Your Tribe


Too often we either struggle to realize (or wait too long to make a change) when we have people in our lives that maybe shouldn’t be or at least shouldn’t have such a large part in it.

Not everyone feels this way, but I personally believe that you should surround yourself with people that bring you peace, happiness, joy, and positive vibes, and people who help you find those things within yourself. 

And if someone doesn’t fit that bill? Think long and hard about how much you want them around. Life is too short to do otherwise.

We have the power to choose who we surround ourselves with…those who are in our tribe. Yes, there are times when it’s unavoidable to be around someone with negative energy or someone who you just plain don’t like – such as a particular family member or coworker – but for the most part, it’s up to us.

Here’s some quick math: On an average workday, I sleep 7-8 hours a night, take about an hour to get ready, spend 1-1.5 hours commuting, and work anywhere from 8-10 hours. So, for five days a week, that leaves me with about 4-6 hours where I get to choose what I do and who I spend time with – about 15-25% of my day.

In the grand scheme of things? That’s not a lot of time. As harsh as it sounds, why would I waste any of those hours with someone who doesn’t bring positivity, happiness, joy, and peace to the table?

Make good choices, folks. Choose your tribe wisely ūüôā

You’ve Got a Friend in Me

(who read the title of this post and started singing? ūüėČ )

I have some pretty fabulous friends.

Some I’ve known since I was a kid, some since high school or college, and others I’ve met further into my adult life.

Some of these friendships have been constant smooth sailing while others have had their bumps along the way.  But people who are truly meant to be in your life always end up back beside you, even if you drift apart for a bit.

Here’s a collection of memes dedicated to my friends ūüôā

blurting out lyricslaugh a little loudermichelle obama wisdomoctopus on your facesing it back to yousomeone's gonna get itsoulmate friendshipso clear

 

 

The Importance of Good Colleagues

Who do you spend most of your waking hours with?

For me, the answer is undoubtedly my work colleagues…at least Mondays through Fridays ūüôā

There are so many men and women of all different ages and backgrounds who have taught me some of the most valuable life lessons and been with me through both the best and worst¬†times of my life…helping me through the first time I experienced the loss of a family member, celebrating engagements and weddings, distracting me on a flight that’s making me nervous by chatting nonstop, rocking it out on the daily carpool ride to work, etc etc etc. ¬†Often, they’re right there on the front lines with me…the first ones to know of good or difficult news, even sometimes before my nearest and dearest friends.

I read¬†the article below awhile ago and found myself smiling and agreeing with most of it, thinking of specific memories for each mention. ¬†The title is, “The Ways Your Coworkers Know More About You Than Your Friends Do”, and it appeared on the website EliteDaily.

1. They see you under pressure and immense stress. For the most part, your coworkers are right there with you when you’re in the trenches and sifting through the muck. Your colleagues know how to handle you when you’re on edge and can empathize when you’re juggling a nearing deadline and demanding boss.

2. They celebrate you on your actual birthday. Your best coworker also plays the role of your mom when she sneaks away to organize a surprise ‚ÄúHappy Birthday‚ÄĚ serenade in the kitchen. She even knows you well enough to buy your favorite Macchiato cookies, instead of cake.

3. They see you in your natural state. Whether you’re running late and looking like hell or eschewed the makeup case after a rough night out, your colleagues have seen you at your worst. Sick, tired, hungover, tear-stained, puffy ‚ÄĒ you name it. We seriously wonder how anyone lands a cubicle boyfriend.

4. They double as your therapist. When your significant other, family or friends are pissing you off, you know you can vent to your coworkers about it. They won’t judge you or take sides because they don’t personally know these people in your life (aside from what scary stories you share about their grooming habits and from briefly meeting at those blurry holiday parties). Above all else, office policy dictates they are obligated to listen to it.

