Archive for the ‘Lulu’ Tag

Character?

Day Six: A Character-Building Experience

Today’s Prompt: Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?

This Writing 101 post assignment is supposed to help build my skills at describing people and their traits and their affect on me by describing someone new in my life. But I don’t really meet a lot of new people. I can’t think of anyone I know whom I met for the first time in the last twelve months. So I’m going to write about someone I met about 30 months ago: my beloved Lulu.

No one else in my life has had the impact she has. No one else has left such a lasting impression, transformation really, on my life. So what is it about her? What is her Character?

My first impulse is to fill up paragraphs with lists of her many amazing qualities, traits, attributes and accomplishments. My first impulse when speaking of her is always to make the page glow with her bright light and goodness. That would be easy to do, because she has many wonderful qualities that set her apart from any crowd.

But a long list of praises wouldn’t accurately capture her character, wouldn’t keep your interest and would quickly grow cloying and trite.

Rather than make that mistake, let me tell you what I see as her greatest character feature. This is a risk, because by choosing only one, many more amazing things about her are left unsaid and you might get a false sense of who she is and why I value her so highly. But I’m going to risk it.

My amazing Lulu is, to my eyes and heart, the loveliest human alive. But it is not the engaging smile, the addictive laughter, the soft golden hair, the bright, intelligent eyes, or the quick, quirky wit that captivates me most about her. Lots of people are smart and funny and pretty. But I have found in her a rare quality that defines her character above any other: an all-encompassing compassion that radiates acceptance and caring and safety for all.

That sort of agapé love is rare, despite the millions of religious zealots around the world who profess to have that sort of unconditional love for everyone. Even more rare in my experience is the fact that her compassion is for all life, not just human life. While it is true that lots of people are animal lovers, how many truly view the animals in their care as persons in their own right and treat them with the dignity of personhood? My Lulu does.

It is this acceptance, this capacity for reverence of all life that I find most extraordinary about my beloved. She Seems to have infinite room in her heart to love and care for everyone she meets, regardless if they are two-legged or four, furred, feathered, scaled or otherwise. She sees intrinsic value in the life energy of any being and treats it with the reverence and respect owed to such a miraculous being.

It’s that wonder and openness of her heart that loves first and questions last that makes her character, for me, such a rare and beautiful thing.

My safe place

Counting my beloved among the happiness and uplifting forces in my day (every day) is easy and natural. Saying that she makes me happy, lifts my spirit, gives me hope, brings light and love into my life, is like pointing out that the sun is bright, or that water is wet, or that breathing requires oxygen. You get the point–Lulu is my greatest happiness.

But that it is obvious does not detract from its miraculousness and criticality.

Indeed, when I challenged myself to consciously identify at least one happy or uplifting thing in each of the remaining days this week, she was foremost in my mind. The challenge is to do her justice in describing her role in my happiness.

Volumes of loving, lavish, superlative descriptions come to mind when I think of her and how she makes feel. But that’s more personal than I want to share in this post. So let me explain it this way: She is my safe place.

She is the person who sees me, with all my flaws and insecurities, and loves me anyway. She’s the one who hears my triumphs, tragedies, gripes, jokes and droning war stories, and smilingly responds to each with care and interest. She provides a safe, non-judgmental forum to explore ideas and dissect problems. With concern and careful attention she guards my sleep and drives away the nightmares. She gifts me with a unique point of view when discussing any issue, without judgement or derision. Her voice soothes my jangling nerves and calms my frantic heartbeat. And she accepts me without reservation.

With all these things, she makes it safe for me to be me with her and with the rest of the world.

My Lulu, my happiness, my safe place.

Rubicon Passed

That’s it. I’ve passed the rubicon and am forever changed.

Actually, that happened ages ago, but I am only now beginning to understand the many, varied, deep and wide results such an event can have in my personal life experience. They are wonderful, awe-inspiring consequences. And (just sometimes) they are a little bit terrifying, in the same way a great height or deep water can be terrifying and exhilarating at once.

What was this monumental turning point?

To paraphrase lyricist Alan Jay Lerner, I have “grown accustomed to her face…she’s second nature to me now”.

In short, I’ve adjusted to not being alone and have grown to love being loved. I don’t think I could ever again be content to have no love in my life. I’m forever changed by the love of a wonderful woman and so amazingly blessed to be so.

This is not to say I am unable to be alone or solitary for a time and for specific reasons. Indeed, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t occasionally need some alone time. We have to be able to be still with ourselves and enjoy the solitude of our own minds, now and then. It’s how we retain our individuality.

But as a life, as a persistent condition, I could never again choose to be the kind of alone that coincides with lonely.

Instead, by giving myself fully to a relationship, enjoying and participating in all the benefits that entails, I have been transformed. I have become something I never believed I would have the opportunity to become: one half of a whole, a partner and life companion, one of two who are one.

