“Full of Feelings” Month: Social Awkwardness

Today I am basking in my role as Queen of Social Awkwardness. There are others who you might say look and act the part more than I do, but in my mind, I am it.

It’s not that I lack a proper degree of self respect, self confidence. For the most part I am comfortable with myself, and have grace for my shortcomings. It’s when I get around other people and want to feel comfortable with them that the awkwardness hits. I’m aware that I’m often the one standing by myself somewhere, looking for another person like myself, someone not engaged in a conversation, someone who’s not quiet sure what to do next. It’s always a relief to find this person because if they are ready to engage, I’m helping myself and them. Both of us can feel a little more comfortable.

I love people. Very much. I want them to know that. Truth, is I am also a people pleaser. I don’t have a lot of strong opinions, or dictates and the ones I do have – well, I’m okay with putting them second in importance to someone else’s once in a while. I think of it as flexibility. To me the question is, if they are the right people, why not please them? It gives me pleasure to do so.

But social awkwardness comes when I don’t know if I am doing that. I tell myself to stop wondering about it and just do the best I can, in those uncomfortable places that I might find myself. Because, maybe comfort is overrated. Maybe it’s more real and more “normal” to feel uncomfortable. Maybe it’s a good thing?

The last thing I should allow that awkward feeling to do, is to be an excuse to avoid people. What if everyone has some degree of discomfort, at times, in some places? I kind of suspect that is the case. Maybe I should be uncomfortable and make the first move, even if I can’t remember the person’s name, even if they look hard to engage, even if my own discomfort is overwhelming me.

Ultimately I know that for me, God is the person I want most to please. I have to trust that he’s going to help me love other people as they should be loved. Even in my social awkwardness, and stumbling around with words, God can help them know that I care and cover over the mistakes I make. Maybe it’s part of being brave and letting God be my social director. Yeah, that might be it. Just sayin’…

Queen of Awkwardness and oh, so comfortable.

Making Sense of Life

Sometimes it is just too hard to figure out what is happening in life.  It is hard to think of something to write, something that is a finished thought, when you get nowhere with thinking.  I have been on a very simple track of just doing what seems necessary and not a lot of questioning for weeks now.  And I still don’t feel anything worthwhile on the verge of appearing.  What I do know is that even in times like this, especially in times like this, a cute dog or cat is still undeniably cute.  That is why dog and cat videos abound in cyberspace.  We run to their cuteness like we run to comfort food.  Even better is having your own cute dog or cat in your house.

I have been thinking a lot about cute dogs since I am with two of them.  They belong to my daughter but they’ll settle for me when she’s not around.  How can a dog appear so content just lying in one place or another, most of the day, waiting for it’s person to move so it can follow? How can that be enough?

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Appearances deceive… this is not a headless dog.

As I said, any person, even myself, can be adopted by a dog if they can be closely associated with food and petting. I have been here only a week and already this dog knows my patterns of sleeping, waking and taking walks, all of which he accompanies.  His name is Charlie and he “dogs” me all day except when my daughter takes him for a walk without me.  I get to observe a lot of his cuteness.

On a walk. He's trying to read my mind (and I his).
On a walk. He’s trying to read my mind (and I his).

Charlie looked like this when I first came.  He seemed to have a lot of fluffy hair. That changed when I got to take him for a session at the doggie spa.  He had “the works” and although he probably didn’t lose much weight, he looks a lot thinner now.  He was so hyped up when I came to get him, I could hardly make him sit still for a picture.  All the grooming girls said he was very cute – they noticed, and how could they not?

Thinner looking but still cute after his buzz cut.
Thinner looking but still cute after his buzz cut.

Like most dogs,he likes taking walks.  The first one we took together was a little ambitious for us both.  There was a lot of hill climbing and I had to lift him over some fallen trees.  But perhaps it bonded us that I was able to get us back home in one piece. He slept very well that night and so did I.  Over the 4th of July there were fireworks being set off all over the neighborhood.  Dogs, as a rule, do not like these loud noises but Charlie didn’t pay much attention to them.  I think he may have had a little anti-anxiety medicine to help him, still he went to bed and didn’t whine or be restless, and I would have expected some of that. His night cuteness is that he curls up in his bed on the floor and sleeps pretty much until I get up. He’s there a lot during the day too, just being cute.

Busy being cute...
Busy being cute…

And being cute some more....
And being cute some more….

Being cute in t he house,
Being cute in the house,

And being cute outside with the other family dog (he just can't help it)
And being cute outside with the other family dog (he just can’t help it)

I’m just sayin’ that this reliable cuteness seems like a gift from God when the rest of life is not making a lot of sense and is not being very reliable. I’m thankful for Charlie (and for cat videos – I watch them all).