Posts Tagged 'friendship'

Taking Another Step Away

I treated myself and bought a new computer. It arrived yesterday – a Lenovo Yoga 730. I got the active pen as well, about which I know nothing. ๐Ÿ™‚ I gather it lets me draw on the screen. IMG_9869How can someone be so ignorant about their new computer? I don’t pick my own computers. I (like Blanche DuBois) often depend on the kindness of others, in this case coworkers, not strangers.

Way back at the end of the summer I asked a former coworker for advice on a new computer. He’d given me great advice when I was searching for a hard-core gaming computer to handle Second Life and Open Sim. That was all the way back in 2010 and I got an Alienware. I still have that Alienware and it is still going, but I can’t upgrade it and USB ports are a bit different now, and so are operating systems.

Somewhere between then and now I bought myself another computer that could handle gaming and virtual realities. That one was the same machine that we’d bought our son, with a few enhancements added.IMG_9871 I never got a chance to use it. First my son broke his, so I gave him mine. Once it returned to me, my sister’s computer ceased to run her programs so I lent her mine. Permanently. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love my sister. So here I am, without a modern functioning computer. I back up all my iThings to the Alienware, but I’ve discovered that I cannot write from it to the iThings. I had to do my last phone update by using my work Mac. It’s time already for a new machine.

I took the list of suggestions from the first coworker and showed it to my former teammates, whose opinions I have ALWAYS sought and trusted. I told them all that the only thing I do anymore is read mail, blog, social media, and process photos. They all agreed on the Yoga 730 and they all told me “buy the pen, you’ll like it”. Okay, I did. IMG_9872I haven’t even opened the box yet, *grin*, but I’m sure one of these days I’ll figure it out.

So why “another step away”? Because I suspect this machine will NOT run Second Life. I loved my time in SL. I’ve written about how much fun I had, how it challenged me, changed me, shaped me. I’ve written about the friendships I made that exist today and moved from virtual reality to RL reality. I still, foolishly, maintain my premium membership, although I have surrendered all my land. I want to go back, but there is no “back” – we have all moved on. Some of my friends are virtually dead, others have passed away in physical reality. Buying a non-gaming computer is yet another step away from the past.

You can take the woman out of SL, but you cannot take the SL out of the woman. No matter WHICH computer she buys.

An Unexpected Gift

They say that revenge is a dish best served cold, meaning it happens long after the fact. What do they say about gifts that appear long after the gifting? There must be some equally apt phrase. Maybe it’s “good things come to those who wait”.

fricker1I have finally decided to upgrade my blog from a free account to a paid account. I have no good reason. Or rather, I suspect the final straw is NOT something that will be handled by a paid account. The last week or so I’ve been getting trackbacks from spam sites. It was annoying. I’ve also used over 75% of my media storage. I thought I’d investigate and see what I’d learn.

I had a wonderful, informative, upbeat chat with the online chat support. Do you know that they are called “Happiness Engineers”? I think that is a GREAT title. The person with whom I was chatting was a fantastic representative of that concept. She gave me a discount code to give me 2 months free. I noticed something odd when I went to pay. The screen was showing me a $15 credit, bringing the bill to $33. When I put in the discount code, the amount was just over $39. ???? I asked my happiness engineer where the $15 credit originated. She said “The $15 credit is applying the value you have left in your current plan to the upgraded one.” Well that was odd. fricker 3My current plan was a FREE plan, I had never paid any money to WordPress. The HE agreed my plan was a free one and she investigated further. “I show $15 in gift credit from a user named “Fricker Fraker” back in 2009. Dear reader, I kid you not – tears came to my eyes.

Fricker – I don’t know where you are, or how you are, but thank you, thank you, thank you. What a sweet, generous gesture on your part. Which is exactly how I remember you.

Ahuva โค Fricker

OOTD20150922

It’s Erev Yom Kippur. This is a holiday I have always loved, despite all the traditional jokes about fasting = suffering. I have always tried to reflect and repent of things I’ve done wrong in the last year. I resolve to do better – and I think of specific behaviors and relationships where there is a lot of room for “better” and what “better” entails. I love the feeling of cleansing my spirit of negativity, hate, anger, cruelty. I try to embrace a positive outlook, a commitment to acting in a way that brings about tikkun olam, not just to the world as a whole, but specifically to the micro world about me. *smile* Because of course, the world DOES revolve about me, right? Oops. Back to reflection and repentance. And a warning to you, dear reader. This post will probably be in the too-long-didn’t-read category. Yom Kippur does that to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

I read a post this year that captured SO MUCH of how I feel about the holiday, and what I’ve tried to do. I don’t think I was ever quite as “obnoxious” as the author (“Eventually I grew into a slightly less earnest, hopefully less obnoxious human, but the rituals of Yom Kippur still held a special place in my heart.“) but I certainly have sent many an email in the last several years asking for forgiveness for any harm or wrong I may have done that person.

