Category Archives: Loveliness

Thanks, Sorry… send the thank yous you never sent!

On April 30th, lets finish our thank you notes!

Subscribe here to get the free printable and to be entered in all the fun giveaway! On Saturday at 11:59 P.M. Central Standard Time, I’ll be drawing from my subscriber list for each of the following prizes…

Things we’re giving away…

-10 of any of our thanks, sorry printable cards with envelopes

Thanks Sorry Cards

-6 of these amazing “Thanks a Bunch Cards” from Chicago maker DafoeDesigns

Dafoe Designs Card

-This awesome hat from Chicago maker Coursewrk Supply Co

-$30 shop credit for Hilary Rhodes Design… pick out your own delightfully frank and heart warming greeting cards

Greeting Card - Sympathy/Friendship/Support - This Sucks   I'm in your corner - Greeting Card for Sympathy, Support, Friendship  

 

Have Someone Over

Comedian John Mulaney says that cancelling plans is like heroin.

If so, then I am an addict.

Hello, my name is Meredith, and I am addicted to canceling plans.

While I am writing this post, I am simultaneously crafting seven to eight reasons why I shouldn’t have to complete it.

Sending a text with a well-parsed excuse (my day at work, my busy weekend, my unexpected in-laws, my need to take care of myself) creates a rush that I have come to relish.

It is the only heroin I have done, or at least officially pop-culture referenced “simile heroine.” And although the hemming and hawing before plan cancellation renders me nauseous, the aftermath of dissolving an appointment feels like the moment you ease your shoulders below the surface of the water in a hot tub, finally acclimated to its temperature. You are free, and your Netflix account is your oyster. Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 8.58.00 PM

I can tell when I transfer into the addict camp. The signs include fast heart rates propelling me to get home and under a blanket, incidence of removing soggy salad greens and other rotting recipe ingredients from the fridge, unanswered emails stinging in my inbox, and phantom items erased in my planner, barely visible on Monday and Tuesday, vanished but still present to me: “Giveaway follow-up,” “roasted veggies,” “foster agency,” “independent improv team.”

When I think of failures, half finished craft projects, and our well-intentioned YMCA membership started two weeks ago, I think of the all the shiny excuses I made—airtight alibis that soothed my soul and patted my back, at the time…

Some of these excuses weigh more in the scales of worthiness. Some were not excuses at all, but just truths, admission of shortcomings, and healthy boundaries for self, family, and spiritual care. Like last week, that sinus infection did not want to mess around. It came for my glands, throat, and ears, and cleared my week lickity split, totally legit.

But like the boy who cried wolf, the calls of “I can’t” and “I would, but…” are all piled in there with the true and good things. The counterfeit excuses start to make my absence from life less and less verifiable. I fear my community will grow wary of chasing away imaginary wolves and of understanding my depression.Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 8.50.55 PM

And THAT is the danger of the easy excuse: it parades as the real deal. Sometimes it cannot be separated from reality in our mind, and sometimes it all registers as one big gray area. Am I sick enough for a sick day? Am I depressed enough for anti-depressants? Is this one of those moments where I could muscle through, grit my teeth, lace up my sneakers and go for a walk on a cold morning? OR does my weariness merit a morning of propping myself up with pillows in bed and sipping coffee with hazelnut creamers?

If you add in my fear of missing out, anxiety, depression, and PTSD from seeing the movie “Sliding Doors,” choosing whether to follow-through or retreat to my couch becomes even more tortuous for me.

In these stalemates between my desires to please people, yet never leave my home, I usually call in an expert. She is the great judge, the arbiter of good and evil, and an RN to boot. She is my mom. And for years I have subjected her to barrages of text messages listing the symptoms that might weigh just enough to excuse me from my plans. Is my back wonky enough to excuse me from the sit-up portion of the presidential fitness test? Should I go to the improv mixer, mom, it’s really late? Will I regret napping in a pool of drool instead of going to Pilates?

Now Drew gets to join the conversation. And frankly, he has more of a knack for discerning my bullshit from the real deal. But for now I’m proposing a baby step (as you know, this is the only type of steps I take in a literal and figurative sense).

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In the spirit of this series, I am not going to focus on what not to do, but rather on something active, focusing on presence over absence. It’s not an exact antidote for all that ails us, but it is a start.

Drew’s boss puts five things on a sticky note he must get done that week, and to help us in this time of chronic plan-cancellation, I am suggesting an even smaller assignment…

Revealing Resolution #3: Have Someone Over

In the next two weeks, invite someone over and follow through.

Take out the messy divining of whether you’re well enough, prepared enough, whether your home is clean enough, and enjoy the exhilaration of just making it happen. I find that once I follow through with having someone over, though the pile of dishes is disheartening, I am alarmed at how all those anxieties about my throw pillows and inner conversations about my stress level for the week are insignificant. Those things fade and memories of hands clasped around mugs of hot cocoa and loud laughter around the table take their place.

Instead of sending out text messages from your virtual control tower of self about the state of your life, invite someone into the middle of it. Let them cross the threshold and sit with you in your pile of excuses and dirty laundry.

Talk to a human’s face (not their message thread) about your struggle, and then ask them about theirs.

And plus, any time I take inner paralysis and put it on the back burner to actually do something for someone else, well, it’s just good and true and right.

Ways to Participate

  1. Share on Social Media: #revealingresolutions #havesomeoneover

I would love to hear your story about how having someone over has impacted you! Tweet at me, tag me, and/or use the hashtags #revealingresolutions and #havesomeoneover so that we can all share the moment together!

  1. Check in later this week to see my 5 non-5 course meal ways to have someone over

If you’re feeling stuck on the spectre of creating an involved home-cooked meal from scratch, fear not! You don’t have to be Betty Crocker to bring someone in your door! I’ll give you doable, practical ideas for having guests over!

  1. Bloggers, I want to hear from you! Have someone over, or write about a time you had someone over, then share your blog post by adding to the link up here: