The point is, there will be no big Robertson vacation this summer.
Which is okay because helloooooooooo KC is a hot spot of fun and local faves.
Quick! Tell me where I ABSOLUTELY MUST GO IN KC!
(Bonus points if it is a fun date spot.)
Example: If we were talking Santa Barbara, I would obviously say GO HERE NOW! Unfortunately, the closest one to me is Colorado. (sigh)
And oookay fine since it isn't really fair to ask you without answering myself, this is probably mine:
Q: How do you make people love you or hate you/improve or worsen your situation/generally make office workers LOSE.THEIR.MINDS?!
...but instead of talking about how perfectly normal human beings turn into total jerks in a conference room
how totally embarrassing it is to be the ONE person the itty bitty gnat keeps buzzing around during said meeting which means a lot of silly swatting while trying to both maintain dignity as well as ascertain if anyone else is SEEING this pest (?!?!??!)...
Let's focus instead on this little ditty that made me lose it (in a good way).
Photo, caption and credit from here.
The vertiginous wallpaper and painfully obtuse cabinetry left visitors more gassy than when they entered.
(Photo: Hertha Hernaus; Dwell)
Finally, on a completely unrelated note, I just want to say booyah.
(See what a little name change will do for your recognition?)
...everyone should go see this movie (Bayar was the Robertson favorite, but don't let that sway you).
...GROW, GARDEN, GROW!!!
...cancer sucks and seems to affect the most beautiful people.
...that I was just a happenstance away from arriving at dinner and a movie with a smushed dark chocolate on my rump. AND IT DID NOT LOOK LIKE CHOCOLATE!!! (Thank goodness for husbands and for forgetting gift cards. Whew.)
I am still recovering from a little incident called "We Had a Disgusting Repulsive Icky Squirmy Bat in Our Building".
A BAT IN OUR BUILDING!!!*
And I don't know if you've picked up on this, but I don't exactly handle news like that very well. As in, AT ALL.
Says the girl who ruined day three of the honeymoon by TOTALLY FREAKING OUT when the planned hike to the waterfall in the beautiful mountains began at the trail head with a photo posted of a snarling mountain lion. SNARLING I SAY. Which had apparently crossed the trail JUST WEEKS before.
BUT HEY, YOU KNOW, NO BIG DEAL. I'M SOOOOO LAID BACK WHEN IT COMES TO THAT KIND OF THING.
And in case the hairs on my neck weren't standing on end by the mere MENTION of such a creature being even APPROXIMATELY close to my trembling knees, the warning continued AND I QUOTE: "Remember, mountain lions are known for attacking from BEHIND OR ABOVE."
Oh, sure. NOTED.
(insert image of me trying to play it cool and just.keep.walking. while simultaneously trying to look behind and above me AT ALL TIMES)
Let's just say we didn't make it to the waterfall.
And that Adam is really patient.
*yes, this has happened before. NOT ANY EASIER.
On my pants.
ON MY REAR.
On a day of an impromptu VERY, URGENTLY, DIRELY IMPORTANT TO ATTEND all-staff meeting.
During which, I will most likely have to present (hence the nail biting*).
This could also be called: Exhibit A of Sara Forgetting She is a Grown Up Now.**
p.s. I know I totally and completely broke all acceptable uses of the **s. But I just feel the need to say that despite this rambling rant, I have only broken down and had pop ONCE in the last ten days. Sooo...that's something.
*note: I promise I hardly ever bite my nails. Just when I'm really REALLY nervous.
**but secretly, isn't it kind of awesome when certain people who seem to have it all together have moments like this?! ...just not when it's you. OBVIOUSLY.***
***I am not one of those "have it all together people." I use Tide to Go. Daily. And hardly ever get my hair cut. And eat a lot of ice cream. And somehow have three bank accounts! I'll stop there.
(And NO, Brian, I am NOT A DRAMA QUEEN! EVEN IF I DID STEAL YOUR THUNDER AT YOUR 2nd BIRTHDAY PARTY. GET.OVER.IT!!!!!!!!!!)
Without further ado, friends, GET READY, because now you get to see for yourself!
A peek into the life of the one person who shared my childhood and thus can fully appreciate what I mean when I reference Mom's cackle, Dad's "cooking" and Grandma's hilarity.
He also has full access to photo albums full of Sara pre-hair gel and sporting those lovely braces but DON'T EVEN TRY!
So, here he is. I know you'll love him. I just don't know if you are prepared for how awesome he is...
