Why is it that I need reminders for the important things in life, but not for the mundane?
For example, I would never forget to go to tennis practice. Ever. I know Modern Family is on Wednesday nights, my dermatologist appointments are made a year in advance, and my radar is always in tune with how full or empty the bottle of my precious Garlic Expressions salad dressing is.
I oftentimes need to be hit over the head with reminders to be thankful, to pray, or to slow things down and be in the moment with my family. Hello eye contact with the people I live with. I’ve even been thankful for a reminder not to raise my voice at my children. Really?? I need a reminder not to yell at the people I love most in the world?
Yes. Yes I do. And I need reminders about the other stuff too. Daily, please.
But lucky me, I have some amazing women in my life who help me stay on track. This is a creative group that seeks depth in their friendships and their lives. These are the women you want to stand next to at a party, because the weather will never come up, and you won’t talk about people — you will talk about ideas, feelings and things. The good stuff.
The other day I realized I am amassing a treasured collection that all happen to have come from these women. These gifts were laid out in close proximity to one another, and it struck me that they had an unintentional theme — they are all reminders!
Rose quartz—a symbol of love, was given to me to carry in my pocket, or to put somewhere special to promote love. My friend suggested I put it in my bedroom, which gave me visions of a princess and the pea scenario, where my husband and I are sleeping atop a mountain of rose quartz nuggets…hey, if one is good, 8,000 should be better, right? The thing is, I know how to love and where to love and when to love, but I need the reminder to give my love away. I love her reminder to love.
A small, silver tray that tells me, “Anything is Possible”, came from a friend who knows me well and knows I get too far in my own head sometimes, and fret over mountains that are molehills. A friend who has walked with me in valleys and who I know is pulling for me to take up residence on a peak. I love the tray for the message written on it, and also for the sentiment that is left unsaid. I know I can do things. Hard things. But sometimes I need the reminder. And also, every time I read it, the tune from the Lego movie, ‘Everything is Awesome’, pops into my head, and it makes me happy.
Another reminder is a book called Believe. This gem is filled with short quotes of inspiration — the ones that give me butterflies and make me feel strong. Not one word in that book is rocket science or some new way of thinking. It’s just full of simple reminders to live. Really live. We all know we only have one shot at this thing called life, but yeah, we need the reminder! If you don’t need this reminder, you are probably off finding a cure for cancer or rescuing orphans in Africa. Please don’t stop what you are doing, because you are the people who are quoted in books like Believe, and we need you to keep being amazing and inspiring.
The word THANKFUL is stamped on a simple bracelet that I recently received. And no, it’s not some company capitalizing on forgetful people, such as myself. It’s a company called MudLOVE and they make these sweet bracelets (and other cool stuff) to help people get clean drinking water. When I see THANKFUL staring up at me from my wrist, I can’t help but think about those people enjoying their clean water, and I have no choice but to be thankful for mine, too. Not to mention, it’s a very direct reminder for me to be thankful in general. Subtlety is lost on me; I need to be whacked over the head with this stuff. I mean, I say the words ‘thank you’ all day long…but am I thank-FULL? Yes please, give me the reminder.
The last item is a metal snowflake about the size of a quarter. It was given as a reminder to embrace being unique, as no two snowflakes are alike; the same is true for people. So why is it that we regard snowflakes for their individuality, but sometimes abhor people for it? Which brought to mind a compelling nugget of wisdom I read earlier this year and LOVED.
"When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn't get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don't get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying 'You are too this, or I'm too this.' That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are." - Ram Dass
Well done, Ram Dass…well done.
I’m so thankful my little snowflake will remind me that different is good and interesting, and that different should be celebrated, not snubbed. I think that the more confident I become in my own individuality, the more I will be able to accept and hopefully embrace the uniqueness of others.
I hope. But again, I need the reminder.
And guess what? I read something in a widely publicized book that tells me I am not alone, and that I shouldn’t beat myself up about it. The best part? I’m told reminders will be given to me.
Just as it’s written in 2 Peter 1:12 (NIV), “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have."
It’s comforting to read those words because it means I’m in good company with my forgetfulness. Yes!!! I’m not the only one — it’s in the Bible, for Pete’s sake, so clearly it’s a thing!
Yep, I’m getting my reminders on a regular basis, thank you very much 2nd Peter. So keep bringing them on, subtle and not so subtle, dear friends. I’m thankful for each and every one, and I’m so thankful for you.
PS- One thing I know I WON’T be forgetting is my very first book signing TONIGHT, December 18th at Lolli’s in Mariemont, from 6-8pm. Stop in for a minute, or stay the whole time — I’d love to see you! As always, Lolli's has beautiful items for everyone on your holiday list.
PSST -- consider yourself reminded. ;)