Sunday, January 26, 2014

I am awesome at picking people. (Not to brag.)

As someone who works in the field of behavior modification, I know that social support is a major "predictor of success." A little help from your friends... It takes a village... Cliche-say it however you'd like but I think most people would agree that life feels infinitely easier, and more fun, when you have "a strong social network." And by that I mean things like...

...Your partner doesn't lose his shit (or seem at all surprised, really) when he arrives home 1.5 hours after you do and, despite the fact that the kids have been watching videos since you walked through the door, the van is not packed for your trip. Nothing, really, is packed except the non-perishable food and your glasses and the snowboarding gear, which he stashed in the car the night before. It's not because you are lazy. It's because you're ping-ponging from room to room, over-thinking every item (and periodically pausing to thumb through a pile of pictures). It's because you suck at packing.

This guy.
Also, this guy (and several other awesome peeps) ate that (see below) pasta.

... Your totally selfless friend gives you the jacket off her back to wear so you can sneak in an extra snowboarding lesson after you discover that you left your snowboarding jacket at home for a long weekend of, um, snowboarding. And then another kind friend lends you her ski coat to wear the next day for your regular lesson. And then a third rockstar friend texts you with a choice of Burton jackets for Sunday—she'll cart whichever one you want up to the mountain for you, along with her own ski stuff, her two small children and their ski stuff.

...Your friend turns up after a few hours out with "twice-price" spice packets from the country store, without your even asking, because you forgot all of the spices for the chili you're making on Friday night. This in spite of the fact that, a day earlier, you subjected all of your friends to a painfully granular list of all the food you'll be bringing so everyone will "know what we will are supposed to have." (PS: You also forgot the bagels.)

A strong social support network is also the one that, when the friend who lent you the first-day jacket discovers three small shards of the Ball jar from which she is spooning her homegrown pesto have broken into the beautiful pasta dish she prepared while tending to an infant, rallies to find the bits of glass and puzzle them together. And when just one tiny piece is left missing, someone runs next door to get hotdogs for the kids, while someone else scrapes off the top layer of pasta and a small group huddles at the table to run through a quick risk analysis, arriving at the measured consensus to play "Noodle Roulette." There are only two rules: 1) savor each bite mindfully and 2) keep the conversation dull enough to delay laughter until the danger of ingesting glass has passed.

Recounting a fantastic weekend, I take this away: I may suck at packing (and driving and controlling my anxiety-induced outbursts and many other things). I may not be good at snowboarding, or even know how to ride a lift—yet.* But I am extraordinarily skilled at surrounding myself with amazingly awesome people. And I kinda think that makes me a winner.

*I can, however, now connect turns and ride the Magic Carpet with the best of the 3-year-olds. 


  1. brag away, sister! good people are not easy to find and you've got a bevy of them in your life. be proud!

    1. Yes! You included, my sweet sidewaysglancer!