Why Yes…I Think You Are

A friend gave me this book a couple of weeks ago. When I looked at the title, You Are A BadAss, the first thing I thought was, “nah…I’m just a regular ass…” But the first thing I said was “thank you”. And I might’ve gotten a little misty…because I tend to do that when someone does something thoughtful.

She said that she’d had it for a couple of weeks, but kept forgetting it when she came over. She bought it as a hostess gift when I was hosting Friendsgiving about a month back. She said that it made her think of me because I recently went back to work full time AND because I was hosting Friendsgiving. The hosting, in and of itself, wasn’t the thing. It was that I worked until 5 that day, and had 27 people coming for dinner – with cocktails at 6. She said the thought that was a pretty badass thing to do. She said she was impressed by how I was handling the whole “going back to work full time” thing. I’ve been thinking about all of those things that she said, off and on, ever since.

The thing is, hosting doesn’t phase me. I’m not the best hostess. I rarely have my ducks all in a row. Things are done in advance, but not ALL done…and sometimes I accidentally overcook things. (This is because I refuse to use the kitchen timer, on the grounds that “my nose is more accurate”…and then my nose finds itself distracted by the glass of cab just under it, time gets away from me, and, well…just throw some gravy on that turkey…you’ll be fine. πŸ˜‰ ) If you come to dinner at my house, it’s pretty likely that I’ll pour you a glass of wine so that you can relax…and then give you a task so you can’t. Everyone ends up in the kitchen anyway and it’s loud and a little chaotic…but we’re all together and that’s just how I like it. Working until 5 and then hosting at 6 didn’t seem like that big a deal to me…that’s not the kind of thing that scares me. The worst thing that could possibly happen is that all the food is somehow ruined by some kind of freak accident…and then we laugh and order pizza. I can handle that.

But then I was thinking…I have friends who do things every day, as a matter of course, that make me KNOW they’re badasses. Things I cannot do. I have a couple of friends who are firefighters. I am going to tell you now that I am desperately, absurdly afraid of heights and small spaces. These are not rational fears. These are back-of-the-brain, please-excuse-me-while-I-hyperventilate-in-the-corner types of fears. If someone were waiting for me to navigate that and rescue them from a burning building?? This would not go well. The folks who can do that? THEY are badasses.

I have friends who work in healthcare – as doctors and nurses – in ER’s and urgent care settings and in specialty care. THAT is badass. Being able to help someone at a time when they need it most – and having the confidence to make a diagnosis and move forward with a treatment when the stakes are high? That’s a lot of pressure, my friends. And you do it with grace. (And the occasional libation and/ or breakdown. I said you were badass…not superhuman… πŸ˜‰ )

Those are the obvious examples…but when I step back, I think that anyone willing to make a change in their lives – to pursue their dreams – anyone willing to hear out a perspective that isn’t their own – anyone willing to give love and grace to someone they have no expectation of receiving it back from…these people are badasses. (Also the people who teach teenagers to drive….parents, driving instructors. Actually, just parents in general. Badasses. Because…well…I don’t even need to tell you. You know why.)

ANYWAY….all that made me think. When I look across my life, at all the people in it, you are all badasses in one way or another. But maybe you don’t always see it quite the way I do. At least not YET. But here’s the thing: Maybe we all need someone to hand us a <metaphorical> little yellow book and TELL US WHAT THEY SEE. Maybe we all need that – just a little bit – every now and then. Or often. Often would be good, too.

And so – while I don’t really do New Years resolutions – I do set an intention/theme every year. (Usually accidentally. Generally by February.) Β Last year’s was “why not?”…and that led to some pretty big changes. This year’s might just be “tell them”. People are already very aware of their mistakes and shortcomings…so what if I made a point to tell them the good that I see? Tell them the good they have done. Maybe this year’s intention will be to stop assuming the people around me know how amazing they are – and start telling them what I know.

And also, to start using the oven timer.

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