Sunday Smiles – Connections

There are days when the internet makes me twitchy.  I log on to Facebook to be met head on with a barrage of negativity.  This candidate is a hate monger.  That candidate is a criminal.  I see “friends” tearing one another apart with snide comments, all because they sit on different sides of the political fence.  I read post after post disparaging this group or that, this thing or that.  Cops suck, the weather sucks, the traffic sucks, this restaurant sucks, work sucks…everything just sucks.

I “unfollow” a few political pages (I could have sworn I had removed them all).  I hit the “hide post” option multiple times as I scroll through my newsfeed.  I am almost thankful to come across a few cute cat memes.  I “like” a picture of an idyllic beach in Aruba.

I scroll a bit further, sigh a discouraged sigh, and prepare to log off.  But wait, what’s this?  Could it be?  An uplifting post?  Yes!  I click happily on a story about a former classmate’s 11-year-old son reporting on the NCAA Tournament for Sports Illustrated Kids.  I read with delight about one of the coaches taking the time to applaud this young man for his thoughtful question.  (You can view more about this here.)

Feeling hopeful, I read some other posts.  Oh look, a friend received good news on a medical issue.  Another friend just finished her first half marathon.  Yet another is celebrating buying a new home.  Yay! Here it is!  The good stuff!

Now it comes back to me, and I remember why I still log on to Facebook every day.  I do it not to learn the political leanings of friends and family.  I do it so that I can hear the news of their lives.  I continue to scroll and read in order to tie the past in with the present.  I put up with the negative aspects to reap the benefits of the positive ones.

I return again and again because of the connections.  We can cross the miles, cross the years, and cross the distance to come together as if we had never been apart.  We can share in each others’ victories and console one another during trying times.  We can use words to convey emotions from afar, as sure as the touch of a comforting hand on a shoulder.

Yes, it is the connections that I crave and that I seek.   It is the connections that lead me back to this blog after a writing sabbatical.  It is the connections that sustain our souls the way that food sustains our bodies.  It is the connections that bond us together as humans, in friendship and in love.

Thank you for being one of my connections.  Cheers! Karen

Stay connected with me and “like” Fill Your Own Glass on Facebook here!

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Fill Your Own Glass Just Turned One!


It’s official!  Fill Your Own Glass is celebrating its first birthday today!

It has been a wonderful year full of growth, discovery, and revelations.  I look forward to continuing on this journey of change and self-improvement, and I am so happy to have you along for the ride.  Your encouragement and support drive me onward down the path that has been chosen for me.

I want to say a heartfelt “Thank you!” to all of you who have taken the time to visit this blog.  We are all given the same twenty-four hours each day, and the fact that you would choose to spend even a few moments of yours reading my words fills me with joy and a gratitude that I cannot adequately express.  Your friendship lifts me up, and your words teach me new lessons daily.

I cannot wait to see what the next year brings!



A Letter on Friendship

My dear friend,

I smile as I look at the lovely flowers that you gave me.  Three perfect yellow roses that symbolize friendship and bring the same sunshine to my day that you bring to my life.  It is a small, thoughtful gift that carries a large, meaningful message.

Oh, we have been through some stuff together, haven’t we?  We have been taught some hard, painful lessons along the way.  We have discovered that there are people who are not what they appear to be.  We have found that some people are, unfortunately, exactly what they appear to be.

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Finding Friends in the Produce Department (and Other Healthy Options)

I consider myself to be an intuitive person. I am not naive, though I would not go so far as to say I am jaded either. I am vigilant about being aware of my surroundings, and I listen to my inner self when there are any signs of danger. More often that not my initial impressions of people prove to be true. The one area where I have not always followed my intuition has been in the choosing of friends. There have been some missteps along the way. There have been people allowed in who have proven untrustworthy. There were those who played the game when they needed or wanted something from me, when I could provide some benefit to them. There have been some one-sided relationships, decidedly unbalanced and not in my favor. I don’t regret these faux friendships as they have taught me valuable lessons, albeit at times in a most painful way. They have given me one priceless gift, though, and that is the gift of appreciation for my true friends.

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Please Accept This (Nonexistent) Apology

You are waiting for an apology. At some point you were wronged by someone. You were spoken to harshly. You were treated poorly. You were stood up, yelled at, knocked down, ignored, forgotten or otherwise mistreated. It could be any number of reasons. The fact is that you are certain that you deserve an apology, and chances are you have been waiting on it for a while now. The reality is that it is not coming.

Not what you wanted to hear, right? I did not want to hear it either, but it is what I finally had to admit to myself. I was forced to accept it in order to move on, to forgive, and to heal.

In my case it was a close friend, or at least I had believed her to be a close friend. She stopped speaking to me due to an edict issued by someone at my former place of employment which was where we met. I was not to be made aware of the pending sale of the business (a sale that had no impact on me or the company as I had resigned and was already employed elsewhere), and no employees were to tell me anything concerning said sale. And so she simply stopped speaking to me. After I learned about the reason why I understood. It became clear why for a time several former co-workers cut off communication with me, although a brave few had the decency to tell me the backstory. What I could not understand was why I never heard anything from her. After years of friendship, dinners out, listening to guy drama, and being there when she needed me this was how I was repaid. I would have accepted an email or a text saying something along the lines of, “can’t talk for a while, will explain later”. It was the nothingness that was a hard blow to take. I tried to reach out to her numerous times to no avail. My husband and other friends helped to absorb the hurt that I felt, but the lack of closure was an open wound. It wasn’t until nearly two years later that she extended a dinner invitation. While she seemed genuinely glad to see me the apology never came. When I addressed my feelings her response was that she “hadn’t hurt me intentionally.” Bam. That was it, that was all I was going to get. While we remain civil the friendship was never truly repaired. For a long time after that dinner I continued to feel like I deserved an apology, and a sincere one at that. I eventually had to make peace with the fact that it wasn’t coming. I have to let go of the need for the “I’m sorry” in order to let go of her and the friendship that never really was.

The reasons you may not receive the apology you are seeking may vary. The person might not even be aware that you are think you are owed one. He may not believe that he has anything to apologize for. And in the worst case scenario trifecta, he may not care. You can only control one of these things. You need to consider just how important it is to you to hear those little words of repentance. If you believe that it is possible the offender does not know how you feel then tell him, but only if you are prepared for the possibility that he may neither feel the need to apologize nor care that you think he should.

I gave myself a great gift the day I accepted the nonexistent apology. I acknowledged that I was doing damage only to myself by holding on to the anger and the hurt. I made peace with my friend without her ever knowing it, but more importantly I made peace with me. Subsequently I have been able to accept a few more of the “sorries” that I never received, and I cannot stress to you enough how liberating it is. If you are waiting on an apology I urge you to get one, not from the person you think owes it to you, but rather from you. Give yourself the apology you imagine you would someday get from the one you are seeking it from. Accept it as you would if it came from the source and allow yourself the freedom to forgive and move on.