Thursday, October 29, 2015

Worry: A How To Guide

Yes, everyone is looking at you, and especially at the thing you're self conscious about. You're going to fail at that thing you want to do. Your hair is getting grayer. Or falling out. Probably both. The weather is going to do the thing you don't like. Everything causes cancer, especially reading articles about the newest thing that apparently causes cancer. All of the apocalypses are coming. Donald Trump is a real live person who could be elected president and not just an SNL skit that has gone on for an uncomfortably long time.
There, do you feel better? No? That's because worry is useless, except at making you feel worse when you already feel bad. It's super good at that.
One of the things Pete frequently says to me is "You have nothing to worry about." It's true. No one has anything to worry about. Worry isn't actually about the reality of what is happening. It's all conjecture and worst case scenarios and irrational thoughts. And yet, it's so easy to fall into the worry well. Because what if?! So what do we do?
Well, here's the thing: bad things may happen and worrying does nothing to prevent that. So worrying is a waste of the present moment, which could be better spent enjoying it, adapting to it or changing it. If the bad thing actually happens, you will cross that bridge when you come to it. No, correction: you will ride across it on a sparkly unicorn. Because that's the kind of badass you are.

When to worry: a chart

don't worry

Things you can do instead of worrying

  • Move. In some way that you enjoy. You are alive! Your parts are doing amazing things every day! Whatever happens, you will awesome the shit out of it.

  • Breathe. This is just a good thing to do, basically at all times.

  • Laugh. Yes, sometimes life is serious and sad and no fun at all. But even in the darkest, scariest places, it is possible to find a bit of humor or silliness to lighten the way. There's no need to force it if you're just not feeling it, but try to leave a little space in the serious for the ridiculous to get in.

  • Try something new. It's weird but the more you expose yourself to uncomfortable experiences, the more comfortable you become in your own skin. Over time, you will start to feel less embarrassment/self-consciousness/worry and more openness/self-confidence/awesomeness.

  •  Hug it out. It's hard to be worried about anything when you're inside of a hug.

Lyric of the moment: "As soon as you're born, you start dying. So you might as well have a good time...: ~Cake "Sheep Go To Heaven"

Monday, October 26, 2015

Mt Marcy

Pete asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, and I said "go with my tallest husband to the tallest point in New York State." So we planned a long weekend to the Adirondacks to hike Mt Marcy. We followed the primary trail that starts at the Adirondacks Loj because Pete had hiked Marcy once before from the other side. The hike itself was not very challenging. There was not much scrambling up rocks with both hands and feet, except near the top (that part was my favorite). Some icy sections in the middle were a bit tricky, but per Eric's suggestion I had brought my spikes and they made things much easier. This is the most popular way up Marcy, which I guess means the most crowded. We even passed by a guy who had stopped to smoke a cigarette (yeah, I don't get it either. People are weird, man).
I thought because it was the tallest it would be the hardest. It wasn't. And I felt a pang of disappointment at that. But it was my fault, not Marcy's. Birthdays have a tendency to bring out these what am I doing with my life? / I'm not good at any of the things feelings in me. Life is short and I want to make the most of it. But I am racking up the years over here and sometimes I feel like I have nothing to show for it. Am I wasting my youth working in an office? Am I making the world better in any significant way? Okay, so I may be single-handedly keeping Get Caked in business. But I don't think that counts. I don't know. I don't have any answers. I just get these ideas - like run for a really long time! or climb all the tall things! - and then I do them.
And that's the thing about going to the mountains: I find what I'm looking for, even if I don't know what I'm looking for. As much as I was disappointed in myself for still not being all the things I want to be and, worse yet, letting that disappointment detract from my enjoyment of this beautiful place, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed by this feeling of profound gratitude. For the sunrise over the mountains. For the view from the top of New York State. Most of all, for Pete. And overwhelmed by a feeling of intense wonderment. At the fact that a simple peanut butter and honey sandwich at 5,343ft is one of the best meals I've ever eaten. At having a partner willing to climb any mountain with me. At the straight up awesomeness of being alive.

So what am I doing with my life? Everything. Experiencing it and being amazed by it and being head over heels in love with it.
The best adventures begin at sunrise.
The view from the top.

