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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

Category Archives: friendship

I SHARE by Botgirl

I SHARE by Botgirl

Thank you Botgirl for your insight and analysis.  You give lots of food for thought.  Why do you log in?

This week I had someone share a very interesting comment with me – that they were sorry they hadn’t lived up to my expectations… or something along that line. I found it quite curious as this particular situation – I had no expectations for anyone – and was even struggling to have them for myself. It sounds very odd to me to re-read that… to not have expectations… but see.. the comment was made to me in the context of Second Life.

One thing I have always appreciated about those closest to me in SL is that they have reinforced the idea with me that RL comes first. No matter how much we get wrapped up in adventures and events and fundraisers and and and… the bottom line: RL comes first. There have been times when I have been so stressed that the words… seeing them typed on my monitor back to me… were an incredible comfort and affirmation.

So… ironically… these “expectations” that I hadn’t even had seemed quite out of place this week in the conversation. Between work and bills and furlough and kids, sick kids, and a boss returning from an extended vacation, and relatives visiting in town… my expectations for SL were simply to survive and maintain. Dave and I are really fortunate that the co-owners of the Bistro live in a different time zone and have schedules that accommodate earlier and daytime events. Honestly, it has been the best part of our co-ownership. Ok… there are other parts too -but I do appreciate that.

I also appreciate the fact that my closest friends in other time zones have incredible stamina to stay up late. I love that this time of year because I become a keyboard face by 10:30 pm SLT on most occasions and love the fact they stay up with me and I’m not the first sissykeyboard face to head to bed 🙂

One thing I have learned time and time again when I have struggled with relationships in SL is to try to figure out what within me was causing my frustration. I try very hard to be reflective and introspective and never assume that I didn’t play some role in the problem. I have owned up to things – all sorts of things I didn’t even need to in order to make peace. If I can say I did my best to figure it out and I can be ok in my own skin at the end of the day, then I know… well I just know. Sometimes… some just don’t wish to resolve things. Slowly I am learning to be ok with that.

I see my friendships as an investment. Really all relationships are. I pour my heart and soul into them. I am always in awe of the people who treat relationships as something other than that. I wish I could be that way at times and care less. It would certainly save on the heartache. The people that live in glass houses and throw stones seem endless. I was reminded this week by a good friend at work that ultimately, Kim, human nature is really really horrid and self-serving at the core. I think I have found those to be the hardest struggles of all for me to comprehend and cope with – in both lives.

I’m raising 4 little people -tall but little still in my mind as the oldest is 13 – that I want to know how to compromise and apologize and take ownership. Sorry is an incredibly hard word to swallow sometimes -but even through tears and anger it can be said. If you really care about someone and still want them in your life, then sometimes you have to be ok with accepting your hurtful actions and saying sorry and then just being patient enough to wait for them to understand and forgive. This is hard in RL… but easier when you have to live in the same house. This is extra hard in SL… people only have text to work with and it is easy to ignore or close the window and wait for it to go away.

So… expectations… what are mine? I knew long long ago that a club was for fun, not for money 🙂 I’m fascinated by the ultimate challenge of balancing a spreadsheet – but at the end of the day – I log in to have fun and see people I care about – and laugh and soak up good music – and appreciate people I have come to truly love and care about that I might have never met any other way in life. I love being able to think about new things in other parts of country and the world. I had a friend just yesterday who is battling cancer and surgery in Europe tell me she survives her surgeries thinking about all the good friends she has supporting her and thinking good things and saying prayers for her… in SL as well as RL.

What are your expectations? The noobs I have begun to meet (assuming they are not alts) have come through because of all the things they have heard or seen about SL… but it isn’t the technology and the gizmos and gadgets that keep us coming back… it is the relationships. It is the people that remind us our RL is first and support us and think about us in all the challenges we face in RL… that then love us when we come in SL. Laugh, pillow fight, spank, enjoy good music, shop till you drop… and remember we all have very real hearts beating on the inside.

berries
I’ve thought alot about this post over the past few days. Originally I thought I would write something like this on Valentines… but… the day got carried away with all the events at the Bistro and the RL hugs and kisses of the holiday that I didn’t find my way here until now. I suppose it is cliche anyway and this is more that just a one time holiday feeling.

Who do you hold in your heart? I remember crying and crying one summer after a camp experience that I had dearly loved, 8th grade I think it was, and missing those newfound friends so much my heart ached. My dad held me and told me that even though people leave our lives we never escape the things they put in our hearts. I love my Dad. Is that the right thing to say, or what? So true.

Another time, in college, the boy who had captured my heart for 3 years in big and small ways, ended our romance. It was the most difficult summer I ever spent at home and my last. I hardly ate after that. I just couldn’t. I wanted to just sleep – but I couldn’t. Thank God for summer jobs because it gave me a purpose and a distraction. I had given him everything – every piece of me – and at that young age, I had myself romantically believing that giving those pieces of yourself meant forever. Again, I remember my dad saying something about how things happen for a reason. God has other plans. My broken heart felt like it would never mend.

