These are the thoughts and observations of me — a woman of a certain age (56). I'm single. I'm successful enough (independent, self supporting). I live in the burbs and work in the city (Chicago, the best city in the world). I'm an aunt, a friend and a colleague. I feel that voices like mine are rather underrepresented online or in print. So here I am. If my musings resonate with you, please visit my blog again sometime.
I'm not surprised to see #12 on the list. I think I have heard "I'll Be Home for Christmas" performed by everyone from Karen Carpenter to Lou Rawls this year. I'm starting to wonder where the singer is that he or she won't be home for Christmas. Prison? The military? Working the holiday shift at a hospital? The backstory on that one changes for me depending on who is doing the singing.
For more about the Thursday 13, or to play along yourself, click here.
Had an impressive session with my shrink last night. I told her that I'm really pretty happy these days, and that makes me feel bad because my oldest friend is suffering and just keeps on suffering, no matter what I do.
The doc started by pointing out the obvious -- that there isn't a finite amount of happy in the world, and that when I'm feeling good it's not like I'm preventing her from being happy. I know that. That doesn't mean I don't feel that way, but I know it's not true.
And then there's the fact that it isn't up to me to make my oldest friend happy or whole. It's unrealistic. It's undoable. It's dopey. I know that, too. I just need to be reminded.
Now here's the revelation: my need to fix her life may actually be harming and not be helping. This part I didn't get until my shrink pointed it out to me.
When I tell my best friend to join a congregation … to eat healthier … to stop smoking … to reach out to her friends and family more authentically … to enforce boundaries with her kids … etc., she's probably not hearing the love and support I intend. Heard through the filter of her overwhelming vulnerability, she may just hear, "Why didn't I think of that? I suck."
Instead, when she's blue, I should just say, "I'm sorry. How can I help?" And then, instead of solving, I should shut up and just listen.