Is it just me or does anyone else want to knock over that pile of rocks?
Ben & Jerry's
Birthday ice cream: one scoop of chocolate peanut butter, one scoop of cookie dough.
Lyric of the moment: "I’ve traveled all this way for something. I take it in but don’t look down. ‘Cause I’m on top of the world, I’m on top of the world. Waiting on this for a while now. Paying my dues to the dirt. I’ve been waiting to smile. Been holding it in for a while. Take you with me if I can. Been dreaming of this since a child. I’m on top of the world..." ~Imagine Dragons "On Top of the World"


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Life: Day 12,418

If this is getting older, man, sign me up. Thirty three was by far the best year of my life. It was full of epic adventures and epic hugs and so much sweetness that Cookie Monster would be envious. For serious. I'm talking boxes of cookies with gift cards for more cookies inside of them. I hope that thirty four brings even more awesomeness. (Maybe if I keep doing planks I will even get those six pack abs. I'm about a third of the way there. I have a Tupac.)

There is a Courtney Love song that goes "I want to be the girl with the most cake." Which I think may be a reference to drugs. But I prefer a more sugar coated interpretation. The cake of life is friendship. It's the highlight of the party. On good days and on not so good days, that cake has your back. So infinity of thanks to you, my loves. Because of you, I'm the girl with the most awesome cake.

Lyric of the moment: "And hey do you want to dance? Seize the mysteries. And hold them in your hands. These are your friends, these are your friends, these are your friends..." ~Mike Doughty "These Are Your Friends"

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

This is marriage: Day 43

My new Social Security card and driver's license have arrived in the mail and I am now officially a Lacey. When I receive my new passport, I'm hoping they will also return my old passport so that I can keep them both in a box underneath the floorboards, along with some foreign currencies left over from past travels, and pretend that I am a spy with many aliases.

Sometimes I look at Pete and say "You're my husband" and it's half statement, half question. As if I am reassuring myself that by this point it's probably safe to assume that this is not just a dream. We are married. We have the same last name. It feels weird. In that I do not feel any different. Which is to say that I still feel like myself. Only a more expansive, better version of myself.

Last weekend Pete did a 50 mile bike race and this past weekend I ran a 50K race. Sometimes we do the same crazy awesome things. Sometimes we support each other in doing different crazy awesome things.

Marriage is an excellent adventure.

Lyric of the moment: "But this is what love is for. To be out of place. Gorgeous and alone. Face to face. With no larger problems that need to be erased. Nothing more important than to know someone's listening. Now I know you'll be listening..." ~Wilco "Impossible Germany"

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Water Gap 50K 2015

Early Saturday morning, Pete was driving Alison, Bob, Todd, Prem and I to the start of the inaugural Water Gap 50K in the Delaware Water Gap/Poconos region of Pennsylvania. As we traversed the winding roads and rolling hills, it felt like we were on a roller coaster. Little did I know that this race would also be an emotional roller coaster and the hardest race I've run in a long time.

The 6 of us had driven to Pennsylvania on Friday afternoon and were staying at a sweet HomeAway rental in Dingmans Ferry, PA, complete with a fireplace, hot tub and lofted bedroom. Friday night we made veggie pizzas for dinner and enjoyed Alison's apple cake, Todd's apple pie and Prem's peanut butter cookies for dessert.

Saturday morning we ate an early breakfast and made our way to the race start. The course follows the entire McDade Rail Trail from Hialeah to Milford Beach, along the Delaware River. The MRT is mostly wide crushed stone/cinder/paved trails with a couple of sections of technical single track. It was a chilly 38 degrees at the start, but it was sunny and dry, a perfect fall day. The trails were beautiful, especially this time of year with the leaves in full autumn colors. The course played to my strengths in that it was non-technical, fast and flat (there were some rolling hills but the signs warning "Steep Hill" were almost laughable as they were not even close to the kinds of hills we usually run), but also to my weaknesses in that it's a much harder surface than the trails I usually run and my joints do not handle repetitive pounding well.

The adventure begins. Thanks to my favorite husband for the pics!

The first few miles flew by and I had to keep reminding myself to rein it in and not go out too fast. I was running with Bob and then we caught up to Alison and Todd and I thought there is no way I should be up here running with them. Pete, driver/crew/husband extraordinaire, met up with us at several points along the trail, always seeming to be there at exactly the right time to take our gloves/hats we no longer needed or give us sunglasses.

That time I ran with Mark Ruffalo

Fall running at its finest

I remember Alison saying we were almost at the halfway point and me being surprised by how far in we were already and how good I still felt. That would all change, almost immediately. A little after mile 15 my groin muscles started to ache which was new and weird, and not in a good way. Alison gave me some Arnica and then I fell behind her as the race started to go downhill for me, and not in a good way. The groin pain went away but around mile 17 my left ankle started hurting and the pain worsened with every mile.

