Barbie and Babysitting

My dad’s mom died when I was nine years old. They lived four hours away from us, so even when she was doing well we didn’t see them much. However, there was one day we were at their house, and we had a birthday party type thing for me. I don’t remember it very well, but I do remember a cookout, dinosaur sprinkles, and some presents. These presents were very special to me. Around the time of my birthday the movie Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses came out. I got the movie, a dress and shoes, and a Barbie doll; all from the movie. This eventually became my favorite movie, and I still watch it sometimes (the classic Barbie movies are all still great, in my opinion).

As many of you probably know, I do quite a bit of babysitting and child care. Previously, I had only watched boys, so it never even occurred to me that they’d be interested in a Barbie movie (which they totally would’ve, so I wish I had thought of it sooner), but I recently got a job babysitting for two little girls, and they love this movie. And the fact that I got to share the joy I had always had from the movie with these little girls meant the world to me. I was so happy that they loved it as much as I did.

I didn’t get to spend very much time with my grandma before she died, so while I was growing up, this movie meant a lot to me. It was one of the few ways I got to hold onto her even though she was gone, so it was really special for me to be able to show this movie to these girls, and help a little piece of my grandma continue to live on.

Probably one of my favorite things about kids in general is how much they love to learn. Especially around the age of four.

Sometimes I’ll take the two little girls I watch to the park, and on our way there there are tons of flowers. The four year old knows most of them, but I’ll ask her if she knows what the flowers are, and if she doesn’t I’ll tell her, and we’ll talk about all the different kinds of flowers. I just love being able to tell kids why things are. Why certain words are put together this way, or why certain animals do certain things. I just find it really interesting, and I love how these kids just absorb any knowledge that’s thrown their way, and continue to use it for years to come.

Best Friends

I am consistently talking about my best friends, and how important they are to have, etc. However, last night, as I was sitting there, thinking how thankful I am for my besties, I realized that I had never written a post explaining why best friends are so important. So, here ya go. I’m going to try and write 5 reasons why best friends are so important to have, and some ways I’m super thankful for my besties.

Reason #1: Besties always have your back

I always thought that phrase just meant that a friend would back you up in an argument or something, but it actually means a lot more. It means that your bestie is always there when you need them, and that you can rely on them. Kind of like how, in a trust fall, you trust that your bestie is behind you (at your back, as it where), ready to catch you.

Reason #2: Besties are ready to sit back and listen to you (and if they’re not, it’s probably for a good reason)

For the past week or so I’ve been crazy emotional. From crying, to thankful, to depressed. You name it, I felt it, and I didn’t always do a good job of controlling it. Throughout the whole thing, one of my besties was always there, ready to listen to what I was saying, and reassure me that I was just being emotional, and nothing’s actually wrong.

Reason #3: Besties are there to help you heal

Parents are there to say no, even if they don’t want to. There the responsible person who needs to lay down the law. And, that’s great, but sometimes it hurts. If you’re upset about something, and said parent lays down the law, they aren’t always the person you want to go to to heal/ feel better. A bestie will sit with you (or chat with you on messenger) as long as it takes for you to feel better. Parents help instruct, and besties help you along through that instruction.

Reason #4: Besties are the family you chose

Family isn’t easy. I was blessed to have a pretty great family, but sometimes family is just awful. When you have a bestie, they feel like family. They come over, won’t care what you look like, or what anything in the house looks like, and just be with you. I’ve had some great times with my besties just sitting around laughing and having fun together. The best friends are the ones you can just sit/ be with, and be totally happy. Not just happy, but loved.

Reason #5: Besties love you no matter what

This has another meaning to it, too, that I didn’t know until I got older. It isn’t so much going through fights and still loving each other, but always loving each other no matter the situation. The older you get, the harder it is to hang out, and sometimes the farther apart you are. But, if you really love someone, then that love can withstand any trial, and any amount of space if you choose to make it do so.

I have been super fortunate to have a lot of besties in my life. They have always loved me, always been there for me, and I can’t imagine my life without them. Best friends are the people you laugh with, and make stupid jokes with, and who bring true joy to your life when everything might feel awful. Sometimes they give you an escape from life, just for an afternoon, and it helps you recharge and be ready to fight another day.

I love my best friends with my whole heart, and I’m so thankful that they’ve stuck with me throughout this crazy stretch of life. I’m also thankful that I get to keep making best friends in every stretch of life I happen upon.

“I’m Sick”

Let’s talk about health for a minute.

Health has two different sides to it, which most people know. There’s emotional health, and physical health. What most people don’t seem to know, is how much your emotional health can impact you.

I’ve been learning recently that I’m a wreck when I don’t get enough sleep (like, eight to eight-and-a-half hours still isn’t enough on a daily basis). When I’m low on sleep it’s like I start to lose control over my emotions. I’m sad, and depressed, and anxious a whole lot more easily, and it makes it really hard to live life, and even want to live life.

