CAKE

Hello again Travellers,

I didn’t really plan out this whole writing everyday for 30 day event very well, did I? This week is stuffed so full that I have not been able to fit in my time here with you beautiful people. My apologies to you and to myself as well. I disappoint myself when I fail to arrive here because it matters to me. It’s hard to select what has to fall away sometimes in order for other things to be accomplished. And I’m yet to figure out how to do it all. I’m still working out this whole how to do life thing. Trying to align my values with my behaviors.

Because you should know if I’m writing about, I’m struggling with it to. I do not have anything more figured out than anyone else. In fact, I think we each have pieces of life figured out, but no one gets the whole cake. We can share the same recipe, but it never tastes the same from human to human.

One of my closest friends had surgery Tuesday morning, so I’ve been doing whatever I can to help her, this is a very hectic work week, there’s working out everyday, walking dogs, cleaning up EVERYTHING and all the general nonsense that keeps a human life in motion and just exhaustion. It’s exhausting. I have felt tangibly exhausted.

I made a cake last night and iced it this morning for one of my meetings today. THE meeting of my day, which is where I present my proposed annual budget to the Board of Directors I work for… I tend to pry them with desserts. Not that they won’t show up, but my baking capabilities are bordering on legend at this point.

Ok, maybe not legend, but I do make really good sweet stuff…anyhow, I was thinking about a few things this morning and so, here we go:

That phrase, “Have your cake and eat it too.” What kind of ridiculousness is that? If you have cake, you are going to eat it. What else is cake for? And why would you want to both keep it and eat it..it’s gonna spoil, especially if it has cream cheese frosting. Everything good has an expiration, doesn’t it? Think about it…

Obviously I had to google it and Google says:

It means you can’t eat a cake and continue to possess that cake once you’ve consumed it. The use of the phrase, therefore, is to tell someone that they can’t have two good things that don’t normally go together at the same time, like eating a cake and then continuing to possess that same cake so you can eat later.

I think there is something fundamentally wrong with humans. It’s like every other lifeform on Earth just goes with the flow of life, BUT NOT US, why is that??

Why do we insist on making things so damn difficult?

Why do we so often sour our appreciation with wanting more?

Why do we want what we know we cannot have? Why do we seek that kind of frustration?

Because I have to tell you, I’d rather eat my cake and savor it. AND in a way, I do get to keep it. You keep the memory of it’s taste, texture, flavor subtleties and that moment. I think there is alot to be said for appreciating rarity versus wanting a never ending supply of something.

One of the photos I included in a this post, was a piece of red velvet cake. Or what was left of it. It was my birthday, I had just cut off all my hair, Dave was with me in one of favorite dining establishments and they brought it out as a surprise. Because they overheard us talking about my birthday and there are kind people in this world still. It was a surprise and not on their menu. Only for birthdays. And I never had another piece again. It was the best red velvet ever in the history of my life. And there’s something about the fact that I couldn’t have it again that for me really sweetens that whole memory. Which is why I took that photo.

The experience of having it and savoring it so fully that one time was enough.

Speaking of enough, yesterday I had a rather heartbreaking conversation with one of my favorite people. He reads this actually and he is 85 currently. He is on my Board and over the years we have become something near family. Yesterday he brought information about Excel, which is a program I despise but he runs quite easily, in case he wasn’t here sometime soon. And it hit me all at once just how close he might be to the out door of this life. After he left, I sat and cried because I don’t want him to go wherever we go next. I am not ready.

And it has been my sincerest privilege to know you and your wife.

This morning I realized, people are the best cake that we don’t just want to consume, but keep forever. But we can’t. That’s not the design, is it? It’s just the worst thing isn’t it? And we are all single pieces never to be consumed twice. No two will ever taste the same.

So my thought for your day is to savor everyone in your life. And don’t want what you cannot have, which is forever. Because it robs the moment of what you do have, which is now.

Help you, help you

Happy Monday to you fellow Travellers,

I’ve decided that Spring is nature’s version of bad dating…hear me out. You give me these amazing sunny warm days where I get to lie on my patio in shorts and bask in the splendor, which was yesterday, but then that wonderousness disappears for a few days or more. I don’t understand what just happened, weren’t we having a great time? Or was too exhausting for you? Was my happiness just too much for you? Were you overcome with emotions you weren’t ready for or is it too soon to commit to the next season??

WTF?? How am I suppose to walk my dogs on these crappy borderline Spring-ish fling mornings?

Then I realized, I think this is how it is every year. I get so excited and then so disappointed…expectations do not always serve us well, do they? Certainly not when we can’t differentiate between what we expect and what we just hope for…

And I just think I’ve got alot riding on this one, I’m trying to secure myself on the other side of grief and I just need some cooperation here…but that’s really about me isn’t it? This is not how partnership works. I’m gonna have to sort this one out with relying on Spring…

Since it’s Monday, I thought I would discuss something that I find very helpful and yet challenging. It’s a very necessary perpetual practice in my life. It’s one of the most important skills I have gleamed from therapy.

As I have said before, let’s be clear, therapy isn’t a cure. It’s where I go to learn skills to survive my humanity. And I go to therapy for a sounding board and I’m a big believer that it’s something we need to normalize. Zero shame, all awesomeness that’s what I’m saying…

And it’s just like Robert Frost’s poem says, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

So go get a pen and paper. I’ll wait…

And no, we are not using our cell phones, actually writing the words here is important.

Here is the question my therapist asked me many moons ago: What do you value? Make a list.

And this isn’t a right or wrong answer, but 100% honesty is required. If you are not honest with yourself, you are lying to everyone else as well. And you need yourself here.

What do you value?

Take your time, just listen to what you hear inside. Don’t wait forever, don’t try to make it look like a good list, because you know the answer.

The list does not need to be a novel, just what speaks to you…

Here is most of mine…

HOME, honesty, compassion, Friends/Family, Furry kids, Health/Mobility, Humility, Tenacity, Vulnerability, Acceptance, Discipline, Kindness, Intelligence, Stability, Communication, Learning, Adventure, Inner peace, Trying new things, Bravery and a handful more.

I wrote this list over a year ago, and I’ve actually crossed off some things and added new things since then. Or refined a word. And that’s how we work, our values change based on what we learn about ourselves, right? Our values change based on experiences and the ability to recognize what no longer serves us.

Or maybe we realize there is something we’ve been missing and when we find it, like a little seashell on the beach of life, we pick it up and put in our little mental pockets we all have inside. We want to carry it with us.

Now here is the hard part, this is the bread and butter. This is what it’s all about: do you base your behavior on your values? Or are you basing it on your emotions and immediate desires or need for gratification?? Or is your behavior a misaligned coping mechanism that needs more exploration?

Get honest. Try not to judge yourself too harshly because remember you are the only person in this whole world who will never leave you and therefore, ya gotta learn to like this person and believe in this person. Get on your team. No matter what other persons have told you…

I have my list in my planner, I see it everyday and I find that the more I work on it, the easier it becomes. I’m not saying I get it right all the time, because I don’t… I think we go into autopilot so much in this society that we really don’t pay attention to what we do each day…Do you remember what you did yesterday?

This is not an easy thing, BUT if you will consistently do the work and observe as you are about to make a decision or react or behave in a certain way, you might be surprised to see how often you abandon what you value.

Just pause and ask yourself, does what I’m about to do align with my values? Am I making this choice from that place or where is it coming from?

Make this Monday worth something is what I’m saying… Take in all words I just left here for you. Make a list. Trust me this one time. It works. Not easily, but there is a feeling that this cultivates inside that I would diminish with mere words.

Good luck!! And let me know how it turns out!!