I seriously considered quitting the race. Then came the bargaining. I could stop now and call it a training run and then run Mendon 50K in a few weeks. Then that train of thought devolved into I'm not running another race this year and then further into I'm not running another race ever again. The only race I've ever DNFed was 3 years ago, also in the Poconos. So I was hobbling along, haunted by the ghosts of failures past and the mean voice was all Forget Lucien Moran, The Poconos is your real nemesis. Why did you come back to this place? For redemption? You're not going to find it. You're not cut out for distance running. You don't have what it takes. You're not a good enough runner, friend, life partner, person. You're not good enough. You're not enough.

Here I was on this beautiful day in this gorgeous place with these wonderful people and I was going to fail. I just couldn't do it. I was kind of glad that I hadn't seen Pete in a while because I knew as soon as I saw him I would burst into tears, climb into the van and curl up into the fetal position. But I didn't quit. I put in my headphones, put on Pete's iPod and kept going. Bob passed me while I was limping along, wrestling with the pain and demons, on the verge of tears. He looked a little concerned and I knew I must have looked as bad as I felt, if not worse. His knees were hurting but he told me he had gotten some ibuprofen at the last aid station and that had taken the edge off so now his legs just felt numb. Luckily the next aid station was just up ahead and some other runner's mom was there with a whole bottle of ibuprofen. Those 2 little blue capsules saved my race. Bob took off and I was once again by myself, still in pain but now with anti-inflammatory drugs and hope coursing through my veins. I stopped caring at that point. About the stupid Poconos. About what anyone else would think. About my time or even about finishing. I just let it all go and thought, Accept this reality, this pain is only temporary. So you've fallen into the pain cave. Better learn how to spelunk your way out of that shit. You are enough. If anything, you're too much. Too much heart, too much life to be contained in one little body. That's why you run. Because you can't not run.You are a fucking unstoppable force! (The swearing was necessary. Curse words lessen the pain. It's science.)

Since it hurt just as much whether I was going slow or fast, I decided to just pick up the pace and at least get the suffering over with as quickly as possible. Then the drugs must have kicked in because I started to feel good again. Never before in a race have I experienced such a drastic 180 degree mental and physical turnaround. I caught back up with Bob and he was as surprised as I was to see me looking so much better. At the last aid station, I saw Pete, who had purposely waited to see us until it was close enough to the end that we wouldn't be tempted to quit. I hugged Pete, then it was only a little over 5 miles to the finish and it became a race between me and the half-life of ibuprofen.

Me and my Oreo, heading out for the last 5ish miles

There was about a 2 mile section of technical, leaf covered single track that afterwards we referred to as the un-runnable trail. But actually I did run most of it, just cautiously so I wouldn't twist an ankle or fall down into the river. There were a couple of guys out in a canoe who waved and cheered as I went by. The last 3 miles, back on the wide stone trails, seemed to take forever. At around mile 30.5, The Pretenders "I'll Stand By You" came on the iPod and I teared up as I took in the beautiful tree covered baby mountains to my left and sunny field to my right. I honestly didn't think I was going to finish this race and it wasn't until the last half mile that I knew that I would. I started sprinting, passed the woman in front of me and then saw Alison up ahead so I gave it everything I had and ended up finishing just behind her.

Chasing my shadow at the finish

Water Gap was the hardest, but oddly enough, also the fastest 50K I've run. I'd like to say that I finished this race due to strength and heart. But honestly I finished due to vengeance and stubbornness and drugs.

Prem, Alison, Bob and Todd are fantastic runners and of course all did well. The race director gave us these awesome metal finisher signs. And our group ended up going home with 3 free pies. (Throughout the race, the RD had placed 6 tiny signs with pies on them and if you found one you got a pie at the end). And all's well that ends in free pie.

We did it! For the pie!

After the race, we went back to the cabin and got in the hot tub, which felt amazing on my legs. Then there was more eating, lots more dessert and some euchre. Today I'm still walking like an old woman (though that may be due more to me falling down the stairs in the dark while trying to get from the loft bedroom to the bathroom this morning than from the repercussions of the race), but a very happy old woman. I liked the laid-back, minimalist feel of this race and it was a nice trail. But I'm not sure if I would do this race again. I think it's just too much pounding for my old body. Though maybe it would feel better with more padded shoes, like Hokas. Also, the lure of free pie is strong. So never say never I suppose. In any case, it was another excellent adventure with some of my most favorite people. And for that I am grateful. Thank you to Red Newt Racing and all the volunteers and especially the mom with the drugs. Thank you to Alison, Bob, Todd and Prem for being the best people/adventure friends and especially to Pete for being the best adventure/life partner.

