Wednesday, February 20, 2013

(In Response to) 19 Ways to Make Me Fall in Love With You

I read this list (19 Ways To Make Me Fall in Love With You) today, but decided it wasn't at all the what one would need to do to "make" me fall in love with them. So, I decided to create my own list.

Here it is:

20 ways to make me fall in love with you:

1. Make me smile/laugh through silly jokes, unspoken acknowledgement of quirky situations, and the ability to entertain absurd conversations.

2. Build me something. (nearly) anything. Bonus points if it's functional.

3. Take me away. The quickest way to this girl's heart is a plane ticket to a new place. (A long road trip can also suffice.)

4. Cuddle. Physical affection is very important.

5. Send random messages throughout the course of the day just to let me know you're thinking of me.

6. Make dinner AND clean up once in awhile.

7. Hold the door open for others, help an old lady carry her groceries to the car, be kind to waiters/waitresses- in general: be kind and compassionate.

8. Accept me. That includes the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful. 

9. Listen to me because you want to know me. 

10. Watch what I do because you want to understand.

11. Be active, eat well, and take care of yourself. Nothing is as unattractive as someone who doesn't take care of themselves physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. 

12. Be supportive of my interests even if it's not "your thing."

13. Be honest. Tactfully. Tell me you've seen me look better in other outfits. Tell me I have kale in my teeth. Honesty in even the seemingly little things goes a long way.

14. Stand by me, walk by my side- literally and figuratively. Tell me when I'm wrong, but make sure I know you always have my back. 

15. Be sociable with others. Interact with my friends and make an effort to get to know them.

16. Communicate with me, even when it's about something that's uncomfortable or difficult.

17. Teach/Introduce me (how) to (do) new things. 

18. Have impromptu conversations with me that last long into the middle hours of the night.

19. Cloud/star watch with me.

20. Love me.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love With a Love That is More Than Love

"If nothing saves us from death, may love at least save us from life."

Valentine's Day. The day people focus on buying flowers, chocolates, and cards, dote on romantic partners, or find ways to cope if none of the above exists.

But what about focusing on a different kind of love? Instead of romantic suck-face (frequently) fleeting sorts of love, why not spend that money giving to those whose struggles go beyond just being single? 

Today, my sweet friend and little-sister-I-never had posted this status:
"Doing laundry today, a lady was begging for change outside for some food. Instead of giving her $$ I took her over to the pizzeria & bought her some pizza, and a soda. She said, "Everyone walks by and gives me change so I'd leave them alone. Thank you & Happy Valentine's Day." Enough said."

I'm not saying we all need to go find someone begging on the street, but perhaps we can pull our heads out of the hazy Valentine's Day clouds and redirect that attention to those who could use some genuine compassion, love, and concern. 

If you're in a relationship, pay it forward. If you're single, pay it forward. 

I totally get the ever-increasingly trite sounding cliche-for-a-reason question, "Why do we need one day to remember to express our love? We should be doing that every day." And that's TRUE.

But here's the thing about us humans, ready? WE FORGET AND NEED CONSTANT REMINDERS. It's true, we should love every day, not just when we're expected to buy cards we're going to throw out the next day. That said, a day of intentional remembrance isn't a bad thing either.

Valentine's Day, like everything else, is all in what you choose to make of it.

So go dote on your special loved one (if you don't have one, do something you love and be thankful for the time you have to focus on yourself), and maybe while you're at it, send some of that attention and energy to someone whose lot in life may not be so lucky as your own.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Stop Looking Down Long Enough to Look Up

I used to say I was an ocean girl.

Well, I didn't "used" to- I still kinda do, BUT, with more thought than before. You see, these last few weeks have been something of an epiphany. I've gone on a hike of some sort every several days for the past few weeks, and the more I do it, the more I crave it. 

Yesterday while I was out with a friend, I realized that ever so slowly, I've been learning the language of the mountains and of being in the woods. It's different than being in the ocean, not better or worse, just different.

I find peace in the sound of the wind through the trees and reminders to breathe deep when I look out on the horizon filled with mountains that could only be described as majestic against a sky so blue it's unreal.

Over the weekend I went on a hike and met a new friend who, while we were walking and talking, suddenly stopped. He grabbed my arm and said, "Look at this. Look at how amazing this view is, and we miss it because we're always looking at the ground." 

So we slowed down. We walked quite a distance behind everyone while we were mindful to look up and even completely stop once in awhile just to enjoy what was right in front of us.

I realized that many of us are so busy just trying to get where we're going, we spend the entire time looking down to make sure we don't trip, but all the while we're missing the point of it all; we're missing the spectacular views that make the journey worth taking in the first place. 

We're taught that we should hurry up and push as hard as we can to get finished, but finish what? A class? A job? A chore? A workout? A hike? And why- why do we feel as though we have to race through our lives always looking down to ensure that we don't trip while we're pushing as hard and as fast as we can to get to the end. 

But maybe, just maybe, the end is not so important. Maybe, like the old cliché says, "It's not about the destination, it's about the journey."

Next time you find yourself racing through school, work, the various stages of a relationship, a project, or even just a hike, slow down- maybe even completely stop- and take a moment to look, really look, at what's around you. 

You may just find that whatever you're working so hard to finish has a new meaning, and the end point becomes not so important after all.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Don't Say It Unless You'll Do It

How many times have we made empty commitments like, "I'll call you later," "We'll hang out soon, "I'll get better with staying in touch," or "I'll help you with that"?

We've all done it. We say those lines because in the moment we think we mean them, but later rolls around and makes a liar of us.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

This last year has emphasized the importance of follow through in my everyday life. I've been working on not mindlessly spouting off meaningless promises because even though they don't seem important, those seemingly insignificant moments add up to how others gauge the integrity of your word. It happens on such a covert level we don't even realize it consciously most of the time.

That is, until we find ourselves simultaneously making other plans when we make plans with that person we know will flake.

Each unfulfilled commitment weakens the power of what we say because there's no foundation of doing to hold it up.

My challenge to us is to be increasingly mindful and intentional about what we say because though it is true that actions speak louder than words, words have the potential to be powerful when they carry a high degree of purpose and integrity.

Make it a priority to ensure you follow through with the "little" commitments because they contribute to the foundation of trustworthiness you build with others on a daily basis.