#334 The first meal you eat after the cold is over

I had a streak going.

See, for the past two years I narrowly avoided getting sick. Have you ever made it through a winter or two with that kind of luck? It was my first time and let me just say there’s nothing like a little run of good health to make you feel invincible. I felt like He-Man. I mean sure, I ran from sneezing toddlers, used my feet to open bathroom doors, and washed my hands six times a day with a homemade cocktail of industrial-strength bleach, hand sanitizer, and imported echinacea flowers.

But I was healthy.

Unfortunately, my invincibility cloak against all germs was ruthlessly shredded this year with a brutal three-week bug that drained me completely. Sore throats, clogged nostrils, and dull headaches caused sleepless nights, lost weekends, and hours and hours combing pharmacy aisles in salty boots and tattered bathrobes looking for some magical combination of pills, cough syrup, and throat lozenges to pull me through. My credit card statement even claims I bought a humidifier during this foggy, desperate period.

Worst of all, my appetite shriveled to the point where two saltines and half a banana was my big meal of the day. I couldn’t swallow, I couldn’t taste, and I lost my love of chips, chocolate, and chicken chimichangas … all at once.

Truly, it was agony.

But that’s what made it great when my marathon cold finally disappeared. Yes, once my immune system warriors buckled down, fought the brave fight, and ended the three week war, well … let’s just say I got my tastebuds back and it was time to get chompin’. The battlefield was still bloody and the ink wasn’t even dry on the Peace Treaty of My Lungs before I started drooling for dinner.

Yes, the first meal you eat after a cold welcomes all your senses back into the magical World of Food. And the World of Food is a good world. It’s a safe world. It’s a tasty world. And it’s a world you lived in since the day you were born. After sipping back milk and slurping mushy peas your tastebuds opened into carbonated seas full of coffees and teas and macaroni and cheese.

Bubbly drinks or cheesy nachos, juicy burgers or dripping tacos – it don’t matter, it don’t matter, it don’t matter at all. What matters is the gates are open, your tongue can taste, and it’s time to come on back in… and start enjoying food all over again.

AWESOME!

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#335 Catching someone you love looking at you from across the room

Baby, it’s true.

Toss your mushy clump of skin, blood, and bones together and we get the beautifully strange and wonderful package that combines to form you. Jokes and smarts, stutters and starts, smiles and farts — we’re into your everything even though we probably don’t tell you enough.

But that’s why it’s a beautiful moment when you glance up from the party chatter or kitchen clatter and catch someone you love smiling silently at you from across the room.

Maybe it’s the dog head-tilting from the couch as you race to grab your keys and run out the door all stressed, maybe it’s your daughter sneaking a peek in the bathroom mirror as you zip up your dress, or maybe it’s your grandma smiling with wet eyes as you stick your hands in the cake making a big fat mess.

Maybe it’s your little brother smiling silently from the stands as you come up to home plate, maybe it’s your mom waiting at the train station for you to come through the gate, or maybe it’s your boyfriend bumping at the back of the bus at the end of the date.

When you catch those quick and quiet glances let your heart melt and feel at peace because you just got told without words that you are admired, you are loved… and you are

AWESOME!

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#337 Getting buried under huge piles of heavy blankets on a freezing cold night

Joey doesn’t have heat.

Honestly, when I crashed at his cramped apartment a couple nights ago he welcomed me in wearing three sweaters and a set of chattering teeth while explaining that his apartment has no heat, so while he was glad I came over it was going to be a matter of setting up an army of space heaters to keep warm.

After catching up for a couple hours it was time to hit the hay and since Joey’s a great friend he took care to drag his arm along the spare mattress to wipe the loud clattery pile of extension cords, extra keys, and cell phone batteries onto the rock hard floor before bed. He then apologized for having no blinds in the room, said to watch out for the mouse trap under the bed, and tossed a pin cushion onto the mattress for a pillow.

“Need anything else?”, he asked, while yawning and scratching his armpit.

“Blankets,” I replied, my tired eyes narrowing at the slippery cold mattress and terrible sleepless night before me. I pictured waking up with my eyelids frostbitten shut and my big toes turned blue and dead in the dark. “Blankets Joey … for God’s sakes blankets.”

“Oh … right,” he said. “Hmm, lemme see what I’ve got around here.”

