Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thursday 13: Thanksgiving Edition

jb's best friend and room mate for 10 years, mother to a great 17 year old high school senior,
a fine professional photographer, a healthy 53 year old woman, went to bed Saturday night and died in her sleep. This has been a difficult sad week. I've returned home very aware of unfinished business in the form of hopes, dreams, aspirations and practical matters.

God knows I prefer that this blog be uplifting and humorous. No humorous today: my Thanksgiving post is based on how quickly and unexpectedly things can change. I'm taking the opportunity to offer my very own advice about thanks-giving.

If the shoe fits and the wind blows in any or all of these, please considering moving quickly. Move Quickly. It's the little putting-offs that causes big regrets.

1. Make the Call
I have 3 people I think about often. And yet, sometimes months and years go by and I do nothing. This Thanksgiving I will make the call.

2. Write a Love Letter
It's a lost art. And it's a keep sake. Sit down and in your own way say "I love you" in bold letters. And then address an envelope mail it.

3. Apologize
I've made two apologies this year (both rebuffed--happy endings aren't sure things but the effort still counts). I owe one more. Throw pride in the waste basket. Life's too short.

4. Say Thanks
Mom, thanks for the way you brought me up. jb, thanks for supporting me while I write. Gary, thanks for pulling me out of all those jams. I have a hundred 'thank yous' due. I'm starting today, one by one.

5. Take a walk
It's a beautiful world out there. I snub nature at my own peril. How dare I get so immersed in my petty chores and endless responsibilities that I bypass the comfort and beauty of the natural order of things.

6. Remember
Let those memories wrap their arms around you. Cry, honor, feel, visualize the people and events that have shaped you. Let your memories breathe.

7. Pull your documents together
Wills, bills, insurance policies, IRA's: make it easy just in case your best friend jb is
going through your papers and files, stunned and heartbroken, trying to put your affairs in order.

8. Be impeccable with your words
This comes from The Four Agreements. Don't lie. Don't hide. Mean what you say. Keep your promises. Don't be sloppy with what you say and how you say it.

9. Touch
We human beings need a minimum of 8 hugs a day to be happy and healthy. Make sure you get your quota. And make sure that's also true for the people around you.

10. Count Your Stars
I dated a guy who did this all the time: he'd look up and count every star he had going for him. One by one. I learned this habit from him. It's a good one.

11. Tell Jokes
Lighten up and remember what it's like to laugh deep. And out loud.

12. Be Conscious
Since I'm alive and upright, I owe it to myself to keep my my five senses sharp. Keep your eyes and ears and heart wide open, all the time.

13. Never Cut What Can Be Untied
I try to live by this principle. Remember it and you'll avoid alot of problems.



  1. This is beautiful. Thank you.

  2. a much needed reminder...i'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. you're in my thoughts, kj! hugs...

  3. Wow.

    First of all, to JB and to you: condolences.

    This is what hearts are made so big for, to take in this kind of unexpected sorrow and mix it in with all the other good and bad in there and dilute it at least somewhat, to soften its blow.

    Your Thursday 13 are far more real and up to date and timely than the Ten Commandments, and at the very least should be appended to them.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. kj,
    my condolences for the loss of your friend.

    your thursday 13 is so beautiful. thank you so much for this.

    happy thanksgiving.

  5. These are good advices, thank you.

    One of the things I find hard to do, too, is apologize... I'm going to work on it.

    And like you, I owe some people a call and an email. The emails are written in my head but I've not gotten around to writing them - I should. The calls are a little more tricky cause sometimes I find it hard to keep the conversation going, just the same I would call - LIKE RIGHT NOW.


    PS: I'm sorry about your friend, I'll pray for her.

  6. Wow!
    I was touched by your words. Truly beautiful and a new set of rules we should all live by.

    I'm sorry to hear about your friend, and hope for you some ease of mind.

    Your in our thoughts, take care!

  7. so sorry about your friend - I shall try to live by this advice!
    We all need a timely reminder that life is extremely precarious and short. Thank you

  8. It is very sad that it sometimes takes an unexpected event like your friend's passing to make us stop and be more conscious of the value in every moment we have, and the importance of keeping our connections and relationships in order. Although so many of us feel sometimes that our choices are limited or we can't have things go our way, your list points out how many areas there are in which we have choice and control... and these are the areas that make our lives richer and more meaningful. What a wonderful post! Thank you :>

  9. A genuine post. Your words have hit into me today. Thank you.

  10. Thank you for dropping by on my blog, KJ, that was pleasant. You are not unknown to me : if you scroll down and down to nov.2 you can see that I was thinking about your thursday-13, yes meanwhile this has become a famous concept :-) (P.S. I can't point you directly to this log because I haven't figured out yet how they number it) and on nov.10 after writing a long long T-13 I didn't post it after all (too personal I thought).
    I read your T-13 post last night, it is very shocking to loose a person so suddenly and very confronting for ourselves too as you translate it in your 13 things to do. It lingered in my mind and I dreamed all night of being with close relatives that are dead.
    You are right that this is not uplifting, but it is very much part of life too, so it certainly belongs in blogging too.

  11. I'm not sure if my eyes are watering at the sad and sudden loss of your friend, the wisdom of your words or the startling knowledge that I am currently running at a deficit of almost 15000 hugs.

    Take care of you and yours, KJ x

  12. I am so sorry about your friend.

    What great advice, kj. I love "do not cut what can be untied."


  13. Very touching. I have been to the funerals of two high school classmates in the past couple of months. I have felt much the same can be very unpredictable.

    You have thoughtfully organised and arranged an excellent list.
    Here is a hug...
    here have another.
    Take care.

  14. thank you all for your condolences and well wishes.

    ruby: i always love to hear from you.

    ww: quite a compliment you're giving me--the ten commandments no less! i accept it from you, ww, because i am a fan of yours.

    menchie: thank you as always

    maria: first apologize, then send the email(s), the write the letter(s). i'd like to hear back from you afterwards.....

    leo: thanks, leo

    ziggi: i like when you fly into my space. please come anytime!

    carla: you are so wise. i really appreciate your comments

    caroline: thank you for the kind words

    hildegarde: thank you for sharing your dreams and wisdom. i would love to read a Thursday 13 from you next week.....

    my dear cherrypie: you make me laugh every time. i miss when i don't hear from you. don't forget i will hug you anytime.

    a: miss you....

  15. h.e., here's a hug back to you. thanks for understanding...

  16. Oh, KJ, my heart goes out to you and JB -- what a heartbreaking loss. Much love and many hugs are being sent your way from my little part of the world to yours. I love your post, love it. I might print it out and hang it on the fridge, because it's all really good advice. I can hear you reading it. :) Thank you for sharing your wisdom and heart with us. Much love! xo

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  19. I am right there with you on this post! My sisters dear friend died last week at 37 leaving behind a partner, an 8yr old daughter and a 5 yr. old son. Your writing brings up all of the feelings that have been oozing out of me and I feel humbled and grateful to have these feelings.

  20. val, from my heart to yours.


  21. Great post!! And I haven't sold my art work to answer your question. Maybe one day? :-)

  22. kj - i'm in the process of completing my "tasks"... it's very very hard to apologize. may i just send you an email?