I generally love to help people in any way I can, so I’m pretty invested in my church (I’m on the worship team on Wednesday nights, in the 2’s and 3’s class room every couple weeks, and I’ve started doing more offertories). I love doing all those things, but it’s a lot. For a while there were only one or two Sundays a month that I was actually in service. Now, I loved doing all those things. I liked staying busy, and helping people. But, when I started to get more tired because I wasn’t taking care of myself, I realized that I couldn’t keep pushing so hard. Here’s some examples:

Example #1: Say I’ve got an offertory lined up, and I’ve been practicing for a month or so, and a week or two before I’m scheduled to play, I start getting a cold. I’m on week two of my cold, my offertory’s tomorrow, and I’m still not well enough to play. So, I text my pastor and let him know that I won’t be able to play because I’m “sick”.

Example #2: It’s the same situation as before. I’ve got an offertory lined up, and I’m totally ready for it. Well, this time, I’ve been helping a lot at church, and we’ve been going through some rough family stuff, so I’m completely exhausted. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. It’s the week I’m supposed to play, and I’m so tired that every day I wake up and just want to cry. I call my youth pastor and tell him I can’t play because I’m “sick”.

So often, when I’m physically or emotionally tired, I think I’m fine. “Just tired,” I tell myself. Well, the reality is, that when you’re tired, you can become physically sick. When I’m tired, my appetite drops, so I don’t each as much as I should, and it can make me feel worse. When I’m tired, and I don’t have as much control over my emotions, it can make some of the simplest things become the scariest things. I think, “Oh, I won’t let my fears win, I’ll just keep pushing, and be brave, and I’ll be fine.” But, the truth is, I won’t be fine until I listen to what my body’s trying to tell me and take care of myself.

I never thought “being tired” was a good enough reason not to do something. But, especially as a kid, being tired can make a huge difference. Last year around Christmas, when I was really depressed, I just kept pushing on like life was normal and tried not to let my depression win. In some cases, that’s good, and important. But in others, it’s just ignoring the problem. It wasn’t until I listened to myself, and realized that I need a change, that I really started to feel better. Both physically, and emotionally.

Telling people no can be one of the hardest things you can do. When I have to tell someone no because I’m tired, or sick, I’m afraid they’re going to judge me. I know a lot of people who would jokingly say something like, “What? You’re just tired? Come on. I know you can do it. Don’t be lazy.” And, even as a joke, that stuff hurts. Especially when you’re already exhausted. It often makes people do things they know they shouldn’t because they feel like they’ll be judged. I know I have. But, we can’t give in to that. Who cares if they judge us? Who cares what they say? What’s important is that you are okay, and that you are trying to make the best decisions you can. If something isn’t the right thing for you, you should never let anyone pressure you into doing it. Maybe consider what they have to say, but you’re the one making the choice. And if they don’t like it, then they can just deal with it.

“Best Friend”

I feel like the label “best friend” is a very complicated subject. A best friend is simply someone you love to be around, and who loves you back. It’s really not that different from a dating relationship, except that when you’re best friends there’s nothing romantic about it. It’s just two people who love each other and who like to hang out. Having best friends throughout my life has actually taught me a lot about people skills, and relationships, and the different types of relationships you can have.

When I was little my mom always suggested that I not have a “best friend” because it’s kind of a dumb label (I don’t remember if that was her reason, but it’s the best reason I can remember). I mean, what makes one friend better than another? When we use the label “best friend”, we cut off our options. A lot of people think you can only have one friend who’s “best”, and that’s not true. I mean, look at all the tv shows and movies where there were two besties, and one of them made a new friend. Usually someone’s jealous of this new friend because they’re afraid they’ll lose their bestie. And, sure, there’s the potential to lose your “best friend” when they make a new friend, but you could also turn your duo into a trio by accepting this new friend into the group. Or maybe your confidant (we’re gonna shy away from using the term “best friend” at the moment) has multiple friends, because they need multiple different people in their lives.

When I was little I thought my mom was wrong about the “best friends” label, because, once I got my first real best friend, I saw how cool it was, and how great it felt to have that one friend that I could go to with anything. But, the older I got, the more friends I made, and the more strong relationships I had, I realized that it’s kind of impossible to have one best friend. And the term “best friend” made it kind of complicated to have multiple besties. Each person in our lives holds a different purpose, and adds different things to our lives that maybe we didn’t know we needed (sometimes they add different things we know we didn’t need, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic). We need those different people in our lives, and by thinking we can only have one “best friend” we’re closing off a whole different door that could change our entire lives.

I don’t even know why the term “best friend” got started (maybe to make other friends jealous?), but to me it doesn’t mean that one friend is better than the other. It means that that friend is my confidant, my partner in crime, and my copilot. We stick together because we love each other, not because we’re somehow “better” than anyone else. I used that term because I needed a name for this person that I liked to hang out with, and best friend was the one the rest of the world used, so I stuck with that. However, from now on, I’m gonna try to stick with something more like confidant. Having a best friend isn’t (nor should it ever be) about who’s better, but about the people we love.