Monday, January 11, 2010

How Ya Doin'?

First official shabbat of 2010 was on fire ... literally.

Here's the 411:

Guests: John and Susan and their three lovely children. John and Susan were our first "friends" as a couple. Susan and I used to gripe about whether our boyfriends would ever propose. Oddly, the boys eventually wised up and proposed within days of each other. Neither knowing that the other was about to pop the question. We like to refer to John and Susan as our "smart friends" (no offense to our other friends of course). We joke that we're John and Susan's equivalent to reality television. When they need to zone out and rest their brains, they call us. Oh, and neither of them can hold their mai tai's.

Menu: Roast with Red Wine/Dijon Gravy (overcooked again), Roasted Red Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary, Roasted Broccoli with Dried Cranberries, Parmesan and Sunflower Seeds, Toby's Whole Wheat Challah, S'mores

What I Learned: If you want to get a party started, light a fire. Fortunately this one was out back on the patio in the firepit I gave my husband (in lieu of the lump of coal he deserved - or maybe to destroy the evidence in the future). Despite the fact that it was one of the coldest nights in decades, the four kids happily cinderized marshmallow after marshmallow as we watched (wine glass in hand) from the warm family room.

But I digress. I learned that someone I care about has been suffering with a medical issue for almost a year. Albeit non-life threatening, but scary and unexpected nonetheless. She didn't tell me until now. We've been together. Talked on the phone. It never came up. Maybe I should have sensed something, but I am ashamed to say that I was so wrapped up in my own life that if the signs were there I blew right by them. If she had told me I know I couldn't have done anything - at least in terms of fixing what was wrong. But perhaps it would have made things a little bit easier in some other way. It's complicated. I know I don't tell the people that I care about in our life - not to mention the dozens of people that ask me in a day "how ya doin?" - how I'm really doing. I didn't tell Susan about my dilemma for months. Even if I had she could not have fixed it. Telling her would have made me feel better - at least at some point. The telling part would have been uncomfortable. Probably the reason I didn't do it. Would she support our decision? Refrain from passing judgment? Yes on both counts - as if I really had any doubt.

What if every time we asked someone how they were doing, we actually listened? What if every time someone asked us how we were doing, we actually responded - I mean really responded? Within reason of course. I am not suggesting that we all pour our hearts out to the grocery checker. Clearly it would require a few more minutes. But seems like it would be time well spent. A little dialogue that could potentially lift a burden, clear a conscience or share a victory.

I'm going to give it a try. So next time you ask me how I'm doin' settle in because I might just tell you. And next time I ask you, bring it. I'm listening.

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