5. They know how you take your coffee, what you order in your salad and what cream cheese to buy on bagel day. And on a rough day, they know what bag of chips to grab, or which bar of chocolate when you’re having a random craving at 3 pm. Colleagues know your eating habits better than the neighborhood Chipotle cashier, whom you routinely visit more often than you’d care to admit‚Ķ

6. They don’t judge when you’re bitching about something as trivial as a paper jam. ‚ĶOr when you’re frustrated because Jack in Accounting messed up your paycheck. Or when your computer spontaneously shut down and didn’t save. Or when you have to come in early for no reason, other than it’s your job. Or maybe today the lack of toilet paper really set you off. Whatever it is, your coworkers have been there.

7. They commiserate with your financial struggles. No one quite understands how to live off your pitifully low salary until they have inherited your job. Your colleagues are among the few who can share in your financial woes because they’re earning basically the same as you. There’d be way more happy hours together if you and the team could afford it.

8. They can directly relate to a huge component of your life. Articulating why your boss is the devil to an outside friend is not as easy as when you explain it to your associate. She better understands the office environment and personal dynamics and, thus, relates to your problems with authority. If you’re questioning whether to take a sick day, you know she’ll give you an honest answer because she’s familiar with the work mentality.

9. They know the live details of your breakup and when you’re on your period. Who else is going to slyly pass you a tampon underneath your desk?

10. Everything is communal. Your associates are obligated to share everything with you: bathroom stalls, casual snacks from the commissary, talk time and even your favorite pen in times of desperation. It’s easy to bond over a shared love of black ballpoint Bics.

11. They’ve seen you with your guard down. Whether you got momentarily heated during an intense debate or you cried after receiving terrible news about your performance, your associates have seen it all. They’re the people sitting side-by-side with you every day, through the pressure-cooker situations and account celebrations. While they may be slightly horrified at times, they definitely know you better than most.

I hope you have I have been fortunate to have some of the most FUN and AMAZING¬†coworkers over the first eleven years of my professional career. ¬†To my current and past colleagues who are reading this – thank you ūüôā ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†

Cheers!

SMR

Find Out Who Your Friends Are

I laughed a bit at myself today when I realized how often I write about music here.

I think that’s happened for several reasons.¬† First, I grew up with music.¬† It was on in our house, in the car, at my grandparents’ house,¬†everywhere.¬† We went to musicals and other theater shows, I was in choir for awhile, I played the violin and piano for several years, etc.¬† It’s just part of me.

I also find that I both¬†channel emotions through¬† and associate emotions with music.¬† For every mood I have, for many memories I have,¬†for many people in my life, there’s a song that comes to mind.¬† Examples:

  • Feeling joy?¬† “Can’t Stop The Feeling”, Justin Timberlake
  • Feeling zen?¬† Kenny G, Chris Botti, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma
  • Feeling angry/rage-y?¬† “Break Stuff”, Limp Bizkit
  • Remembering my grandparents’ house?¬† anything by Nat King Cole
  • Celebrating an anniversary with my husband? “Wonderful World”, Louis Armstrong
  • Road trips with my sister?¬† “Lifestyles of the Rich & the Famous”, Good Charlotte
  • Dancing on stage with a friend at my wedding?¬† “Save a Horse, Ride A Cowboy”, Big & Rich
  • Getting thru some of the most challenging?¬† “Stand”, Rascal Flatts
  • Missing people I’ve lost?¬† “One Sweet Day”, Mariah Carey

This week at work, I’m listening to cancer patients talk about their journey and their attitudes towards their treatment and outlook on life.¬† One of the ladies we heard today said that through her journey, she ‘really found out who¬†her friends are’.

While that notion kind of sucks – that sometimes “friends” aren’t really friends when you’re battling day after day the beast that is cancer – I actually smiled, because that’s a¬†song that I associate with a very special friend of mine.¬† She and I carpooled to work for several years before I moved, and we always enjoyed that song (and sang it!) together.

If you haven’t heard it, check it out¬†in the YouTube link below.