1. Hey little brother. Introduce yourself. ...feel free to mention how awesome I was as a big sister. Steer clear of stories like the time we were playing kickball and I (ACCIDENTALLY) tripped you.
I'm a man's man that doesn't follow any major sports and who can't change the oil in a car...but I can rock a mean V-neck. Will that suffice for an introduction?
2. Yes, yes it will. Time for faves:
Memory under the age of 10:
I dunno if I have just one. I remember my babysitters chocolate chip cookies. They were great. Also, I remember going to St. Louis for my 8th birthday. It was awesome. We were supposed to go to Six Flags but it's closed in October but I didn't even care because 1) turns out I'm terrified of roller coasters (until recently) and 2) the family had a good time none-the-less. Like in the hotel pool. It was me and the fam in the pool pretty late at night and there was a honky tonk ho down thing going on in the common area pretty close to us. Brooks and Dunn's 'Boot skoot boogey' was being blasted so naturally I busted out the air guitar in the middle of the pool and went to town. It was so much fun.
Beer- I'm a fan of wheat beer. There's too many to name.
Liqour- Captain and Coke. I'm working my way up to Scotch on the rocks....
Non-alcoholic- It's a split between orange juice and the 68 cent flavored water at Walmart
McDonalds Happy Meal toy from back in the day:
The limited edition Space Jam stuffed animals. I had Daffy Duck. It was the best, hands down. Dad got it for me, unbeknownst to mom. She was so mad.
Meal our momma makes:
Her homemade Mexican Chili Soup. It's cheesy. It's meaty. It's spicy. It's great. Sidenote- it used to be her homemade Cheesy Potato Soup but then I got the flu one time when she made it so naturally I lost my appetite for it. I've just recently started to be able to eat it.
3. Hi-larious. Sooo you junior in college, you. One word to describe this time of life? Things you are learning outside the classroom? Biggest challenge? Biggest surprise? Best Lawrence hot spot?
My Life in a word: Maintaining- I'm doing what I need to do...but nothing illegal. Don't worry.
Lessons learned out of the classroom- O goodness....where to begin. 1) You'll get eaten alive if you don't stand up and have a voice. You have to have an opinion, an opinion you believe to be absolutely true, which means you have to know what you believe in and why. Read, research, analyze, and become familiar with other arguments. Do what you gotta do to prove your point because if you can't back-up your statement, you got nothing and no one will take you seriously. Which leads me to number 2) Not everyone is gonna like you but as long as you stand for something, they have to respect you. If they don't, then they're definitely not worth worrying about. I think I'll keep it at just two....
Biggest Challenge: Lack of money
Biggest Surprise: The impact the previous has had on my everyday life. But it's for the better. I think more before I buy. I think everyone could use a little more thought process before they buy.
Best Lawrence Hot spot: I frequent Quintons. It's a fun bar with awesome specials. I also enjoy the Barrel House. It's a dueling piano bar, and being a musician, I'm always down for listening to some live music and drinking some burrs (beers).
4. Thank you for clarifying. Alright, level with me. You work in a restaurant. How has this shaped your view of people? Have you ever spit in anyone's food? Have you ever eaten the scraps of someone's leftover delicious-looking meal? BE HONEST.
One thing I've learned by working in the restaurant is that some people are just crappy people. They are bad people, to the core, plain and simple. Granted, it doesn't help that I work at one of the fanciest restaurants in Lawrence so we get our fair of pretentious a-holes. That said, not all rich people are d-bags. I'm sure we're all guilty of automatically assuming that someone who is obviously loaded is a jerk. This is not always the case. People who have worked for what they have are usually really cool, down to earth people.
As for eating someone's scraps...I'm happy to say I have yet to hit that rock bottom.
5. QUICK! You just won a trip of your choice. Anywhere. All expenses paid. You must leave immediately. Where do you go?!
I'd go to South Africa. World Cup yo!!
6. Word. Okay, a family tradition you want to continue someday:
Well we kinda stopped doing it but one that I'd like to start up again is the big Thanksgiving lunch at the house. Jamming 40 people of the same bloodline in a medium sized, ranch style home is a feat only we could pull off. I know it was a headache to arrange but I always enjoyed it. Also, I liked having Christmas Eve at grandma's...in her little apartment...with pizza...and KFC. What's not to love about that?
7. How would you describe our generation? (yes, I said "our" because I AM NOT OLD EVEN IF I DO OWN SHOE INSERTS AND OWN A PLETHORA OF CARDIGANS!)
