Appreciation.

I think sometimes it’s truly hard to appreciate your life when thrust into the hustle and bustle of everyday tasks, chores, and obligations. Humans get into a routine, a pattern, and a repetitive motion that follows the hands on the clock. There are different things that weigh on our minds, allow that monkey to climb onto our backs, and leave that chip on our shoulders. It can be difficult to see through the fog and over the peak to the sunny valley that lies just over yonder. Some of us get there, some of us do not.

As a society, in the face of insurmountable tragedy, we’re reminded how much we should truly appreciate life and those we love and hold dear to our hearts. It’s easy to forget to tell someone we love them as much as we should. It’s easy to say, “Oh, I’ll call them tomorrow.” It’s easy to put everything off just one more day. Nothing is guaranteed in this life. We take for granted ‘tomorrow’ and ‘this weekend’ because we’re certain we’ll see it and almost everything will be the same; no change. For some of us, that will not always be the case. For some of us, today is all we have.

If there’s anything you take away from reading this short post it should be an appreciation for life, what it has to offer, and most important what you have to offer to those around you. Every single person makes a difference. Yes, I mean you.

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33 in 9

A friend of mine recently posted this as his Facebook status,

Crazy how when you’re a kid ya can’t wait for your b’day, all you think about.. Mine just 10 days away and I wish it was 10 months away

I get excited about my birthday, I do. Anyone that really knows me, well, they just know. As you get older though, I feel like it loses its luster a bit. It’s not the big, huge fanfare it was say, twenty years ago. I was always fortunate as a kid, fortunate that my birthday always fell during summer break and I wasn’t subject to no book learnin’ on the best day of the year! I don’t remember a lot of my birthday parties, but I do remember one that stands out and I can remember like it was yesterday.

My sister (much wiser) took my girlfriends and I to see Batman at the drive-in when I turned 10 (yes, Batman is that old. I miss you Michael Keaton). Oh the drive-in! Those days are long-lost, as almost all of them are closed now (outdoor activity in the Northwest? ha), but it was the highlight of birthday parties. As I got older and became of *legal* drinking age, well they are mostly a blur. A blur of all blurs. Except when I turned 23. That was the summer of FUN. Oddly enough, it was a crazy night spent with my friend who penned the aforementioned Facebook status. Stories are still told about the events of that night, I doubt I’ll ever forget.

As I inch closer to the day I celebrate number thirty-three, I’m full of anticipation of spending time with my family and friends. I’m fortunate to have the friends that I do, old and new. As I settle into the mid-30’s I’m embracing new possibilities, whatever/whoever/however they may come.

Cheers!

Concerts between us

Admittedly I am a little behind the 8-ball this week. I should have had this post fresh and ready to go on Monday, but alas in my adult life I have chose the route of steadfast procrastination. This in no way means that my dear friend Michelle is any less important than say, doing the other things I find to occupy my time (whatever they have been, I still am not quite sure).

We’ve made lots of memories over the last five years, when we really became friends, although I’ve known of Michelle since high school. We actually became closer friends when another friend (Teddy) moved to Bend  years ago. There were many trips to Bend to visit her, frequent concerts (I think we’ve seen We Are Scientists three times!), and too many self-portraits to count. It’s kind of become our thing. Anywhere we are, whatever we’re doing, picture-snap.

Always making time for the camera

I’ve never met a person that has EVER had a bad thing to say about Michelle. When people refer to her the comments are always positive. My niece and nephew love her to death (ever since their dog peed on her foot at a party), their eyes always light up if they know she’ll be coming to a mutual event. She loves kids and makes every effort to spend as much time as possible with her nephew. Her positive impact on everyone around her is something very few humans possess. I’m glad to know her and to call her my friend.

Happy Birthday Michelle!

Yes, like the bear

Sometimes you have to dig into the archives to remind yourself of the good ol’ times. I was leafing through photos tonight to find the perfect ones for this post, and there were truly just too many to choose from to share. What I found along the way was lots of laughs, not at the hilarious photos (okay, well maybe some of that), but the stories behind those briefly captured moments in time.

Seattle fun - 2002?

Over half my life ago, I met Teddy in the halls of Marshall High School (1960-2011, RIP) freshman year, circa 1993.   I don’t remember exactly how we met and only certain moments from the high school years stand out to me, but the connection we’ve had since then is truly one of a kind. There have been highs and lows, each of them have made our friendship even stronger. We were roommates for about six years which lends many fond memories of sticky kitchen floors, making sure men washed their hands after using the urinal, and dancing one too many nights away at Lucky’s.

She’s been my source of confidence a few too many embarrassing times, and we’ve had many, many, many laughs about the silly things we did as 20-somethings. We may not be able to go out on the town every night like we used to, week in and week out, but we can still party like it’s 1999. Happy Birthday to you girl! Here’s to another 19 years! Cheers!

Smiles!!! - 2003

 

Bananas, optional

You know the kind of friend that you share some history with? The stories of yesteryear or not-so-yesteryear that you can reminisce, laugh, and joke about all over again…and again? Any moment when I get together with Jana, whether five minutes, five hours, or five days, we never miss a beat. We finish each others sentences, thoughts, and stories. We’re that much in tune with one another.

Despite working for the same company for the past twelve-plus years, and at times sitting only a few hundred feet from each other, we rarely get to spend much time together. As we get older, and our lives take off in slightly different directions when we are together it’s as if no time has passed. 

A true friend is one who will take care of you should you get roofied at the bar. The one that has sooo much dirt on you and doesn’t hold it against you, she embraces it. A person who would drop everything to help you out, is your biggest cheerleader in life, and would trust you to look after her family if she couldn’t anymore. 

Happy Birthday to one of my best gal pals. Through thick, thin, and beyond!

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iMe Steve

Apple’s iO5 update this summer made free communication a lot easier for me and my pal to the North. Sure, we stayed in contact by a few texts and the occasional phone call, but that starts to add up. We tried Live Profile for awhile but that was usually spotty and we weren’t always receiving each other’s messages.

iMessage made communication easier and more efficient (read: free). Time and obligations later, we’ve been talking about getting some FaceTime action and yet as we near the end of the year we haven’t managed to find a time when we’re both not on the move.

Text messaging can’t replace human or even voice interaction, but it’s kept us in constant communication the last few months and for that I thank you Mr. Steve Jobs.
Thank you for the technology to keep those at a distance, seem so much closer.

RIP