When people ask why I run, I can never seem to find the right words to adequately explain it. To explain the feeling of a weekend like this one, all the lows and highs and pain and awesomeness. To explain how you can feel like you never want to run again and then 10 minutes later be contemplating your next race and the race after that and the race after that. How you can come to a run as you are and leave so much better. How, like the Rolling Stones song says, "You get what you need."

Lyric of the moment: "You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need..." ~The Rolling Stones "You Get What You Need."

A version of this race report also appears on ultrarunning magazine's website.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Things that always make me feel better about everything

No doubt, life is awesome. But sometimes things can get a bit confusing, nerve-wracking, sad or disappointing. During those less than stellar moments, these are some of the things that always make me feel better about everything:

  • Motion. Running is the closest thing to a panacea I've ever found. But yoga, Fit1, bike riding (especially with no hands), swimming, hiking or anything else that gets me moving will do the trick. The point is to move my body in some way that makes me feel strong and capable and then tired.

  • Sleep. The occasional nap or super early bedtime can be just the thing I need to recharge. The secret to good sleep is comfort (enough space on the bed to stretch out, the perfect temperature, soft and snuggly blankets, as many pillows as you need for head resting or for hugging or for that space between your knees when you're side sleeping) and earplugs.

  •  Perspective. When I feel lost or like I don't have any idea what I'm doing with my life, I like to go to the top of Cobb's Hill or to the top of that castle wall at Durand. It's nice to feel like I'm on top of something, even if it's only literally.

  • Hugs. There are very few things that can't be improved by a quality hug. None of that bend-at-the-waist-arms-barely-touching shit some people try to pass off as a hug. No, I'm talking about an actual full-on embrace, getting all up in there for a legit amount of time. Bonus points for the running hug or the lift-up-and-spin-around hug.

  • Magic. I have a tendency to get stuck in my own head. But all it takes to get unstuck is just opening my eyes to the everyday magic around me: the colors in the sky at dawn and dusk, a funny sign, that clean laundry smell, a cloud that looks like a polar bear, art in unexpected places (like murals on old buildings or fancy hot beverages with intricately shaped foam), reading the exact right words at the exact right time, randomly hearing a song that I love, weird conversations, really good dessert.
Pain is temporary. Sadness is temporary. Awesomeness is forever.

Lyric of the moment: "I fall in love just a little ol' little bit, every day with someone new. I fall in love just a little ol' little bit, every day. In love with every stranger, the stranger the better..." ~Hozier "Someone New"

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Currently thinking: About a dream I had last night in which my foot was broken. It wasn't one of those dreams where you know it's a dream because you're flying around and doing cool shit you can't do in real life. It was one of those dreams that tricks you into thinking it's real. In waking life, my left foot has been a little achy lately. Nothing serious, it just complains occasionally and then goes back to being fine. But evidently I am worried about it all up in my subconscious or something. In the dream, I woke up (Weird, huh? That confused me too. Was I dreaming while I was dream sleeping? Like a dream within a dream? This is what happens when you don't eat dessert before bed). Anyway, I woke up (in the dream) and my left foot was all bruised and mangled and horrible looking and the doctor told me it was broken and I was all "But, like, it'll be better by Saturday, right? I can still run Water Gap?" Well something is definitely broken. Thank goodness it's only my sanity and not my foot.

Currently wearing: Lavender skinny jeans and a long sleeve T-shirt that has foxes and mountains on it. Because my only sartorial ambition is to feel like I'm living the dream just by getting dressed.

Currently loving: (1) This weather and the whole not entirely warm / not entirely cool / slightly windy / a tad, but not too rainy / leaves whirling by thing it's got going on. Like it can't decide how it wants to be. Weather, I can relate. I've had days like that myself, dude. (2) This guy who called at work today and said "Sorry if I'm out of breath, I'm running to work." And I said "Like, literally running to work?" And he said "Yes, it's my favorite way to commute."