How would I describe our generation? What about, we're the generation of pissing-off-the-previous-generations-with-our-change-and-adaption-and-our-crazy-antics-that-may-or-may-not-make-sense-but-at-least-we're-trying-something-new-and-refreshing. I think that sums it up nicely. We're the generation of 'why not?'
8. You wrote a really interesting post about the pressures of life, our natural aversion to change/The Unknown and the trappings of sticking to "The Plan" to one's detriment. So, let's say in 10 years, you have a full time job, are married and own a home. Will you be disappointed? Can you still have those things and continue to embrace The Unknown/avoid getting caught in a rigid life of rules others have imposed? AM I STRESSING YOU OUT?!!?!?*
I won't be disappointed. I should clarify...constantly seeking change isn't my definition of happiness. I think we seek out change in order to open another door to potential happiness. So if I am in fact married with kids and have a career I enjoy, well then it'd seem as though I have found my happiness. That's not to say I want that now because, well, I don't. But maybe in 5 years I will. Or maybe I'll want that next year. If that's the case, then I'll do something about it. But as for now, I'm not worrying about it.
As for 'getting caught in the rigid life of rules', I think that just because you have a family, doesn't mean this has to happen. You can still have fun when you're an adult. But at the same time, you have to make sacrifices for your family because if you're not willing to do that, then you probably shouldn't have made a family in the first place because you're obviously not ready. If I had a family and live like I do now (aka living and working for my own gain), that'd be incredibly selfish because I'm not the only one I'm living for. Being your own person in the context of a family is a gray area. It's a delicate balance between getting caught up in the everyday and still living a life worth mentioning. I'll stop there or else I could go on for miles and I'm already at three pages and your readers are probably getting tired of reading.
(*note: I-Sara-should also clarify that I only asked this question to dig further into what you said initially...not to suggest that in ten years you SHOULD or SHOULD NOT have the job/marriage/home.)
9. So, really, how tall ARE you?!
A strapping 6'3". Tell your friends...
10. Closing words. Final thoughts? Your chance to tell the world ANYTHING at ALL about living with me EVERY DAY for the first (glorious) years of your life??? Or uhhh anything?!
This was fun. Thanks for the opportunity sis. Prepare yourself for one from me...
Thank YOU B-ri. Come visit!!! ...bring chocolate! And "burrs."
Me: Can you add shower gel to our grocery list?
Adam: Okay. (picks up pencil and and reaches for snazzy pre-printed grocery list on fridge)
Me: Oh!...but not on a new piece of paper.
Adam: (quizzical look)
Me: It's just, I've already started a list on the back of last week's sheet of paper. We were all about conserving paper in my family...I know it's weird.
Adam: No, that makes sense...
Adam: Yeah...especially coming from someone who uses TEN Post-Its A DAY.
Me: (mouth dropped open in shock) I think we're done here.
(aka fill out more paperwork and wait a long time for a pimple faced kid to stop texting and take my new DMV picture.*)
((...and probably lie about my weight. Again. Oh, JUST LET ME HAVE MY COLLEGE WAISTLINE AT LEAST ON PAPER, OKAY!?))
But you really shouldn't feel sorry for me because that husband of mine planted a garden this weekend.
In a cute little box he MADE HIMSELF.
With literally NO help for me except a bunch of excitement.
Which is probably worth something but not all that much when you are digging into soil.
...and for the record, it's not because I am not supportive...just totally uninformed.
And also, distracted by washing all our Tupperware.
--annnnnnd this is why my brother calls me old, boring, and married.
OH, and did I mention Adam cleans the bathroom???
*This might seem unfair...except that is exactly what happened last time. SERIOUSLY.
whose confidence is in him.
8He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Especially for those who are in such a season.
Happy weekend, friends.
(just pretend it's by a stream, okay?!)
I realize that in part, it is due to my marketing background.
But Seth Godin brings a fresh perspective that inspires me to think critically about the choices I make and often, challenges me to step outside my comfort zone--something I think everyone can appreciate.
Plus, he's into publishing free ebooks, which is pretty refreshing considering he is a successful guy who could instead use it to rake in some more dough.
Further, he is described as a "bestselling author, entrepreneur and agent of change." Which, in my opinion, is a pretty impressive tagline.
Anyway, I liked what he had to say today about possibility, so I thought I'd share.
