Rolling slowly into a holiday weekend – that’s what we do, isn’t it? If it’s not a frenetic attempt to get out the door, it’s sitting at one’s desk just watching the hours tick by until the Zero Hour – when we can escape.
At this time last year, I had little to be thankful for save my family and friends. While they are the ones that always matter above and beyond all, Jason had just died less than a month prior and I was walking around in some zombie-ish haze. Trust me – being devoured by something in the “undead” category would have been welcome.
Yet this year, I’m sitting on my sofa, blinds open and sunlight pouring in, having been greeted this morning by a rainbow sherbet-flavored sky and Puppy Kisses. Not as good as People Kisses, but I’m working on that part of my life. I’m plotting a vacation, which would be fucking grand since I haven’t abandoned the country since 2008, and looking forward to a day tomorrow filled with friends, food, and the laughter that accompanies all.
Which is Where I Should Probably Tell You…
About the whole pregnancy thing. Well, I announced yesterday (first) that I was carrying Justin Bieber’s love child. I then revised that (in a second iteration) to announce that the baby was not, in fact, Justin’s, but rather Clive Owen’s. This was met with much more widespread approval (not that I have to clear with any of you whom I fuck). And this has nothing to do with me fucking anyone. It’s pretty much just linkbait to get you to (1) open this email/click through from Facebook and Twitter, so that (2) we can talk about what’s important. I’m a bitch like that. Sneaaaaaaaaaaaaky in a non-unfavorable female Republican Presidential candiate kind of way. So let’s talk about This Life and the three ways we can go about things: running cold, lukewarm, and fucking ON FIRE.
Running Cold Isn’t Even Worth the H-tag
Fuck running cold. Fuck it like anyone who would fuck Justin Biber in the first place. Running cold is nowhere to be and you know it. You’ve been there. And if you’re there right now, WHY? Those days where your life runs you, your friends are distant memories, and everything that comes out of your mouth is prefaced by, “I hate” or “I hope.” Quit hating and hoping. Neither of them get anything done. EVER.
It’s the Meh of life. Do you really and truly want to look at either yourself or anyone in your life and think, “Meh”? Holy purple turtle shit, Batman – lukewarm is, in my opinion, even worse than running cold. (And credit where credit is due, “lukewarm” came from a conversation I had on a date this week – not about the date itself, which was quite lovely. And yes, I go out on dates. Sometimes. And sometimes I don’t even write blogs about them.) But I digress.
Being in a lukewarm place robs of you of power. There’s nothing to grab onto and infuse with your passion…for anything. It’s a place where we wait for the Next Thing to come along and no one involved in the situation is invested in anything. And lukewarm? Well, it gets cold. And fast. So quit putting yourself into a place where you start things in a half-assed fashion. Where you stay in things that rob you of your Ossum (which is like a possum but more awesome). You’re the only one who can sign-up for living in a lukewarm place. And life is entirely too short for you to do anything without being ON FIRE.
BURN MOTHERFUCKER, BURN
I’m not the only one who thinks being ON FIRE is a great place to be. FAKE GRIMLOCK and Brad Feld are fans of living in the hot place. Every entrepreneur I know understands and hunts down the opportunity to singe their eyebrows in the flames of ON FIRE. So why, for all that is holy, aren’t you living ON FIRE?
If this guy can sing
If this kid can play basketball
What is your excuse for not living ON FIRE?
We’re walking into a holiday weekend that can be more about a big ass bird than the people you’re sharing it with. So here are some ways, if you’re not already doing it, to start living ON FIRE this weekend:
- HOLY FUCKING SHIT – UNPLUG. The iPad, the iPhone, the iPhoto – how about iWON’TTURNTHISON? Plug into the people who will make your day. People make memories. Gadgets can’t.
- Get Rid of the Meh. Hate to cook? Order your Thanksgiving dinner. Hate/are indifferent about your boyfriend or girlfriend? Ditch ‘em. Surround yourself with people who are ON FIRE. Flames are contagious (and it’s cold outside – get warm and stay warm.) Skip the Lukewarm.
- GIVE. When you’re at the store today, grab a bag of fruit and some pre-made deli sandwiches. Drive down a street where all of those people who have it far worse than you are standing with their “tacky” cardboard signs. Give them a sandwich, a piece of fruit, and a $5 bill. Wish them well. Go to a local shelter and drop off a bag of canned goods. Buy a bunch of $5 McDonald’s gift cards and hand them out. And give even if it hurts. Because THAT’S how it feels to live ON FIRE.
- Cry. Once. Crying isn’t bad and contrary to urban legend, it won’t shrivel a man’s balls. Whatever prompts it, let the tears roll. Tears of joy are one of life’s greatest gifts and feel better than the best orgasm (yeah, I said it), unwrapping the most expensive new toy, or ones cried when Loss decides to move in and set up a pup tent in the living room of your life. The best part? No one has to see it. Pop in a movie. Think about potential instead of the Will Never Haves and the Had It/Lost Its. I especially like the crying when it comes with a hug and a smile and shared with someone who won’t make you feel like an ass for crying. (Pro Tip: If you end up crying with or on someone who makes you feel like an ass for doing so, resist the urge to snot on their shirt. Instead, give ‘em a titty twister. THAT, my friends, is definitely an ON FIRE move.)