Currently impatient, yet also not quite ready for: My new ID documents to arrive in the mail and the move to our new house. I want to relish my last days of being JP and living in the House of Robot and being Danielle's roommate. I have always wanted to go everywhere, but now there are also quite a few places I want to stay.

Currently mad at: Pumpernickel bread. For looking like it should taste like chocolate. But tasting decidedly not chocolately.

Lyric of the moment: "Let me assure you friend: every day is ice cream and chocolate cake. And what you make of it. Let me say: you get what you take from it. So be amazed. And never stop, never stop, never stop. You gotta be brave..." ~The Weepies "All This Beauty" (Because it's one of my favs. And so, so true.)

Monday, October 12, 2015

It's going to hurt. It's going to be awesome.

Someone once asked me "Why do you keep doing these races if they make you so anxious?" Because in the days leading up to a race or an adventure or a major life event, I tend to have these mini crises of faith. The Worries, Doubts and Fears gang up on me with their what if you don't have what it takes? and what if you fail? and what if you're not good enough? They dredge up my past mistakes and my flaws and confront me with this irrefutable evidence of my own fallibility, thinking that it will defeat me. But it won't. Quite the opposite actually. It will only make me stronger. Life is like a roller coaster: it's both the highs and the lows that make the experience. So the point is not to avoid worry and fear. It is to feel them. And to keep going anyway.  The point is to dare mighty (and at times mightily foolish) things, to push myself into the stratosphere of discomfort and by doing so, to learn and grow and become boundless.

Because here are the truths, as I know them, about racing and life:

  • It's going to hurt. This is inevitable, but in a way it is also a good omen. If nothing ever hurts, you're not taking enough risks and you won't find out just how strong you are and how far you can go. That being said, if it hurts too much, this is a sign to pause, reevaluate, and find a better way forward.

  • It's going to be awesome. You have been called to this great adventure in the woods. And to the ultimate adventure that is life. You have what it takes. Of course you do. Because you're here. You took the chances, you put in the effort. You know you could fall and you are okay with that. Because you know it doesn't matter how many times you fall, only that you keep getting back up. Whatever happens here, you will be better for having experienced it.

What to pack:
  • Perseverance
  • Love
  • Sense of humor
  • Snacks
  • Awesome socks

What to leave behind:
  • Ego
  • Expectations
  • Attachment to the outcome
  • The past
  • Naysayers

Lyric of the moment: "You've got a face not spoiled by beauty. I have some scars from where I've been. You've got eyes that can see right through me. You're not afraid of anything they've seen...There is a light you can always see. And there is a world we can always be. There is a dark within and without. And there is a light, don't let it go out..." ~U2 "Song for Someone"

Friday, October 9, 2015

In transition

It is a time of great transition. Everything is strange and surreal and really quite stellar. The name change is still processing so I am currently half Pratt, half Lacey. Sometimes I forget and sign the wrong name. I am living somewhere in between my house and Pete's house and the trails and our future house. Next month we will officially own three houses. That is like a tiny empire. I don't even really believe in the concept of ownership. It's as if we are playing some kind of real life Monopoly game. I am half expecting a top hat and monocle to show up in my mailbox. At this point, that seems more likely than me ever receiving my new Social Security card. I went to visit Mozzie and I told him "I got married. This is my ring." and he licked it and I was like "I know, dude. Weird, right? I am someone's wife. I made a casserole. By myself. Like a real person."

Next Saturday I have another 50K race. It will be my third in the past year (November 2014 to November 2015). How awesome is that?! Still, I feel a bit nervous. That something will go wrong on race day and it will just turn into a sufferfest. That it's a small race and I'll probably be all alone in the back and that won't be as much fun. But mostly I feel like whatever happens, it will be another great adventure that I am fortunate enough to experience. Somehow I have gotten to this place where I can just bust out a 20+ miler on trails whenever I feel like it. And really, I don't care all that much about any one day or race. I just want to be strong enough to do all the things I want to do and be active for the rest of my life.

So this is life in transition. Exciting things are happening. Uncertainty abounds. I have been called to great adventures, in running and in life. Maybe I will fail. Maybe I will be weighed and found wanting. But I know that, if nothing else, I have what it takes to laugh and keep going. And I know that everything works out. I forget this sometimes, and then life reminds me. This morning I went to the Village Bakery to get a smoothie. (I am the luckiest in that my only problem in life right now is that I have a mouth full of metal and chewing is a whole ordeal.) They were out of bananas and therefore could not make the smoothie I ordered. So they made me some kind of coffee smoothie with peanut butter in it. I am not terribly fond of coffee but peanut butter is my jam. It was delicious. And that is the story of my life: Sorry, you can't have that thing you thought you wanted. Here is something even better.

