“How are you?”
It’s such a simple question. It’s a question we pose, hear, and answer multiple times a day.
But how often do you genuinely answer?
A few years ago I was convicted by how often I would smile encouragingly and answer, “Great!” when people would ask how I was doing.
At the time we were going through a pretty rough spot – a good friend was involved in unspeakable family drama and ended up committing suicide – and I knew no one really wanted to know the answer to their polite question was really:
“Well, frankly, I think a day spent simultaneously putting shards of glass in my eyes, having toothpicks shoved under my toenails and passing a kidney stone would be preferable to just breathing today! But enough about me, how are you?!”
So I would answer, “Great!” and steer the conversation to whatever was on their mind instead.
I still struggle with this area of authenticity. I never want to be the person who overshares! I’d much prefer focussing on other people’s needs.
At the same time I realize that relationships are created when people give and take – and that by sharing what’s really on my mind I allow other people to participate in my life. That’s a key aspect of creating community.
So what to do? It’s tricky, my jedi friend, very tricky.
My answer tonight is to practice a basic technique: Three Things.
So, from a woman who is almost comatose on the sofa with a poodle draped across her legs and quality television, Make It or Break It, playing in the background, here are the three lows and three highs of today:
I’m exhausted. It’s my own fault because I haven’t gotten to bed early enough lately but I’m tired nonetheless.
It’s getting worse?! This morning a mother of four children (all older than mine) told me in all seriousness that the chaos of life is only going to get worse as the kids age, leading me to wonder whether I should check into the insane asylum now or later?
People are dumb. I have had craziness at work which has left me heartbroken over some really poor decisions people I care about have made and the consequences they are now facing.
Puppies are ridiculous. My stinkin’ poodle is still not housebroken. She also likes to sneak around and steal items that are important to me like, oh, say, socks, underwear and anniversary cards from my one and only and drag them into the yard to destroy.
However, the good news is…
The Baby is a Toddler. Tres is walking more than crawling and can say dog, cat, dada, stop, go, and hi as well as shake her head no with vigor. She’s got a potent personality and I love it!
My Husband is a Rock Star. This past weekend Lizard coordinated a major community event that has been consuming him and now not only is it over (hurray!), but he did his work really well. I am so proud of him!
Good Times Are a’Coming! As April looms I am closer to a reunion with my best friends from graduate school. And that, my friends, is a weekend where my girlfriends and I can say how we’re really doing, mock one another and support each other in a real and authentic way! I want to simultaneously cry and wet my pants in anticipation of the weekend of bliss to come!
So, now that I’ve shared my three highs and lows, what are the three things on your mind right now?
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