- Forgive Yourself. How much bullshit do you carry around with you every day? How much of other people’s bullshit and business-related bullshit do you carry? Take a minute this holiday to forgive yourself. And I know it’s not easy. But we carry a ton of stuff along with us out of burden and obligation. Stop feeling guilty about putting it down for a minute and PUT THE BAG OF BULLSHIT DOWN. See how it feels. If you really miss it so much that your life won’t be complete without picking it up again, trust me – it’ll be there waiting. We walk around life waiting for other people to offer us validation that what we’re doing is okay when the one we really need to be receiving permission and validation from is the big ol’ ME. You can’t be ON FIRE until you burn all of that bullshit you’re carrying to the ground.
And A Closing Note on People and Things
We make room in our lives for what’s (and who’s) important.
Humans: When someone won’t make time for you or is just “too busy,” that means you’re not important enough to them to be made a priority. Plain and simple. And the same goes for your decision-making process. There is no secret message. There is no hidden agenda. In fact, the agendas are quite clear. If you are too busy for someone, they are not a priority.
If you truly want to catch up with a friend, go on a date, meet with a colleague, or just go throw a football with your kids, MAKE THE TIME. When you want something badly enough, it’s amazing how many hours you find in the day.
Things: Things deserve to be our lowest priority, as they are incapable of love. Incapable of giving. When things are attached to people (like a child’s dance recital or your wife’s birthday gift), those are still HUMAN decisions. When life and business become more demanding (as happens on occasion and usually right when you’re trying to live life), that’s when we need to find the human side of those demands and make sure we’re not leaving behind the people who would still be there for us if it all burned to the ground, in a very non-ON FIRE way, tomorrow.
So yeah, there IS something growing in mah belleh, and it ain’t anyone’s love child. But it is a renewed commitment to living my life ON FIRE. How will you live today?
Erika, As always, this is lovely in a snarky, fiery way that only you, my dear, can pull off. See you around the Twitterz. I hope you had a people-filled, turkey grease on fire kind of Thanksgiving. :) Greg
Red: You're terrific. You've made a difference in my life the past year since I stumbled across your "Redhead Writing Blog". You're a human being that makes a difference. Thanks Babe.
I looked at the videos after reading your post. Gosh, hard to find words. Special. On fire. Setting a standard. Stop complaining. Smile. Smile. Smile. Thanks Reds.
Well, thank you, Josepf - I wrote this fucking post for y'all, so super glad it hit the spot! And way to skip MEH and plug into a human. Fucking hard work these days, I say. Hard fucking work.
Erika, it's been awhile since you blasted one out this read-worthy. Nice one. "Quit hating and hoping. Neither of them get anything done." I'm still digesting the significance of this statement, knowing it must be meaningful since it sounds so fucking good. Could only be something a non-unfavorable female Republican Presidential candidate would say.
I realized three things from this post: 1. Been wallowing too long in the lukewarm. 2. Life is about burning shit up. Nothing else matters. 3. I need a good cry. You might be ashamed of me Erica if I told you the last time I did. Happy T-sizzle.
Thanks for the great advice. The crying thing is my biggest problem. I haven't be able to cry since I've been the go-between in my parents divorce (x2). My life has been very difficult and I've had reason enough to cry both good and bad. But I really need to find something to break my apathy. Thanks for posting this and making it clear that in order to be "on fire" I need to be on fire emotionally. Thanks.
To my dear fiery link-bait fiend, May the blast furnace of life shape your steel, while a lover's tears temper it to razor sharpness. I may never meet Kathy Sierra's cousin face to face, but this holiday weekend reinforces how tearfully thankful I am for your presence. Time for cake, -Steve
You know, most days I read your posts and think to myself 'Yeah, I've done that, I know better now,' or 'Wow, I know lots of people who have done this' but today's is really making me sit back and kick myself. My life is so full of cold and lukewarm that it's becoming tragic. I keep giving far too much time to those that don't deserve it, and not nearly enough to myself and those that do deserve it. Enough of the crap, enough of the cold and lukewarm. And enough waiting to forgive myself. I think that's the part of this post I needed the most. The wake-up call to forgive myself. Oh, and thanks for the titty-twister advice, if that's not enough to help bring you out of a good cry, nothing is (I'm one of those people that, once I start crying, it takes forever to stop, so this is needed).
I LOVE this post. Everyone should live ON FIRE! I do and my family calls me crazy for it, but when I am on my death bed I do NOT want to look back and say to myself - I wish I had all those hours I spend doing XYZ back. I want every minute to count. I do NOT want to look back and have regrets or wish I had spent more time doing this or that..... Life is WAY TOO SHORT.
Wow woman! WTF?? I'm either extremely emotional today, hormones are in overdrive, or you have a way of reaching in and inspiring the heart. You have a habit of doing that, I can tell from all your readers... but that's how you roll sister. ❤
Since you are enamored with the sneaky tactics of republican female presidential candidates should we expect a viral image of you posing with a sausage in the future?
This isn't one of your formal slaps but this was the reality kick in the ass I needed today. Thank you for helping me see my own fuel instead of being so desperate to find it through someone (or something) else. on a side note: All of my friends who truly know me, know that I will never have children. I had an hysterical response to my 2011 April Fool's Joke where my status was "NOW, It's official!!!!!!!! Liz is going to be a Mommy!!!!!!!!!!" Thank you (again) for seeing the humor in these things!! You fucking rock.
I call it "jellyfishing" ... when you are just floating around wherever the current takes you, not making any effort to move one way or the other.
OK I cried, are you happy now??? Holy mother of God, I love when you turn up the heat! LOVE IT! I also love that you're psychic and always seem to write this kind of post exactly when I need it. Many, many thanks for you Red. Keep on blazing :)
And I like to think: if today were my last day, would I be content with what I've done and who surrounded me in the end? Today, I can offer an unequivocal YES.