change the topic

I love that perfect little looped curly tippy-top of a soft serve ice cream cone.
Sometimes it's even kind of hard to eat it, so I usually leave it for last.
Then it can be pretty for as long as possible.

I also love this picture:

I love those what are we doing here careful and thoughtful looks
and I love the way that Miles wanted to go home after
five houses of trick or treating
because he thought that was quite enough

I love it that sometimes, when my mom comes over,
she brings her own vacuum
because mine sucks...
or does not suck, I should say.

I love the way my friends in recovery know what I mean
without too much explanation
but let me give too much explanation anyway,
just to let me get it out.

I love that my dad showed up and rescued us one day
by finding where that dead-something smell was coming from,
how he reached inside the piano and lifted it out,
a dead mouse by the tail
and brought it outside,
taking the smell with him.

Oh, yes he did. And I didn't have to.

I love how the Best Neighbors in the Universe who are no longer
right next door but are still best
send notes in the mail to Miles and Asher,
one time even with a smashed raspberry included.
And then I love how they called us on Halloween and took turns
talking to the answering machine just like they
were talking to us.

And I love the email from a stranger/friend, too,
who wanted to say,
I just wanted to say
and then said such kind things,

the very things I needed today.

I am here in my imperfect life and these are the things I need to choose to see.

I have a friend named Jean and she is teaching me. She is reminding me that even when I just can't, when I'm just too tired or sad or broken to be positive, that it will pass and I can change the topic in my ruminating mind away from me-me-me by doing something small for someone else. Jean doesn't preach these things, she simply tells her own story and shares her conclusions and then she inspires, and I'm so grateful for her.

She says,
It changes the topic.
Doing something for someone else changes the topic. I love that.

I like it when the topic is not me, it's a relief. And I like to stop my wheels from turning 'round and 'round over how life works and what I really know and who I really I am and how we all fit and...

I wonder why I so often forget this simple truth
of changing the topic
when it helps so much
for the topic to have nothing to do with me?
Changing the topic means I get to help someone who needs me to help them.
Really. How do I so often forget such a simple thing?

I love that I just had an idea. I will write CHANGE THE TOPIC three times on three note cards and in big and bold letters and I will stick them,
one: to my bathroom mirror
and two: to my computer
and three: tucked into the pages of my latest read.

I'm just saying...I want to change the topic more often.


Thank you, Jean. You are an absolute inspiration in so many ways. I know you didn't sign up to be an inspiration or a perspective-giver, but I still wanted you to know how thankful I am not that there's been so much pain, but for exactly who you are today.

1 clicked right here to comment:

Jessica said...

I read this the other day and didn't comment, and just came back to say that I thought of it many times this week and it really helped me focus my energy on others and not myself. good stuff!

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