If we were to have lunch one of us would send the other a text message at the time we’re supposed to leave if we’re going to meet on time. “I’m running a few minutes late, but I’m on my way!” A minute or so later the other would respond with, “Ditto.” And we’ll both be filled with relief, because “on the way” means just getting ready to walk out the door. But we anticipated it was the same for the other person. That’s just how we roll. It’s not that we’re not excited about lunch–we are! Getting together has been so overdue; it’s time to catch up on what’s currently happening in each other’s lives.
If we were to have lunch the restaurant would be packed by time we finally walk in and meet up after dealing with the horrendous parking situation. There’s construction all over. #ofcourse The Super Bowl is coming to Minneapolis (insert eye roll here) and roads are being blocked off as they prepare for the influx of football fans. We’d give each other a quick side-hug as we’re led to a table.
We’d sit down and order water “for now.” We’d open our menus as you’d ask, “So, what’s new with you?”
If you asked for more details, I’d tell you about this new freelance communications business that I started last year. I have a few clients and I really like them. They’re doing good work in the world and I’m able to be a support system to them. After some of the things I saw last year–the different sides of people that I saw–I was ready to walk away from doing work that’s helpful and beneficial and just focus on work that brings in money. I’ve become a little jaded. But somehow I’m still here, working with non-profits who are doing good in the world.
And then I’d mention the communications…
If we were to have lunch the waitress would stop by with our water and ask if we’ve had a chance to look at our menus yet. “No, sorry!” we’d say with a laugh. “We were talking. We still need a few more minutes.” She’d smile, nod, and walk away. We’d look at the menu and talk about how we should have a salad instead of a burger. We look at both categories and you might actually choose a salad, but for me, the fries always win. I can have a salad at home tonight. And then you’d ask what I was about to say before the waitress came back to the table.
I’d talk about the communications position I work at part-time. On the other side of the world, it seems. I’d say I’m glad that I landed at a place that has such a kind, supportive staff. I’d say that the people there make me feel like the time and energy I put in and the things that I do are actually worthwhile. They make me feel like I have worth. I don’t feel beaten up anymore, like I did before, and that feels so good. Those are the kind of people I want to surround myself with. That’s the type of person I want to be.
[Tweet “Surround yourself with people who let you know you have worth. Be that type of person, too.”]
If we were to have lunch the waitress would stop by to ask if we’ve had a chance to look over the menu yet and we’d decide to make a quick decision. She leaves and we compliment ourselves on our fantastic timing. The restaurant has mostly cleared out.
We’d talk about books. What we’ve read recently and what’s on our list to read soon. I’d tell you about my weekly reading plan in preparation for an upcoming conference. (Mary Karr and Donald Miller.) I’d tell you about the novels that are piled in my room. One night I sat down at 11pm to read a chapter before bed and when I realized I had probably read more than a chapter (I had) it was 1:30am. Oops!
But it felt SO good to get lost in a book again. I always feel more centered and grounded when I take time to read every day. Throughout 2017 I got swept up in other people’s things and didn’t create time for myself. When I did, I was too scattered and unsettled to focus. That’s not going to happen in 2018.
[Tweet “Self-care isn’t a nice-to-have. It’s necessary. Make time for things that keep you centered.”]
If we were to have lunch I’d tell you that I didn’t choose a word for the year. The last two years I felt like I fulfilled the words I chose too much. Instead, in 2018 I want to focus on me. I supposed I could use “me” as my word, as I’ve seen others do, but that feels too nice. If I chose a word, it would be selfish. It’s not a very “bloggery” thing to say, but that’s okay. For the last few years I’ve put off doing some of the things I want/need to do because I was so busy helping others in their pursuits. And it all fell apart. So 2018 is about moving forward with my things: making progress and, even, accomplishing some of these goals.
Sometimes I feel more optimistic than others about everything. And, usually, when my optimism fades something happens that pulls it out of hiding. If something doesn’t, I pull it back out. I only want to speak positivity to myself, because the words we say to/about ourselves make an impact. I don’t want to drag myself down.
[Tweet “Don’t drag yourself down! The words we say to and about ourselves make an impact.”]
If we were to have lunch you’d ask me about my number one love, my passion: fiction. And I’d tell you that things are progressing. They’re progressing more than they have for awhile, but maybe not as fast as I would have liked. It’s just like everything else. I had hoped to post three days a week in January. I had hoped to get a video (or videos) up on my YouTube channel. But sometimes we have to take things one step at a time. (Something I know, but always have to remind myself.)
[Tweet “Sometimes we have to take things one step at a time.”]
The one thing I can tell you is that I’ve been crossing things off my to-do list. And I’ll get there. I will get back to posting three days a week and soon I’ll have videos for YouTube. I can see it; it’s closer than I think. I’m just getting there one step at a time. And for me one step at a time meant getting to some of the mundane, boring work, like organizing my space, because it’s true what they say (for me, at least): if my mind is cluttered, I need to take a look at my physical space.
[Tweet “If you’re overwhelmed and your mind is cluttered, look at your physical space. Is it cluttered, too?”]
If we were to have lunch the waitress would take our nearly empty plates away and ask if we’d like dessert. We’d glance at the menu half-heartedly. It’s not that we’re so full there’s no room. It’s just that… who orders dessert anymore? Money, calories… But we see Red Velvet Cake on the menu. And the waitress tells us it’s one of their best desserts. And you gotta #treatyoself sometimes, right? We order it and it’s huge, but it really is the best Red Velvet Cake. We can’t finish it, but we still sit around and chat, grabbing a forkful from time to time. We continue to chat about life and all the random things, now that our big updates are out of the way. We’d do this until we realize we’re actually nearing the start of the dinner rush. We should free up the table. Traffic is about to pick up.
[Tweet “Yes, you can have your slice of red velvet cake. And you can eat it, too. #treatyoself”]
If we were to have lunch, what would you share?
PS – I haven’t posted as consistently in January as I hoped I would when the month started. (#life) So I wanted to come in and give a quick update: in the coffee date style that’s so popular in the blogging world, but as a lunch date, since that’s what’s my friend’s and I have been doing lately. Which means I also had recent pictures to use for it. Yes, there is beer at our lunch date. We thought they’d be smaller, it was a Friday, it was a late lunch, and #treatyoself. Also, if you’re in Minneapolis or you ever visit, you should definitely consider The Freehouse. They have a coconut chai ale that sounded like it would either be really good or really bad. It was delicious. So was the red velvet cake.