(I realize he is specifically talking about the Internet...which I think is an interesting view of the Web that can often seem so destructive to society.
But mostly, I liked what he had to say in light of dreaming in general.)
All you need to know...
is that it's possible.
Mike sent me a great story about an ultra-lightweight backpacker:
"Wolf was carrying a super-small pack which weighed 14 pounds including food and water. When asked how he got his pack weight so low, Wolf would reply, 'All you need to know is that it’s possible.'"
One of the under-reported stories of the internet is this: it constantly reports on what's possible. Somewhere in the world, someone is doing something that you decided couldn't be done. By calling your bluff and by pointing out the possibilities, this reporting of possibility changes everything.
You can view this as a horrible burden, one that raises the bar and eliminates any sinecure of comfort and hiding you can find, or you can embrace it as a chance to stretch.
Most organizations forget to ask the question in the first place.
2. Finish a book...beginning with this one.
3. Host a game night!
4. Convince Big Brother et al. that I have a new last name...(ugh)
5. Enjoy every last bite of this.* A la mode.**
*Because we both agree that waiting a year is just.not.happening.
**And then do lots of yoga in order to fit in upcoming bridesmaid dress. Whoops.
They paused briefly, interest peaked, as paper and markers were passed around the room.
"...Now draw it," he finished.
"Ten yeeeeears?!" they screeched. "By then, we'll be--(they glanced around uncertainly at those of us outside their age bracket)--OOOOOOLD!!!"
"Just draw what you see in your head when you dream about your future," he said matter-of-factly. "You have five minutes...go!"
And with that, they got to work--papers rustling, giggles abounding and several panicked questions of Is this okay? and Can I do...? and What if mine looks like this?
I stared at my own blank page and felt a quiet anxiety rising.
Stop being so ridiculous, I told myself. Just draw...something. It's not a big deal!
But somehow...it was.
I've been following this blog a lot lately.
Mainly because I really resonated with this book he wrote recently (you know, the one I incessantly reference).
To completely oversimplify, the premise of the book is: Live a Better Story.
You. Me. Your weird neighbor that loves wind chimes. The lady in the cafeteria who sells you your soda. The speaker of the House. The leader of Uzbekistan. All of us. We can live better stories.
And in doing so, in taking chances and forcing ourselves outside of our comfort zones and deciding to do something, we will be living a better collective Story.
Because instead of all being inside our homes on Wednesday nights watching prime time TV or updating our blogs or living in Second Life or dusting a shelf full of things we don't really even like, we can ...
Well, now that's the problem.
For me, the problem is not saying Yes, absolutely! Let's live BETTER!
The problem is in deciding what that means.
And more accurately, allowing myself to dream.
I don't know how it happened exactly, but somehow along the way, I lost my ability to Think Big.
Or Think Outside the Box.
Or even just Think of Anything That Isn't Right In Front of Me.
Because I am a rule follower. I thrive on meeting and exceeding expectations. I like to check things off my list.
Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think any of that is inherently bad or wrong or even that boring. It just depends on which rules, whose expectations and what is written on that Post It.
It's one thing to cheer Amen! and passively flip a page. It's quite another to put the book down and actively write a new chapter.
We shared our dreams that night, all scratched on a little piece of paper.
Some said, "I wanna be a recluse writer and live up in the mountains with my best friend! ...and maybe someday with a boy. MAYBE."
Some said, "I wanna be famous and rich. THE END."
Others said, "I want to be a mother. And a wife. And have kids. And do it well."
Some said, "I want to teach."
Some said, "I want to be a sports star."
One said, "I don't have any dreams."
And then it was my turn.
I looked at my paper with my stick figure scribbles and thought yeah, I think this is it.
But then I second guessed myself and as I drew a big black question mark I heard, "You're boring, you're so painfully normal and isn't that rather self-absorbed and you know you'll never ever in a MILLION YEARS be able to do that and it's embarrassing to even pretend like you want to. Puh-lease."
And that question mark has haunted me ever since.
Because it is good to ask "What If?"
And I can't fully answer if I'm focused on what others want to hear.
Or what what my best friend would say.
Or even what Donald Miller would say.
Because I have a voice. And I have dreams. And they may not seem awesome to you but they are valid.
And maybe if I can find an answer and you can find an answer then together, we can take the first leap and say them aloud.
And really engage them and say "Wow, that's cool" or "Hey, me too!" or "Awesome! You should do it!"
And, that, my friends, is called rising action.
Oh, the Story we could tell...