Lyric of the moment: "And the tightrope that you wander every time you have been weighed, you have been found wanting. Been wondering for days how you felt me slip your mind. Leave behind your wanton ways. I want to learn to love in kind. 'Cause you were all I ever longed for..." ~Mumford and Sons "The Wolf"

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fun with cartoons

Lyric of the moment: "Robot, robot, there are electronical storms in your heart. Let's fly, let's fly, let's fly, let's fly..." ~T.A.T.U. "Robot"

Monday, October 5, 2015


I don't like to think about the past. Because it's over and it can't be changed. And because I'm fiercely optimistic, probably delusionally so, that whatever happens next will be better than what went before and life will keep proceeding towards maximum awesomeness. But mostly because thinking about the past just makes me miss everyone I used to know and everyone I wish I'd known sooner. It makes me wish that I was less awkward and more outgoing and better at keeping in touch across time and space.

The thing is, everything ends. To everyone you meet, you will one day have to say goodbye. And you don't know when that day will be. You don't know how much time you will have with them. Except that it won't be enough. It will never be enough time for you to fully convey to them how much they mean to you and how much better you are for having known them.

And I don't really know what to do about that. Other than try to get really strong so I can give everyone those great big bear hugs that lift you off the ground. Because those are the very best kind of hugs.

Maybe those nostalgic moments are reminders to look back with gratitude yet keep moving forward. Maybe that feeling of being simultaneously sad to leave where you've been and excited to move on means that you're one of the lucky ones, that you've found things worth missing. Nothing lasts forever, but some things last a really long time. Maybe this new thing is quite likely to be one of them. And maybe that hope is all you really need.

Lyric of the moment: "But I can't go back. And I don't want to. 'Cause all my mistakes, they brought me to you..." ~The Avett Brothers "All My Mistakes" (I think I am destined to one day live in a commune/bakery/treehouse where I will spend all the days running through the woods and playing euchre and listening to The Avett Brothers station on Pandora.)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Yes, And...

On Tuesday I went to the chiropractor, because when the 'ole running parts get a bit twitchy he's good at soothing them so they don't become all irate and injured. He commented on my name change and congratulated me on getting married. And then he said the thing that almost everyone says, which is the kid thing. So I said the thing that I always say which is that we don't want kids. And he said the thing that most people say which is "How old are you? Oh you're young. You'll change your mind." Facepalm. I didn't say anything but my face must have said it all because then he said "Oh you've already made up your mind."
The issue is not whether or not someone wants to have kids. The issue is that when you ask someone about their life choices and then make a comment that imposes your own judgment on their choices or implies that their choice is somehow wrong, it effectively shuts down the conversation. It's breaking the first rule of improv, which is that you always say "Yes, And..." meaning that you play along with what the other person has said and you add something to it, thereby moving the skit forward. So if your improv partner says "I am a robot from outer space," you don't say "But you're young, you'll change your mind." You say something like "Yes! And I admire the size of your rocket ship. Shall we go get ice cream?"
Now I know that people mean well and they are just trying to make conversation. And most people do get married and have kids so it's not unusual to ask about those things. And maybe people get defensive because they misinterpret my non-traditional life choices as an inherent criticism of their own life choices. (Let me clear the air by saying it's totally not a criticism. Let's all make the choices that are right for us and be happy for each other. We don't all have to want or do the same things.) And I especially know how easy it is to judge other people's choices. We do this almost automatically sometimes, without even realizing we're doing it. I know I am guilty of it too.
I'm trying to be less judgmental about other people's choices, to realize that the beauty of life is that there are so many choices and each of us gets to follow a life path of our own choosing. Each interaction we have with someone is a chance to make a meaningful connection, a chance to really see them and get to know them and accept them. But getting defensive or judgmental only shuts down those potential connections. We only get a finite number of chances to connect in this lifetime, so I want to be more open to letting this happen. I want to be a Yes, And-er. It's much more fun.
Lyric of the moment: "We've wanted to be trusty and true. But feathers fell from our wings. And we've wanted to be worthy of you. But weather rained on our dreams. And we can't take back what is done, what is past. So fellas, lay down your fears. 'Cause we can't take back what is done, what is past. So let us start from here…" ~Damien Rice "Trusty and True"