A lot can happen in a week.  And it’s funny how some weeks zip by in what seems like the blink of an eye, whereas others take an eternity to finally conclude.  I really don’t know how to consider this past week, and although a lot happened in the last seven days, I find myself at the keyboard feeling the same all over again. And it’s all because of relationships.

Relationships are like snowflakes.  They are unique and different yet fundamentally the same.  Although their characteristics and appearances carry traits that make them special and unlike anything else, they require the right conditions to survive.   Too cold and all you have is a homogeny of frozen water particles that simply just gets in the way.  Too hot and the snow melts away into oblivion, never to be seen again.

And there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to maintaining a relationship.  Do you allow yourself to be brutally honest, or do you hold back for the benefit of the parties at stake?  Do you hang on to not just every word, but also the meaning of every word, thus leading to the semantically laden precipice that is, “What do you mean by that?”?  Or do you let things slide, give the other person their space and not worry about every detail?

Gosh….. Who knows?  It would be so easy if there were a black or white approach to all of this.  It would be so nice if I could look up the answer in a manual or guide.  I laugh because all too often I picture myself doing that, thumbing through the pages of an imaginary book looking for what is the right thing to do. “Um… yeah… I …. um ….. I got nothing.”

But it’s the dynamics of relationships that make them so fun and interesting and challenging in a good way.  It’s the fact that they can be relatively routine, yet still unpredictable.  You can be on path A for months, only to find yourself suddenly on path B.  Some would say sidetracked, others derailed.  But that’s what makes interacting with and sharing experiences with someone the essential element of who we are. It is life, and life is what happens in between making plans.

It can be going out dancing one night and enjoying Village Inn and Starbucks for breakfast the next morning.  It can be going to a ball game and missing three-quarters of it because you are too busy having fun.  It’s finding security and faith in the pleasant surprises life throws your way.  From happy accidents to happy hour, I know I define myself by my relationships with other people.  And that definition is ever-evolving and as dynamic as the relationships it represents.

Miche, I am glad I got to be a part of your special day and special week. Remember that although there may be a cap on how old we get, there is never a cap on how we choose to live and celebrate life.  Make this year all that you want it to be, and once again, Happy Birthday!


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