about my shortcomings —   things i want to do better and  talents i wish i possessed — and i forced myself to stop and think about the positives.

what do i value about myself?  a little reflection, and i know that my greatest strengths are my expressiveness and my goofy personality. while those aren’t exactly traits that would lure dozens of suitors on a profile, that is what i’m working with here, and those are the traits that i need to focus on to really feel me — to feel comfortable in my own skin.

it’s hard work to give up the idea of becoming better, of striving for perfection in certain areas, but it’s critical for enjoying yourself as you are today, and for realizing the value of the gifts you already have.

okay.. and because the expressive side sit still, here are some pictures of that beautiful summer picnic at lake harriet.ImageImage
we snacked on blueberry spinach quinoa salad with poppy seed dressing (make this right now, so good) and chicken bacon sandwiches with cheddar cheese.  we sipped wine from red solo cups.  we made jokes about how the man next to us was *exactly* like tobias from arrested development.  we laid on on our backs and listened to the band play until the sun went down. i was goofy and expressive. i was happy and in love.