It’s All For You

Hi my friend,

Once again, it’s been too long.  I would say that so much has happened, and yet that’s only true if one considers day-to-day life as a reasonable descriptive for endless activity.   It’s not that I am hustling to beat rush hour, get children out the door, committing sixteen hours to the workplace.  Been there, done that.  Somehow though, the days fall on top of each other, ignoring my exasperation with their speed.  So, with laundry in the dryer, the diswasher repair person gone, the shutters being installed and the Sirs running around offering love to any and everyone (oh, and cinnamon rolls in the oven),  I thought now would be a good time to write you.

The dishwasher repair person is from New Jersey – he’s been here before.  He and his wife moved here a year ago, and they too are adjusting to new rhythms, people, etc..  It’s awkward when you’re desperate to fit in, and find yourself feeling isolated.  The process of adapting is not nearly as fluid as the days are.  I smile because I hear my 92 year old father-in-law imploring me to ‘reach out, because no one is reaching in’…I’m reaching, Pop, I’m reaching.  That said, I’m also very short, so this whole reaching thing leaves me with my calves screaming (that was a joke).

And yet – there are neighbors who are nice enough when we see each other.  There’s a book club I joined.  I have made a friend.  And there’s a cashier at the local supermarket who gives me the biggest hugs whenever we see each other and compare notes on our grandchildren.  She reached in when she saw me buying enough cleaning supplies to dust and polish and wash an entire neighborhood (have I mentioned that I’m big on cleaning supplies?).  My first supermarket shop – and she hugged me.  Same thing has happened at the local CVS – the young woman with the purple hair (well, it varies) and spacers in her ears.  She’s a hugger.  The 13 year old who comes to Torah study – love that kid.

And so it goes – giving and receiving little tokens from the universe and marveling that I should be so lucky.  And do I pay it forward?  I try.  I need to do more.  Not only is it the rent we pay for being here, it just makes me feel like I’m doing something while I’m here.  The woman in the wheelchair at the gas station with two little ones in her lap and oxygen pulsing through her nose.  Does she need to know I paid her bill?  Absolutely not.  There’s no need.  The ladies who come every two weeks to clean my house and for whom I always bake (thus, the cinnamon rolls in the oven) –  though they are paid,  it just feels good to do a little something extra.  Listening to those who have so much to say and struggle to figure out how to articulate their thoughts.  As those opportunities arise, I open my arms wide.

I listen to a fourteen year old who has had a really lousy year – by almost any measure.  He doesn’t see that he is kick ass smart, erudite, cute, creative,  charming and wise.  He is slight, bereft, angry,  alone when he doesn’t want to be and indifferent to those around him simultaneously.  His peers are cruel and his teachers too overwhelmed I guess, to even notice.  So I notice.   And I get the chance to remind him that he is remarkable and talented and for reasons I don’t understand, he doesn’t dismiss me out of hand.  Being fourteen sucks on every level, but when you are a stranger in a world that doesn’t resemble anything familiar, it’s even worse.

This isn’t about whether or not I’m a nice person.  I’m ok as people go, but I know I can do better.  I know that the world is getting increasingly low on kindness and rich in judgments.  Are there reasons for this?  Many without question, and perhaps that is a topic for another day.  I’m sure we all have opinions about that.  So, I’m going to circle back to an earlier thought.  Those of us who are fortunate enough to read this on our computers, to have time to reflect, to worry more about the days flying by than how we will survive the next few hours – we’ve got rent due.  The world has given us much.

“Look at the sky:  that is for you.  Look at each person’s face as you pass them on the street:  those faces are for you.  And the street itself, and the ground underneath the street, and the ball of fire underneath the ground:  all these things are for you.”  — Miranda July



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39 thoughts on “It’s All For You”

  1. How scary was the move & now that you are there is it as frightening? Moving in late July to VA & getting married at the end of the year. All good stuff but scary nonetheless.

  2. This was a delight to read! Thank you so much for the lovely reminder of the everyday kindnesses that are in our reach all the time, and what a big difference they can make—to both the giver and the recipient.

  3. Ahhh, my precious friend, you give so much more than you realize. For example, we’re nearly 900 miles apart, and yet every morning I wake up and look forward to hopping on my computer and having coffee with you. I can’t see you, but you are there…ALWAYS.

    One of your greatest gifts is the way in which you see *others*, from the cashier at the supermarket to the teenager going through a difficult patch to the ladies who make your life a bit easier through their labors. Yours is a gracious, generous heart and bigger than all outdoors. We can all do better, of that there is no doubt, particularly in these divisive times. Thanks for the little nudge to open our eyes (and our hearts) a little wider each day. Love you ALL there is…. xoxo

  4. You need NO nudging, honey – you define an open heart, and all who cross paths with you is better for it. As for morning coffee-no day begins without our cup. It makes mine all the sweeter – everyday. You are so loved…xox

  5. Thank you Mimi for the inspiration you have given by writing this. I give you a high five and an Amen! Blessings to you and your family, it is always wonderful to hear from you😀

  6. Hey Mimi, I’m coming to this at the end of the day, happy but tired – and sooo delighted to hear your distinctive voice across the ocean … and thereby revitalised! Thank you, as ever, for your generous and humane wisdom, and your great grace. The great thing about many of your friends is that you don’t need to go anywhere to relate to them, nor they to connect with you. You engage brilliantly and daily by way of the friendships of the heart. I’m so grateful, with Lori and so many others, to be touched every day by that blessing. Much love – and thank you xx

    1. Ah Simon, each day I want to do this whole living thing better. Cherish – yes, that’s the verb. I want to cherish – people, moments, the mundane and the amazing. I try. I fail a lot. And I am grateful beyond words for you, Lori, those who see me as I yearn to be. Better than I am. Xxxx

  7. I read my favorite quote today. “When we realise there is nothing lacking in our lives, the whole world belongs to us” Your post reminded me of that quote Mimi. For those of us who have been given much and that includes me, much can be given back and we should give back and nurture those in need! A wonderful reminder. Love the sound of your cinnamon rolls too. 💚

    1. That’s a terrific quote – I’m going to hold it in my heart – thank you! And come on over! I’ll make some for you too!

  8. Thank you for the eloquent reminder of important truths and needs embedded within all of us, Mimi. May your days be filled with blessings.

  9. I get it. We have moved three times in the last year. The compensation was great, but we were alone in cities filled with people. My wife and I decided the money wasn’t worth it and we went back to “home” in SC. Now, I just need to find a job, but at least we have our friends around us. Hang in there.

  10. As ever, your thoughts and words are like finding a comfy couch and a good friend with whom to pass the time…with wine. Always so happy to find you here in this space. xo

  11. For reasons which may or may not be good ones upon reflection, I don’t read your posts in a timely fashion. I save them, though, and it is always worth it.

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