Wednesday, April 4, 2012

After the Fire

I messed up and as a result a bridge was burned. It's not the first time a bridge has gone up in flames around me either. To be clear, I never torched the bridges but I certainly stumbled along the planks and those that I harmed then chose to burn them cutting of all ties with me.

Regardless, I messed up. Well, not necessarily in all cases--one I didn't do (it was a mess that involved my husband and after he apologized and they still chose to cut him off I was out of luck, too, as we're a package deal), another I was totally clueless about what I did but according to the person that I hurt I screwed up so fair enough and this last case was definitely my doing.

In all instances, I apologized immediately and profusely as I am all about mending the bridges.

Thanks to my parents leading by example I have always been able to apologize easily and to admit my role in a situation (not that I am remotely proud of the errors of my ways). I also forgive as quickly as I apologize. How fortunate I am to have been given this guidance.

Do not think this does not mean that I don't psychoanalyze the other person's role as well and try to diplomatically let them know my thoughts about their handling of the situation.  Because while I am certainly no Mother Teresa I am all about broaching painful conversations with an empathetic heart—even when my heart is badly bruised as well. 

Being cut off is so incredibly painful for me. Again, while I am not Mother Teresa nor am I Gandhi, I have never cut any one off from me. Especially people that shared their lives, time, and hearts with me. 

Here are three reasons alone why I personally have never been one to end a relationship with a friend I once treasured so deeply.

This is not to say that the offender did not cause deep pain but it is critical to look at the person's intention. It is equally critical to hear someone out about why they did what they did. While the two may ultimately never agree they will at least have heard each other out. 

"To forgive is divine, to err is human." I have always loved this saying and I loved it even more as of late when my girlfriend said it about an unrelated matter and it resonated so much with me. I could not agree with it more. Sadly, we all mess up. Owning it and trying to rectify the situation is something I believe we're called to do.

Forgiving and accepting someone and their errors is a beautiful thing. For both parties.

After my latest mess up with a long time friend and after falling on my sword time and time again to no avail I am having to accept the bridge is now mere ashes. 

I grapple with this reality daily. 

I have discussed these feelings ad nauseum with my husband and with other friends and candidly last night my husband said to me, "Move on. Accept this is over. Frankly, I am tired of hearing about it."

I understand. He is also livid. Livid because sadly owning one's behavior and apologizing for it is clearly not enough for some and he knows that is killing me inside.

However, I am incredibly grateful to the friends and family that I have told about my misstep toward another--explaining the pain I caused, the back story of the situation and the aftermath. 

Regardless, they assure me that I am enough —warts and all. 

One friend told me that there is absolutely nothing I could do to lose her since she knows my heart so well.
Another said because we're like family she'd never go anywhere. 
Still others have told me that our bonds have never felt tighter and our hearts have never been closer. 

I have learned more than ever there is life After The Fire. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


My Olivia is a star. She is an 11 year old beauty with a big voice, easy laugh and a healthy desire to please. I say "healthy" because she has never been the child to complete a gymnastics routine on the balance beam and scan the room looking to meet my gaze, or to pick an outfit out at the store and only want it if I like it, or to decorate her room just so even though her fashionista sister and I may disapprove of her choices. 

There was a time when I would have said Olivia had very little desire to please and at times that was infuriating to me because she often played a bit too much by her own rule book.

Thankfully the "I got this, don't tell me what to do" attitude is history.

And here's proof.

For the first time in her entire school life she welcomed my thoughts and assistance on the design of a major class project. 

We went to the store and picked out the items together (happily), laid them out and discussed ideas (happily) and brought them to life (happily).

Here Olivia (and I!) are seen beaming upon completion of the project. 

Her grade? A+ 

Truth be told, she did all of the research, created the gas mask model (and easily allowed her papa's advice there, too!) and gave an awesome presentation at Knowledge Night.  So while working together on the "look" of the class project was a breakthrough the credit absolutely positively should all go to her. 

The Good Life

I just cleaned up the kitchen after a yummy dinner, retrieved a sweet phone message from a lovely mama friend who is scheduling a sleepover for her daughter and Audrey girl, read an email from my PTO Co-President about some details for a staff/student event we're throwing in a few weeks, saw another email from a brand new client whom I think is going to be a dream to work with --and all the while I am listening to Olivia & Audrey exchanging laughter and comments between their bedrooms as they each sit on bean bags playing computer games with one another from their respective rooms and my handsome husband is jamming in the garage on his guitar as three aging beasts lounge about the living room. All I could think about in these few minutes is how I could not wait to curl up in the front room for a spell and reflect on just how happy I am.