Paying my rent in change

Oh, God, I know.  I know.  It’s been months.  Events have occurred,  holidays have come and gone, one thousand cups of coffee are now mere memories.

But, it’s a new year, and I’m back.  And today, I want to talk about my New Year’s resolution.  Generally I stay away from them, because I know myself and my track record: giving up dairy (two days), going to the gym regularly (I think the longest I went with that one was a month), not dying my hair again (hello, dark brown red).  However, this year I decided to go with something that wasn’t superficial: something more than a surface change.  This year, I want to work on an issue that I know I’ve had since, I dunno, the cradle (maybe that’s too harsh…….baby Kelsey is not to blame).

Here’s the truth: I can be a flake.  [A resounding “no one is surprised” circles the room.]  I’ve often taken for granted the amazing people in my life, because I’ve been rudely confident that even if I drop off the planet for months at a time, the people who love me will pretend I’ve been here the whole time.  And, often, I got away with it.  I went to college in Florida, over a thousand miles away from where I was born and raised–immersed myself in classes and my sorority–often ignored my ringing cell phone–rarely called my parents.

Last year, my friend and ex-co-worker Sara introduced me to the idea of “paying rent” to the people with whom you associate.  On a particularly terrible day of work, where a certain person chose to be extra horrible to the staff, Sara minimized her distress following this logic: this person was not “paying rent,” in the form of kindness or well-intentions, to take up space in her mind–so she wasn’t going to allow him to.  Just like with any apartment, you have to turn in your checks to receive the benefit of a roof over your head and a warm place to rest–and friendship is the same way.  I’d never thought about it like this before. And it made me wonder, do I pay enough rent to the people love?  It’s easy to pay kindness to those you live with/near, but what about my friends and family at home and farther away?  Am I paying my rent?  Am I showing them that I value their making room for me in their lives?

So, for my New Year’s resolution, I’mma start writing my checks.  Um, not for money, though–I also have to pay my ACTUAL rent.  But it has become abundantly clear to me in the past few weeks that I have struck gold in the friend and family department throughout my life, and it’s my duty as a gentle(wo)man and a scholar to start showing my appreciation.  (Again…..not with money.  I’m sorry.  Though I can probably spare five bucks if you need it.)

As for 2014, it’s already been quite the experience so far.  The Jess to my Cece is ENGAGED! (which technically happened at the end of 2013, but I’m counting it for this year) and I am going to be a Maid of Honor for ze first time.  The Broccoli to my eggs, my Angela, is on her way to Belgium today to begin the coolest and most envy-inducing job of traveling the world and making money doing it.  I’ve met a lot of new, fantastic people, one of who took me ice-skating by surprise and brought me socks.  My favorite red-head is living the California dream and teaching a new aerial conditioning class (oh, you know, which she came up with).  And it is only January the 19th.  

On an unrelated note, there is a T-rex living in the parking lot outside my apartment complex.  I’ve heard him yelling twice now.  Accepting name suggestions beginning today.  I’m thinking Rothbart.

Well, Happy Sunday, friends.  I hope you get to drink your coffee (or mimosas, or tea, or whatever your drank of choice may be) and find a little peace in the day.  I, for one, am going to clean my apartment, watch Batman, and probably make banana bread.

And, as always, thank you.

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