And so began a fast-paced five minute hunt around his apartment for anything resembling a thin bed covering. First a dusty duvet was yanked from the closet, then a few mothball-smelling sheets recovered from under a bed, and then finally we hit a forgotten motherlode stash of blankets piled up behind the couch. Pretty soon we’d built a thick and heavy eight-layer fortress from the cold and I brushed my teeth, stripped right down, and jumped into those frozen sheets.

And let me tell you.

That beautifully thick stack of blankets kept every single ounce of heat in all night and helped me sleep in a heavenly bed of bliss. The heaviness on top of me felt safe and secure and I rested knowing that outside my Fortress of Fire lay an ice-cold deathtrap trying to lure me to the bathroom. Well friends… the good news is my bladder didn’t burst and I managed to spend a beautifully warm and toasty night under a giant thick pile of

AWESOME!

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#340 Feeling it deeply in your bones

Born and blasted into the world you’re a baby brain with wide eyes, chubby legs, and cloudy thoughts. Mom lifts you and picks you, eyes open and close, and fogs rise and settle. Tears stream and faces scream as your swirling brain twists and turns into thoughts…

Nothing makes sense till it does.

Nothing feels right till it does.

Chalk raps on blackboards beside times tables, language stirs sounds into sentences, and stories send you flying into faraway worlds. Book reports and homework inspections, chemistry labs and biology dissections, all fill your spinning brain with numbers and theories and thoughts…

Nothing makes sense till it does.

Nothing feels right till it does.

Teenage sleepovers and late night walks, summertime camps and suppertime talks, keep expanding your mind and your understanding of the world. First kisses and first touches, first fights and first blushes, all fill your heart with dreams, expand your brain’s book shelf, and get you thinking about a life below the surface of yourself.

Nothing makes sense till it does.

Nothing feels right till it does.

But … sometimes challenging lectures or scattering friends, confusing debates without exams at the end, can frighten your mind and scare dreams away, can frighten your life and trade tomorrows for todays. Family pressures and social graces, broken promises from trusted faces, could suddenly swirl you upside down and scatter your mind or dim your heart…

When nothing makes sense …

… … When nothing feels right …

… … … … When it gets scary to realize…

… … … … … … There are no instructions in life…

That’s when it’s time to stop, it’s time to think, it’s time to pause, it’s time to blink. When you hit the end of the year open your eyes and look behind you. When you hit the end of the year open your eyes and look inside you.

Because today you’re right here …

… … And there’s so far to go …

… … … … And today there’s still fear …

… … … … … … But there’s only one way to know …

Feel it in your bones, feel it in your bones, feel it in your bones.

Feel your bones to move forward, feel your bones to move on, feel your bones to forget, feel your bones to carry on… just feel your bones to say you’re sorry, feel your bones to show you care, feel your bones to choose tomorrow, and feel those bones to get you there.

Because when your world sorts itself out, when your head moves aside, when your heart thumps up front, when that blood bubbles inside, well that’s when you know, that’s when you see, that’s when you finally become … what you were meant to be.

So whatever you’re thinking about today …. stop trying to choose and choose. Whatever you’re searching for today … just look inside for clues. Yes, whatever you’re thinking about … just stop and feel instead. Cause when you feel it in your bones you can smile and forget your head.

Nothing makes sense till it does.

Nothing feels right till it does.

Nothing makes sense till you feel it.

Nothing feels right till you know.

AWESOME!

Click here for last year’s final post.

Thanks sincerely for reading and happy new year!

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#342 Finding something good to read in someone else’s bathroom

Bathroom readers of the world, unite!

It doesn’t matter if it’s an old issue of Reader’s Digest on top of the tank, yesterday’s crinkly newspaper lying on the floor, or a dog-eared comic book sitting on the bathroom counter. Nope, all that matters is now we don’t have to read the back of the shampoo bottle over and over again.

Fellow bathroom reader, thank you for heeding the call, thank you for keeping magazines in the stall, and thank you for being so absoflushinglutely

AWESOME!

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#343 When the inlaws finally leave

Now, now.

Don’t get us wrong.

It’s great filling the home with hugs and love and holiday joy. Everyone loves grandpas and grandmas and brand new toys. Yes, family fills living rooms with laughter, basements with board games, and kitchens with kisses.

But let’s be honest — holiday guests come with a bit of holiday stress, too.

Mall hopping and last-minute shopping, wrapping boxes of fancy chocolates, cooking suppers without taking uppers — yes, it adds up to memories and it adds up to fun but we’re saying it’s also okay when the visit is done.

It’s beautiful opening your hearts and your home to the people you love.

And it’s beautiful kissing goodbye and getting your place back, too.

AWESOME!

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