I get to show up for friends and it means I see something I wouldn't have ordinarily been exposed to on my own. This has meant trying an amazing Albondigas soup at La Velvet Margarita Cantina and celebrating a birthday. It means attending a company launch party at Couture Nightclub and seeing that I can be comfortable walking into the unknown, unaccompanied, and fiercely confident if vastly over dressed. I have had too much laughter to not snort watching the Unsupervised Sketch Show at Bar Lubitsch. I have been able to show up for movie screenings at the Mondrian hotel on Sunset Strip where I've sat with great friends, deepening friendships and connections. I bought a book and got it signed by the author while being inspired by a teacher of creative writing. She's awesome. Find her at That Kind of Light. Her book inspired this post.
This week, I got to show up for a friend yesterday at the Artists and Fleas event yesterday in the Arts District in Downtown LA. It's a fun farmer's market, shopping space that had vegan deodorant, body oils, and cold process soap. They had jewelry and candles with crystals embedded in them. I was also at the Shop to Give event hosted at the CTRL Collective in Playa Vista Thursday. That space alone was worth the visit. I know it's a work space, but it was like visiting a fun museum with open work spaces.
It might appear to be a sacrifice on my part . . . taking time out to drive across town to say hello, but it's really been terrific for me and maybe a bit selfish. My latest reward looks like this . . .
This amazing and beautiful friend of mine that I first mentioned here, took a huge risk and this box is my reward. She quit a stable job to launch her baby into being, and it looks like the pictures throughout this post. I love the cards with the wealth of history and lore they provide. As a lover of words, I can say that the writing speaks to me and says lovely things. The kits are designed as a starting point to show you how to pamper yourself, while making it clear that body scrubs and self care is far more tangible than beauty industries would make you believe. The materials were all carefully chosen and perfectly compiled in a box that is a treat in itself. I don't need the pretty box, but it's worth keeping. Really, I would love to know where she finds her salt, because the crystals are smaller, gentler and they feel like they hold moisture to them in the way they move and clump.
I believe the sugar might be raw sugar, but again it's special. My laptop really didn't appreciate my curiosity though and I cleaned it without photographs because I can't let this moment of excitement get away from me.
I made a mixture today. It was my first, and it felt so great. I didn't mix the entire contents of each carefully labeled bag and container, because I like the idea of concocting what I need as I plan to use it. I get my chemistry ya-yas out and it's a tailor made expresion each time. You don't have to be jealous. Get your own at Mystic Dirt.
I get to show up for friends. I arrive with a smile and receive a hug. I give them my words of hope and support. I give them my belief in who they are and empower them with all of the hope and belief I get from their dreams being chased.
The biggest reward of showing up for friends is the part where I'm really showing up for myself. I'm not sitting at home waiting for an opportunity to invite me out, but seeing what my friends are doing and showing up for them. I get to see interesting venues, and try new foods. (Today's snack of a curry lime almond dip came from Artists and Fleas.) I get to see friends and have deep conversations or share belly laughs. I get to reminisce and create new moments that become treasured memories. My selfies become group shots when I'm not too busy being in the moment to remember to capture them.
Yesterday I showed up for a friend's annual barbecue. I left Kid2 with my Mom because he begged not to go. I sat with a friend in conversation and felt so welcomed by his friends. I got to experience what I was calling magic and learned was babaganoush. I joined in a relay race that had me riding a tricycle through an obstacle course. It's been more than 3 decades since I've been on one and my partner and I placed 2nd. It was epic fun and I only regret not having proof of the shenanigans. There was a moment where I felt guilt that I wasn't just doing what my son wanted (staying home), but we discussed it and came to an agreement. I got to go for a while. He got to choose who he would prefer to watch him. We agreed that this way we are both doing what was best for both of us, and today, he got a full day to be at home and in his gaming cave of solitude.
This latest box of fun has had me in a place of rest and self care. I've had a great week and a better weekend but the time to care for myself and rest was needed and playing doesn't feel like wasted time that should be spent doing something else. This box of fun has been about learning and mixing and smelling and exfoliating. It's a beauty care package that reminds me to slow down intentionally while my Kid2 is happily gaming and spending the day as an only child while Kid1 enjoys his Dad and Kid3 has had a weekend with grandma and cousins. I have been recharged and I'm ready to Paper Tiger my way through everything I've been putting off all week.
This ability to show up means for the first time since I became a Mom, I'm no longer a martyr to my family's needs. I'm no longer staying home because of a need to always put others first. I'm standing for my wants and desires and trusting others to care for my children and showing my boys that it's okay to do what is important to me. It's become important to me that we work as a family to stand for each other in what is important to us as individuals to show each other that this is where we place our value as a family. I'm no longer a short order cook on Saturday mornings while I skip breakfast. We do what is best for our family as a whole and that means independence and the belief that we each matter, no matter who we are. Our values are assigned by our love for each other and this love levels the field of importance.
Show up. So much good happens when you show up for friends and when you show up for yourself through prioritizing what you want to do, alongside what we do because it's our duty and cost to the life we get to live. Live epicly!