I was on the phone with a dear friend who was driving from store to store at 9pm on a weeknight, in search of a required “book sock” for her son’s new textbook. Being single and childless, I’m still not completely sure what a book sock is, but I get the gist.
Something about the absurdity of her late night wild sock chase got under my skin, and I decided to leave a voice mail in the character of the book sock, while she was perusing the aisles of Target. My high pitched whine sounded like a sad sock puppet. (click link to listen)
“Hello? It’s the Book Sock calling. Where are you??? I miss you!! I’m waiting for you! Come find me! Love, you!”
It was absurd beyond measure, but we had a lot of fun when she called back, with her raging at me (as the book sock) about my unavailability.
We are dealing with a humanitarian crises of epic proportions, our ecology is changing drastically before our eyes, and on an economic level, although the stock market is doing very well, many small businesses and practitioners are at a loss as to how to get people to pay for their services.
You’ve probably heard this before, but when people are dying they reflect most on the people and love in their lives. Therefore, I am urging us all in these uncertain, terrifying times, to make our personal relationships a priority.
I’m not talking about putting the needs of others before your own. We’ve been there, done that, and that is not truly satisfying for anyone.
I’m not talking about putting all of our own needs first, as a way of “being empowered,” because that leads to the kind of self-absorption that makes intimacy impossible.
I’m talking about understanding the needs of relationships. They need attention, and constancy, and time to flourish.
I’m talking about reflecting on the different ways each of our close relationships augments our lives.
About: the simple pleasure of knowing another person inside and out, for better and for worse. Click To Tweet
About the pleasure of showing up for another in distress, or having someone to lean on when you are struggling to manage on your own.
About sharing food, thoughts, ideas, jokes, kisses and billowing laughter at the absurdity of it all.
In advice blogging fashion, I’m supposed to put a To Do here. But I won’t.
I’ll just invite you to sit with it.
Good advice on giving friends and family the attention they deserve. I would also say, being a student of history, that the world is no crazier now than before. For example, at 52 I’ve lived through the Vietnam war, not to mention the Cold War and the threat of nuclear war, I’ve seen four recessions, etc. There will always be something to worry about – mainly changes. We all need to become good at adapting and supporting each other.
Thanks for grounding it all in reality, Stephen! At least once a decade there is a horror to contend with and things heat up. Agreed– adaptation and support are key in helping us survive all the vicissitudes of this crazy world with more grace. Thanks for your stopping by and sharing your perspective.
Love this post!
One of my secret or heck… NOT so secret frustrations since my hubby passed away and with having limited extended family (functional) has been rebuilding support networks. For not only myself but my children as well. I can’t tell you how many times in pure exasperation I’ve wound up in tears alone frustrated over the fact that there of over 7 billion people on the planet and that support list of TRUSTED people is still very small! haha! (And yes… although a part of me feels it should be ashamed for even confessing something like this, the bigger part of me knows it needs to said for not just me but on behalf of everyone else who is too afraid to say it!)
Even though I can get on my ‘injustice’ tangents when I write, I certainly don’t mean that I expect people to be perfect. Yet I don’t think it’s too much to ask for an ounce of integrity from people in this life.. is it?
We humans NEED connection…we NEED to feel like we belong…regardless of introvert/extrovert tendencies or any other personality labels we can come up with. We NEED each other and in a world where integrity seems to be in very short supply, it is all the more precious when we find people who, although are far from perfect (perfectly imperfect) but willing to be honest and real (within reason)
I love your quote:
‘the simple pleasure of knowing another person inside and out, for better and for worse.’
Barring ax-murderers, psychopath/sociopaths, chronic liars and cheaters…I’m in it for the long haul BABY! (friends and ‘future’ lover!)
PS: The above is VERY real and yet I hope it also interpreted thru the lens of REAL humor amidst the ‘humanity’! : )
Good post Blair!
Oh Samantha, I relate!!!
To so much of what you said, including that our true posse’s can be very small, because first we need to discover those who we really connect with (rare!), and then there is the investment of time and effort it takes to establish trust, which not everybody can make.
Once you find those perfectly imperfect few, yes, they’re keepers!
Thanks for stopping by, taking a risk and being real here, Samantha.
You augment my life and make it richer.
Truly, you do not need to live next door to someone to have a connection with them – but you do need to give it time and bring your whole, raw, real self. Relationships are a tremendous resource and gift that grows over time.
Who I am in relationships is who I am in my life… with every problem, every challenge and every success. Thanks for the reminder to pause and ask, “how am I showing up?”
PS. Love the sock puppet imitation!
You augment my life as well. <3
I love your sharing that how you are in relationships is a metaphor about how you are in life. That gave me pause, too.
And yes, they do require time and wholeness and tending . . .
By the way, it was an imitation of a BOOK SOCK! (although admittedly book socks and puppet socks sound alike).
Ah yes! Book sock! My kids have ’em too but we go by the old fashioned “book cover” 😉
Still made me laugh
I do hope you know my correction was completely in jest. I guess in Australia they have the good sense to keep the old school name! 🙂
Thanks for taking the time to think about how we need more than ever to be kind to all of the people we know, friends, family, colleagues.
The amount that I love myself, I am able to love another.
This is a beautiful post. It’s a post about being healthy and the logical, natural outcome of being healthy. If I am a healthy individual, I will be involved in the lives of others. If I am a healthy individuals, I will bring joy, empathy, spontaneity, planned love, spontaneous love, short walks, long walks, emails, texts, boot socks, and absurd silliness. I don’t know if an “unhealthy” individual could have made the switch from friend to boot sock, from vanilla to Cherry Garcia. At least an authentic switch.
The word “authentic” is so important to me. When I love myself and when I allow myself to have authentic, congruent feelings & behaviors, then life is easy.
Of course, my “authentic” cannot extend into someone else’s space. I must own my feelings and behaviors. What does this mean? Use I-statements & be responsible in all areas.
Now I’m getting preachy and I don’t know where I started! I think I started by saying that bringing joy to others begins with loving oneself & a component of this is being healthy & authentic. Simple as pie? Ha!
Pie, yes, with a little extra spicy sweetness thrown in!
Thanks for showing up authentically, and for sharing the post, Dave.
There is a place called the middle. It’s not always in the middle. Sometimes it veers toward on side or another. Yet it’s still the middle. This is where relationships thrive. The key is to know when one needs to find the middle, be able to actually do so, and then have the ability to stand there.
You have so much wisdom.
Thanks for reading and for you comment.