“Find Out Who Your Friends Are” – Tracy Lawrence

Run your car off the side of the road
Get stuck in a ditch way out in the middle of nowhere
Get yourself in a bind, lose the shirt off your back
Need a floor, need a couch, need a bus fare

This is where the rubber meets the road
This is where the cream is gonna rise
This is what you really didn’t know
This is where the truth don’t lie

You find out who your friends are
Somebody’s gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car
Hit the gas get their fast
Never stop to think ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘it’s way too far.’
They just show on up with their big old heart
You find out who you’re friends are

Everybody wants to slap your back
Wants to shake your hand
When you’re up on top of that mountain
But let one of those rocks give way then you slide back down look up
And see who’s around then

This ain’t where the road comes to an end
This ain’t where the bandwagon stops
This is just one of those times when
A lot of folks jump off

You find out who your friends are
Somebody’s gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car
Hit the gas get there fast
Never stop to think ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘it’s way too far.’
They just show on up with that big old heart
You find out who you’re friends are

When the water’s high
When the weather’s not so fair
When the well runs dry
Who’s gonna be there?

You find out who your friends are
Somebody’s gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car
Hit the gas get there fast
Never stop to think ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘it’s way too far.’
They just show on up with their big old heart
You find out who you’re friends are.

Choosing Your Friends

I don’t remember where I first heard or saw it, but I’ve always liked at the phrase:

“Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.”

And I’ve always believed in its validity.  But I’m not sure it’s been more clear to me than last weekend when one of my best friends got married.  

See, I’ve been invited to his family’s get-togethers and celebrations since I met my husband, as they’ve been buddies since age 14.  They are some of the kindest, most welcoming people I know, and we both consider ourselves blessed to have them in our lives and feel like adopted children/cousins. 

As I was looking around the reception venue toward the end of the evening after mingling with a variety of people throughout the night, I realized that I very much felt like I was at a family member’s wedding ūüôā  It was similar to how I felt at my actual sister’s wedding earlier in the month, LOL.  

While this is more of an extreme example, it underscored that quote of mine above – that the friends we choose to have AND keep in our lives can and often do become as close as family. 

We have a handful of friends who we really do think of more as brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and heck even sometimes secondary parents.  We’d do anything for them at a moment’s notice, and we know they would do the same.  We’ve seen each other at our best and worst moments and everything in between.  We can enjoy a big day of plans or just an evening hanging out doing nothing but watching YouTube videos.  

I guess at the end of the day, recent events have just reminded me that I’m really lucky with the choices I’ve made in the friend department  ūüôā

Cheers!

SMR

  

Roots.

Wednesday Words!  I saw this on Pinterest recently, and it made me reflect on all of the relationships I have in my life.

Screenshot_2015-08-19-09-52-26-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think this appropriate for any number of relationships – significant others, friends, family members, colleagues…people who have been around since you were born, those you grew up with, newer people you meet as you cross into major life changes like going to college, first jobs, etc.

People will always come and go in your life. ¬†Some stay for a long time – even for a lifetime – while others will be around only for a few days, months, years. ¬†People evolve as life evolves.¬† Change happens. ¬†Growing apart happens. ¬†It’s completely natural.

I struggled with this¬†for a long time. ¬†Change can be difficult for me, especially when it comes to friends and family. ¬†But at some point, you simply just have to let it go. ¬†(cue Idina Menzel’s voice here)

To quote my mom, “c’est la vie”. ¬†Translation? ¬†That’s life. ¬†Those who are meant to stay in your circle¬†as someone you have a close bond with will, and others will fade. ¬†It happens. ¬†The sooner you accept it, the better. ¬†Otherwise you’ll be sad and frustrated…tired of hearing the word ‘no’ when trying to make plans and almost feeling a twinge of rejection…wondering often ‘what in the world has happened to us’…and thinking ‘how much longer should I even try?’ ¬†This¬†mindset isn’t good. ¬†Been there, done that, and realized it wasn’t accomplishing anything.

Instead, cherish the memories, fun stories, and good times with those folks who are fading or are gone, and SMILE.

Then go spend time with and enjoy the¬†people¬†in your¬†life right now. ¬†Live in the present. ¬†Life is too damn short to do anything else. ¬†Because what I’ve realized over time is…

Relationships can’t be forced, no matter how long or how hard you try.

BUT…I love the reminder of the image above -no matter where life takes you and how things change,¬†your roots will always be tangled ūüôā

Cheers!

SMR