Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Grace: What is it and how do I get some?

On my 38th birthday, I listed some goals for the upcoming year. They included easy things like drinking more lattes, getting more massages and wearing a lot of hats. (Literally, not figuratively.) Easy stuff. Setting the bar low, if you will.

One I did not mention is to be a better person. Vague? Yes. Achievable? Hopefully. But defining what exactly I mean proves challenging. Do I want to be nicer? Lots of room to improve there. More patient? Um-hum. Let the people who speed past and then want to cut over at the merge go in front of me? Even I have my limits.

So last night I was rereading a sweet note my childhood minister had sent me. He had known my mom quite well and continues, 20 years later, to still mention her in one of his sermons. He wrote, “Your mother’s kindness and grace has always stayed with me.”

A-ha! That’s what I’m talking about. Grace.

Sadly, the only time someone has referred to me grace-wise was in sarcasm. (As in, “Way to go, grace” when I wipeout.) Though anti-klutz grace is certainly welcome, I’d really like some of the kind, patient, calming grace that seems much more rare.

My mother had grace – an abundance of it. Sadly, my dad’s biting wit and sarcasm must have beaten it up in utero. Snarky comments? Got ‘em. Patience with annoying people? Not so much.

To wrap up this ramble, I’m happy to have actually defined my goal. As with all goals, the defining is easy, the doing is hard. Eight months until 39. I'm not sure that's enough time. Maybe grace should be on the 40 plan.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The "Shoulds"

Like most women, I'm a worrier. The "shoulds" constantly nag at me. I should clean out the basement. I should seal the grout in my kitchen. I should eat less sugar. These little annoyances swirl around me like dirt around Pigpen.

And then one day a switch flips and I actually do it. (Though the flip can be a long time coming.)

I've lived in my house almost three years with my predecessor's bathroom decor choices. Some friends have called it the Fragglerock bathroom, others think it's a Miami Dolphins motif. Naming rights aside, it was bright teal with a lime green and bird covered valence over the shower.

I mocked the bathroom upon first viewing. "Wow," I told my realtor. "That has to be changed immediately."

In my world, immediately means two years, nine months. Last night, I heard angels sing as the valence came down. I patched, sanded and painted. Ta-da! I have a grown-up bathroom. Finally.

Touch up paint is another fun "should." Though it's important to make sure the new trim paint matches the old because there's not good place to stop. (Like all home improvements.) I'll be heading back to Benjamin Moore for attempt number two this weekend.

Is you're wondering about the eating less sugar, that lasted a week and I didn't drop a single pound. So bring on the Peeps.