I’ve clearly been delinquent on this daily posting about what I’m thankful for. I can blame it on a lot of things, but laziness wins out if you scrape all the bullshit out of the way. I majored in PR, so I’ve got enough bullshit to power a rocket to the moon and back.
After having a conversation today about my ’30 Before 30′ list, I realized I’ve done a lot in my life so far that I can be really happy about; proud of even. While I have friends with Superbowl rings and sitcoms who can toss humble pie into my face, I’m going to be proud anyway. Because good for them – I mean, really. Good for those people who have accomplished such amazing things; they’ve worked their butts off for it. But good for me too. I’ve not done too bad. You probably haven’t done too bad yourself if you think about what is really important to you. And if you haven’t done great, then get off your ass – time is perpetually running out.
While having goals is important, realizing what you have accomplished is equally so. I can’t say every moment in the last 25 years has resulted in the kind of photos that would allow me to run for office, but I’ve had a really good time being politically/socially/economically incorrect. I think life is something like 10% what you’d like to do and 90% what you actually muster up the courage to do.
Here’s my 90% so far:
- Swim with wild dolphins
- See the Grand Canyon
- Visit Roswell
- Appear on TV
- Kiss a stranger
- Help plan an event for charity
- See a solar eclipse
- Go whale watching
- Set free baby turtles
- Have a night in Vegas that stays in Vegas
- See the bats at Carlsbad Caverns
- Go to a rodeo
- Paint pottery
- Perform on a stage
- Go to Disney World
- Pull an all-nighter
- Go Spalunking – that’s cave diving, people
- Break a bone (it was my middle finger, none the less)
- Get a tattoo
- Kiss someone of the same sex
- Graduate college (with two degrees even!)
- Ride on a trolley
- Sleep in an airport
- Have a near-death experience (coincides with the night in Vegas)
- Ride in a limo
- Build a float for a parade
- Go snorkeling
- Throw someone a surprise party
- Take a “hit” (I’m talking peace circles, not bar fights)
- Go white water rafting
- Go deep sea fishing
- Take the Hollywood Walk of Fame
- See an opera
- Go on a terrible first date
- Be a bridesmaid
- Adopt a pet
- Go ziplining
- Donate blood
- Learn an instrument
- Go to a concert
- Win something off the radio
- Go to a professional sporting event
- Visit the nation’s capital
- Ride a mechanical bull
- Tie a cherry stem in a knot
- Go skydiving
- Be a Big Brother/Big Sister
- Ride a jet ski
- See a tumbleweed
- Become student counsel president
- Go to a strip club
- Enjoy (or try to enjoy) a lapdance
- Ride on a party bus
- Dance on stage
- See the St. Louis Arch
- Wait tables for a living
- Build a snowman
- Take a roadtrip
- Sleep in a tent
- Wait in line on opening night of a movie so you’re the first one in
- See the Chicago Bean
- Build a gingerbread house
- Have surgery
- Bet on a horse race
- Build a sandcastle
- Water ski (or get drug behind a boat with water skis on.)
- Have a night on Bourbon Street
- March in a parade
- Be sent to the principal’s office
- See a shuttle launch
- Move to a foreign country (pending)
And I’m sure there are a lot more. But still, I’m off to an okay start. How many have you done off my list? What else have you done that you are proud of?
There’s a theory in communication called the Social Exchange Theory. It’s based on a system of costs and rewards you assign to relationships. Basically, when you feel that the costs outweigh the rewards, you terminate the relationship because you no longer get any pleasure out of it. I’ve certainly terminated a few relationships in my short lifetime. There are people who I used to be extremely close to that I began dreading being around. People who drained the optimism out of me just by being themselves. I never want to turn my back on anyone, but I don’t want to spend the limited time I have surrounded by black holes who suck the happiness out of the room either. That sounds grim, but there are unfortunately people who have that effect on me.
I know fights happen. I know that people get mad about things that don’t always make sense to others. I tend to consider myself a pretty go-with-the-flow sort of person. I tend to care more about resolving a conflict than expending the energy it takes to be upset about it. Afterall, we learn about each other through stepping on toes, hurting feelings, and punching it out. If you’re mad, there’s hope. When you become apathetic is when you should consider if a relationship has any place in your life.
I fight with my mom more than anyone else in the world. We’re finally at this magical place where we can yell and scream and get it all out, then take a breath to cool off and laugh at how ridiculous we are. When you love someone, pride has no place in your relationship – saying sorry is easy because it’s not important who is right or wrong – all that matters is that they know you love them. When you love someone, you get in the ring, take a few swings, then take a shower and buy them a latte. As long as the person gets in the ring with you, the fighting lets you get to know that person even better, it makes you closer, lets you love each other just a little more.
I have that relationship with a lot of people. Today, I realized that I’m glad that I’m the kind of person who will throw off my gloves and take a few hits, but I’m never too proud to apologize, or compromise, or do what I have to for someone I love. In the scheme of life, being right seems to be the least important thing of all.
Today just seemed to be one of those days where everything got under my skin and nothing went quite the way I would have liked. When I get in those moods it’s often hard to see positive in much of anything. But, I have to. Because I promised myself 36 days ago that I would. And here we are.
I leave for vacation tomorrow so work this entire week has been even more hectic than usual, as I’ve had to do this week’s work and next. That, combined with the fact that I’ve had some outrageous, unrealistic requests that I’ve had no choice but to fulfill. I took several things home today and at 11:30, am just finishing the last of it. Reminds me of college the night before a big paper is do. At least I’m getting paid.
But that’s not what I’m thankful for. A large part of my job involves writing. Most often, it is very business-formal and not fun at all. A cocktail of corporate jargon and overused PR phrases. The “bottom-line” and “state-of-the-art” fill in the blank chase me in my sleep. As a little girl, I was afraid that a monster in my closet would get me, now, I fear the zombies turning me into one of their own.
Every once in a while, I get to write something that is really fun. It’s usually not important – a paragraph on an invitation, a thank you letter. I guess it probably sounds like something to be depressed about more than thankful, but in all honesty, it is fun to write something that people enjoy, even if it is a phrase or a paragraph or a letter with someone else’s name on it. I whip out a lot of quick material because I’m dominated by deadlines. Taking work home isn’t necessarily fun, but I spent an hour writing a letter that I really liked tonight. Only 400 people or so will ever have the chance to read it, so if I’m lucky, maybe 50 actually will. But it’s something I’m proud of. It’s good to feel good about something that I wrote, even if no one else will ever know it was me.