May 22

Everyone probably knows the quote that says The worst distance between two people is misunderstanding. Sometimes it reads as the longest distance, but the sentiment is the same. Failing to connect because you can’t grasp what the other person is saying over your own point of view, especially if your view is tinged with strong emotions. It’s a calamity to let misunderstandings with someone you care about  lie unresolved. Yet why is it so easy to let our emotions dictate our judgement? And sometimes so hard to extend the olive branch? Why do we sometimes persist in our stubbornness to the point of letting people go? Life is too brief to be unyielding. Pride is a false disguise for pain. It only makes the pain harder to bear.

I’m thankful today to have bridged the distance with someone I care about. It’s a weight lifted to have revisited where things went wrong without the burden of emotion and have an honest conversation about how to make things right again. To say I’m sorry and mean it and to hear the same back. There’s curative powers in being vulnerable. The relationship may not be the same as it was, but we have a different place to begin again and that’s the whole point. There’s no ending, just an evolution. And this time, the connection may be even better.

Feb 2

Super bowl Sunday. I actually like football. I enjoy watching a good football game. And I have asked enough questions over the years to have a pretty basic understanding of it: the calls, the strategy, the penalties. Unfortunately, today’s game wasn’t that exciting. When one team dominates so early on, it takes a bit of the fun out of it. Although, admittedly, I wasn’t rooting for either team, even though I kind of like Seattle’s team colors better than the Bronco’s. At any rate, I went to a Super bowl party at a friend’s house, like a lot of people do. We overate on junk food and beer and chatted with the football game playing in the background. Again, like a lot of people do.

At one point, one of my friends commented that football really isn’t important–why do we make such a fuss about it. Shouldn’t we be showing more important things on tv? (Exactly why I left early to make it home in time to watch Sherlock, but I digress.)  I understand what she meant. In the grand scheme of things, football doesn’t matter, I guess. The world would go on without football teams and half-time shows by the current hot-list musical artist and numerous, odd automobile advertisements. The state of the economy is more important. Our healthcare crises is definitely more important. Education, poverty, family values…so many, many more important things to worry about than football. So much to worry about.

But look at what football did today. In my little world, it drew a handful of friends together to have a party. In New Jersey it drew crowds together to cheer for a team. Football creates some measure of pride and unity in whole cities and even states. We wear team jerseys and fly team flags. I’ve seen cars sporting logos or painted team colors. We love having something to cheer for. Believe in. We need that. I think we need football and all sports the same way we need music and art and literature and movies. It helps to balance out the heaviness of life. It helps to offset some of those never-ending worries. It helps us escape for a little bit and draws us closer together in the process. How many times have you met a complete stranger, found out you shared a love of the same thing (team, movie, book) and somehow felt connected? THAT is what’s important. Anything that helps us to connect with each other  is worth making a little bit of fuss over.

I’ve said crazier stuff. But today, I’m thankful for football.