I’m not sure, exactly, what brought these thoughts to the top of my mind today. She’s the most frequent thought in my mind every day. But today, a day of no particular significance, I feel her physical and temporal distance from me more than ever. I have this sensation that an integral part of myself is displaced. And more than anything, I miss my Lulu.

Butch hissy-fits aren’t pretty

I haven’t blogged in a long time. Tons of good reasons and even more excuses as to why. But now is not the time to get into all of that. There are things banging around inside of me that need to get said, explored, examined, tested & debunked. Again, though, this isn’t that post.

Actually, at nearly midnight on a weeknight, when I should be resting for another long, challenging workday ahead, I shouldn’t be blogging at all. Rest & recharging should be my priority. I’m instead lying in the dark fuming about something I shouldn’t even be upset about.

My bed was stripped & linens washed without warning while I was at work. I didn’t see it before I went to get ready for bed and had to scramble, at 11 o’clock at night, to find bedding & make the bed.

Yeah, I know: lucky you to have someone do something so thoughtful, so what’re you complaining about?

I’ve railed and ranted inside my head about why this pisses me off. I’ve internally lived out the most likely discussion that would occur should I address this irrationally irksome situation to my well-loved family member who precipitated my thoroughly bad humor. And I’ve had a stern, frank, bracing argument with my inner-complainer about why this is not the battle to pick and how trivial and unworthy of my energy this issue is.

Yet, here I sit. I’m still ticked off that this stupid thing happened. I’m still baffled at the rudeness and presumption I feel has been shown by someone I never expected had the capacity for such carelessness. And now I’m also ashamed at myself for feeling so strongly about something so minor, insignificant and, in all likelihood, unintentional.

Honestly, how was she to know that her helpfulness would so thoroughly piss me off?

So what’s my real problem? I miss my Lulu so badly that suddenly losing the scent of her hair on the pillowcase stabs at my heart so painfully that it’s either rage or bawl like a baby. Neither is a rational, sane, mature adult response to so small a thing. Yet that’s where I am.

I know that it had to happen eventually. I was planning to clean up the room, do laundry & all the rest of my neglected chores this weekend. But I’d also planned to hang onto that pillowcase for a little while longer. And now that I don’t have that option, or the scent of her hair to fall asleep with, I’ve lost a bit of my grip on rationality.

Sometimes being a strong butch really bites.

Determined Cheerfulness

So I took a quick look and it appears evenly split between positive and negative. The number of blog posts so far this year, I mean.  Six of each: complaining or angst-ing and positive or happy.  That’s not all that great a batting average.  Even.  .500. Middle of the road.  I know I can do better than that.  My goal is, has always been, to blog about my self-discovery and spread joy and positivity at the same time.  But here lately, it looks like I’m letting the internal critic have more voice than the internal cheerleader.

I’m not sure it’s just me, either.  Seems like lately, at least over the last month since I’ve been half-consciously keeping track, that many of my Tweeps and Facebook Folk have also been struggling with the negative and stressful (except for @kimboandersen, who is eternally up-beat, smiling and “kind…always”, which I greatly admire).  Even today, the Femme Fairy Godmother is having a rough day, but has reached out to her FB “pumpkins” to get encouragement from what’s going right in their Thursday.  By and large, looks like all her peeps are also having a rough day.

So here’s my intentional effort to break the cycle of angst and negativity.  I’m resorting to a list, but I’m still counting it.  Intentional positivity and determined cheerfulness for all!

Things that make me smile today:

  1. Lulu.  Always.  She is my bliss (as she so often puts it when she tells me of my effect on her).
  2. Lulu again – she sang to me on the way to work today, which always makes me happy.
  3. I have, for the first time in recent memory (over a year, maybe?) a day with no scheduled appointments or meetings. Hooray!
  4. It’s sunshiny outside my window, with puffy clouds and cornflower blue sky (see pic below). And the radiometer in my window is happily spinning like mad! Also, the albino goose (not a swan, we’ve checked and it has standard color/marking goslings) is swooping around on carefree wings outside my office window.
  5. My friend Deborah’s pictures of birds, flowers and other critters that she regularly posts on Twitter and Facebook. Her cardinals, especially, make me smile.
  6. The grapes I had with breakfast today were crisp and cold and juicy and sweet and I really enjoyed them.
  7. I’m wearing a fun polka-dot bow tie today with a checked shirt and the patterns don’t clash.
  8. Green grass, green trees swaying in the breeze, birds chirping and the general Spring-ishness of the day.
  9. Easily put out three potentially ugly work “fires” this morning with a little reasoning and calm persuasion. I love it when a plan comes together!
  10. Tomorrow is Friday!!!!!!!!!

Ok, peeps! Let’s hear your intentional positivity…leave me a comment and make me smile some more!

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