Another I held closely in my heart was a good friend. He and I were almost inseparable in college – both away from home for the first time. He expected me to jump ship after that heartache and fall into his arms. I just couldn’t do it. I broke his heart in the process. I lost one of my closest friends, and my partner in crime for late night silliness that only college can bring.

There was a string of unattainable challenges. Those seemed to remedy my heart ache and yet cause more on some level. The cute boy who rode mountain bikes and worked as a ski instructor. The older guy who made me laugh till I would shoot soda out of my nose and humiliate me with loud noises and hilarious comments on the sidewalk outside my college office job. There was the small town, very athletic guy who taught with me as a new teacher but was more in love with an old girlfriend then he ever would be with me. There was the guy who was the basketball coach who loved basketball and his new truck more than settling down.

And then, there was Dave. By the time he had snuck into my life, my heart was full. Not jaded. But definitely wiser. My pollyanna romantic side though longed for fantasy. Long walks after our school day through the forest near where we lived. Beautiful notes sent to me secretly in school as if we were students not the teachers. A few matchmaker team teaching partners who helped spin me into a frenzy and a very special New Year’s Eve trip to Santa Barbara and Disneyland. A wish at the Sleeping Beauty Castle wishing well and here I am still feeling a rush of romantic feelings as I bring it all back in my memory. Those brown eyes I fell in love with over a hamburger one night at a local restaurant after a walk. Still the same eyes. I checked. I looked deeply into them the other night just to make sure 🙂

There are others I have fallen in love with. Each one of my babies. Of course I have to remind myself of that as they turn into mouthy, surly teens. The many friends and colleagues I have known in first and second lives. Think about those you have let into your heart and those you might have shut out… maybe reconsider. Why wouldn’t you want both lives to be as full as possible with all things that are so good and so warming for your soul!

Life is short. I am reminded of that every day. Tell those you love, that you love them. Why hold back? Why save on words? The more you make yourself vulnerable to someone, hopefully, that vulnerability will be reflected and returned ten fold.

And keep those who have touched your heart close and tucked away. Rainy days do happen. After the heartache ends, focus on the warmth that love brought. Then, if fate allows them to wander through your life again, your heart will be that much more open to loving them all over again.

Matters of the heart seem to get so complicated. And yet, they should be so simple. Start by saying yes. Start with 3 simple words. Don’t let the moment slip away.

Laughing Buddha: Even offering three hundred bowls of food three times a day does not match the spiritual merit gained in one moment of love.

This post idea found me the other day. I held off on blogging for a long time because I was never sure I’d have anything to say. Now that I have joined the blogosphere, I realize there are so many post opportunities I have to harness them because there are not enough hours in the day to post what has come across my path. Ultimately though, I tend to roll posts around in my head for hours or sometimes days before I know it will come out right. Sometimes you just know when the time is right.

As you know, I have a long daily work commute. I fill my commute with music, and enjoy the DJs banter. One day in particular, the RL DJs were discussing how people treat each other and what we are teaching our children. They came to the conclusion that if Mister Rogers was still around – departing his love and kindness over the airwaves – that perhaps our future world would have a better chance. The RL DJ talked about how she had called the PBS station and asked specifically about why the show was no longer on. The station representative explained that the show had not been on for several years because Mister Rogers had officially retired prior to his death. This then led to a discussion on people dying shortly after they retire from a career they are passionate about… but I digress that is another blog post altogether 🙂

Anyway, I took some time once I got to work to pull up the YouTube clip they had played the audio from on the air. They had suggested that listeners watch it periodically throughout the workday when they are having a tough time with their bosses or colleagues. Not bad advice LOL! I watched it. I thought about the things my kids like to watch. I thought about the things PBS airs now. I thought about the timeless themes about life and friendship and caring that Mister Rogers brought to the world so plainly in his cardigan sweater and tennis shoes. The messages are still there in other things we watch and fill our heads with. We just have to dig deeper for them.

Spongebob still teaches friendship and tolerance with his undying love for Patrick Star, his best friend, and his continued attempts to love his neighbor, Squigward. Elmo teaches us to laugh and ask questions when we don’t understand. Even Ben10 teaches us to find the right tool to do the job when conquering evil and be persistant in the persuit of doing the right thing on behalf of our friends.

All these messages impact us. However, it is how we internalize the messages and act on others behalf that speaks to the type of people we are. Those are basic principles no matter if you are in RL or SL. I know the median age range in SL is 25-45. With that in mind, I would bet that most know who Mister Rogers is. Mister Rogers wasn’t just an American PBS phenominon. The principles that he taught most certainly are not just American. Either way… I hope you take the time to watch this clip. Laugh at his goofy style. Shake your head at his simpleness and naivity. But… for just a minute… open your ears and listen… and take another moment to reflect. See if any of what has to say rings true.

I have to catch myself every day and redirect my thoughts and redirect my actions, if need be. I try my best to be a good friend and to work toward making life a little better for those around me. I am so thankful for those who do the same in my life as well.

Thank you Mister Rogers 🙂 /me digs in my 12,000+ crazed inventory to find my rose colored glasses and slips them on. The world looks much better with them on. /me hands them out so others can enjoy the view with me.