Friday, August 31, 2007

Getting By With a Little Help From My Friends

Prepare yourself for a lengthy stream of consciousness.

I'm tired of being trivial. Truth be told, it's easier to write a Trivial Tuesday post than any other post, because it takes no more than 5 minutes, no brain power, and no emotion. For the last couple of weeks I have had lots of blog topics on my mind, but have been too physically and emotionally spent to write. But right this minute I feel like blogging again.

I have been thinking a lot lately about being nice and not being too cool for things. Here's why: For the last 10 days I have been in the throes of RA training, which means I have been spending hours every day educating Resident Assistants about everything from what to do when a resident has locked herself out of her apartment to what to do if a resident is suicidal. One morning at our special training up at Springhaven lodge (a super big, beautiful house that BYU uses for these types of things), we were all jamming out to an EFY song about being a light, and as I was clapping along to the beat, I thought "Most of my siblings would totally mock this, but I don't care. I'm surrounded by 100 amazing people who could have signed up for a way easier 20 hr./wk. job, but chose this because they love to love people." I have spent many years of my life mocking EFY music, rolling my eyes at certain Mormon traditions, and wanting to throw things at the people who dance around like fairies at Peter Breinholdt concerts. Why, though? Does being cynical and too cool make me have any more fun? NO--quite the contrary. So I just ate up RA Training week. I loved how excited they were when I taught my class on mentoring. They had so many fabulous comments. I smiled as I watched them get to know each other and build community within their group of RAs. And most of all, I cheered and hugged and celebrated with them as we helped each other through difficult and often scary obstacles at Camp Williams (the National Guard base here). And so, while I loathe eating at the cafeteria, and I dream of a bigger home, I have to say--I love my job. And besides loving the new, excited freshmen, and the dedicated, outgoing RAs, the best part about it is the amazing staff I work with. You know how it's nice to "get along just fine" with your co-workers? Well it's even better to love your co-workers so much that you hang out after work. My friend/visiting teacher/fellow Hall Advisor wrote about this job benefit here.

Along that vein, I have also been thinking a lot lately about friendship. This tender post by Traci got me thinking about old friends. I have been unbelievably blessed to have friends from Barbie-playing age to sharing awkward teenage years to rooming together in college--and, though we're now separated by distance, we're still as close as ever. And in college we made many AMAZING new friends along the way. And here's what I'm so grateful for: BLOGGING. Here's why: I have these major issues with guilt because I feel like I don't do a good enough job of keeping in touch with friends, mission companions, etc. (Does anyone else struggle with this guilt? Do I just need to relax and realize that life changes and we can't always be as close as we once were? I just want people to know that I love them!) But blogging has gotten me reconnected with many old friends and I'm so grateful for that.

Anyway, I guess the thing that ties all of these thoughts together, is that I've also been thinking a lot lately about life's trials. They are so diverse. And so abundant. As I've prayed for help through my own challenges and for those near and dear to me that are struggling, I have been so moved this week by the friends that have reached out to me and my family. And it struck me that the service and love given by these friends has been in direct answer to those prayers. This week my amazing, tough, brave, (insert any other complimentary adjective here because it fits) sister, Liz, had a miscarriage. The situation went from normal to life-threatening FAST. As you read her post, you'll find that she has had a tremendous outpouring of support from friends, family, and neighbors. But I was also touched that as I related what had happened to friends and co-workers, I received a similar outpouring of concern and comfort. My manager told me not to come to work and to get right to the hospital. My visiting teachers/friends brought hugs. Cute Danielle even cried about it with me for heaven's sake!

So yeah, I have been feeling anything but trivial, and just want to say that I think the whole purpose of life is to be kind and to love each other. Life is fleeting. It is fragile. It is precious. We don't have time to be mean or cynical or negative. Just to be happy and hard-working and unselfish and loving.

11 comments:

Chase said...

Well I just love you! and I feel so lucky to have you for a friend! what a sweet post and such good words. It makes me think about how blessed I am. I will call you when my family leaves...

Kate said...

Oh dear, Chase was clearly on this computer...Chase is really Kate!!

rhall said...

Uncle Gary said recently that being nice (Ithink he said kind) is what matters most in life. Simple but so very true.

Katrina said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your sisters miscarriage. I can't imagine. It really is amazing how many different trials there are in this life.

And we are also bummed that we didn't get together. Jared was really sad. He looked forward to talking to your hubby. I seriously don't know what happened to August. We were NM and you guys were gone and that was it. So sad.

Emily said...

You are so right, Anne. Life is all about learning how to be kind and love people. A lesson that, like so many other of life's important lessons, is learned best through repetition. I loved this post almost as much as I love you. Almost.

liz said...

Here's how great your great friends are. They all act like I'm their friend too, just because I'm your sister (and maybe a little because I started a blog?). I've been thinking today about perspective, and that's what this post is about. I don't know all of the whys and wherefores of life's trials, but I know that at least one reason we have them is to help us (and those around us) understand what truly matters. And your answer to that question, that it's really about loving people, is #1 on the what matters list. How much time in my life have I wasted trying to seem cool? Much better to be happy and kind.

jeanine said...

Thank you for the reminder about not being cynical and negative. I find myself doing that all too often... you'd think I'd have grown out of thinking I need to "be cool" by now but sometimes I fall right back in. Life is much more enjoyable when we are nice and just doing things that are fun without worrying if they are cool or not...

lori said...

Anne, this is beautiful! A wonderful post for me to come back and read when my perspective gets a little skewed. I love you! And I loved reading Traci's (?) post about your growing up years! How valuable is FRIENDSHIP!!!!

Traci said...

Oh Anne, once again you are right on with your thoughts and feelings. LOVED reading this post. I have thought so many times how much I am missing because I try to be too cool. Funny how we accumulate this trait throughout our youth, and then we spend our adulthood trying to undo it!
What a fun job you have too.
And I feel lucky to have such a wise friend.

danielle said...

I kept meaning to comment on this post but the problem is that things that I actually have something to say about...I can never actually think of what to say. How's that. Anyway,I think mostly I just want to say ditto to your post and especially the last paragraph. It's amazing how things that happen in out lives can really put it into proper perspective huh. Thanks for this great reminder.

Anonymous said...

I started crying when I read your blog. I've had very similar thoughts lately. I miss our spiritual mission talks and all the growth that comes with it. So thanks Anne for giving me a taste of it again and helping to start my day off right. :) Sam

PS my new email is sscombe@gmail.com