This year, however, much like the cited post, I find that I am not quite ready to forgive everybody. Perhaps more accurately, I find that I am not ready to BE forgiven. I have 2 friendships that went on the rocks. In one case, I feel that I am the wronged party. In the other, I have been told that I erred grievously.

I’ll start with my sin. I was visiting friends. At dinner, after having shared a bottle of wine, I told the husband my dumb blonde joke while the wife was away from the table. I’d just done something “dumb”, which reminded me of the joke, and it is a very vaguely off-color joke, and I knew my friend (the wife) wouldn’t like it anyway, so I told it to the husband. I prefaced it by saying “oh let me tell you my dirty joke”. It’s NOT really a dirty joke. The punch-line carries an implication (if you “get it”) that is sexual in nature but it’s NOT dirty. It’s a “dumb blonde” joke. (I’m blonde, by the way. Neither husband nor wife are blonde.) The husband may have laughed, or smiled, I don’t even remember. It was a non-event to me. Jump ahead a week or so. I returned home. I sent the wife (my friend since we were 6 years old) an email telling her how much I enjoyed the visit, thanking her and her husband for such a wonderful wonderful time, telling her more about the stress and craziness in my life (which is why I fled to visit them in the first place). No response. A week later I sent an email wishing the husband a happy birthday. No response. Two days later I received an email from her, addressed to my son, wishing my son a happy birthday. That was it. No other message. I picked up the phone and called. She sounded taken aback to hear my voice. I asked what was wrong, what had happened between us. She told me that she and her husband were offended by the dirty joke I had told (please keep in mind SHE never heard it). That my behavior was inappropriate and out of line. That they did not understand why I would tell such a joke. I must tell you now that NO ONE to whom I have related the joke thinks it’s a “dirty joke”. Everyone ELSE has laughed and said – that’s not a dirty joke. It’s a DUMB BLONDE JOKE. Sigh. I apologized profusely. I explained it was never my intent to offend or insult them. That I’d told him the joke because I’d just done something ‘dumb’ and so was being a ‘dumb blonde’ and told him the joke. She was still cool and cold and repeating that they could not understand why I’d ever tell that kind of joke. We ended the call. Immediately I composed a truly sincere apology email, restating I’d never intended to hurt, offend or otherwise insult them. No reply. About 6 weeks later, next Jewish holiday, I received an email. It said “Apology received. Happy holiday.” Apology “received”. NOT accepted. At that point, still deep in the craziness that was my life at that time, something in me broke. Decades of friendship were tossed aside by her because of one 2 line joke. No allowance for my life was crazy, maybe that was why I told such an “inappropriate” joke. No allowance for a bottle of wine at dinner. No allowance for forgiveness. No, my crime was so heinous that I could not be forgiven.

So it’s Yom Kippur. Tradition says that I must ask 3 times for forgiveness from those whom I have wronged. “The Shulhan Aruch writes that if the victim does not grant forgiveness when the offender first approaches him, the offender should return to him, as many as three times. He then earns atonement even if the victim still refuses to forgive. “ Here’s the problem. I no longer want to be forgiven. I have asked for forgiveness. I’m not even listing all the times I feel she has wronged me in major life events and yet I forgave her and moved on. I am obviously still in disgrace as my birthday came and went and no birthday greeting. I don’t want her forgiveness. But I’m torn here between how I try to live, and how I feel. My coworker (also Jewish) has said that what I need to do is forgive myself.

I think, having written this, that I have reached a decision. I AM sorry that I offended her so deeply that she can’t forgive me. I no longer care if she forgives me. But I think that I will write again today, asking for forgiveness. I will be clean, and perhaps she can begin the process of forgiving me as well.

Because my other Yom Kippur story is about learning to heal once you begin to forgive. (I did warn you this would be a tl;dr.)

I had a friend. I thought we were very very close. We shared many interests. We discussed family, work, relationships. Then he stopped talking to me. No emails, no chats, no nothing. No response when I tried to reach him. (We are not co-located.) I was hurt. Extremely hurt. I did not know what had happened, why he stopped talking to me. Over the course of 18 months, we had email interaction perhaps 4 times, each time when I initiated it because of business with/from mutual friends. His responses were terse, to the point, no indication of any former closeness. I was angry. I was hurt. I was confused. I did a lot of thinking.

I thought about friends to whom perhaps I had done this very behavior myself. I tried to think what I might have done to warrant this reaction. I tried to think of ways to let go of the hurt and blow to my self-esteem so that I could heal and move on. I hurt. And hurt. Finally last Yom Kippur I decided I would send him an email, asking for forgiveness. I spent WEEKS composing that email to make sure it said exactly what it was meant to say, and not an emotion more. It was to clear the slate. If I had indeed done something so egregious, I needed to apologize and be forgiven even if I did not know what I had done. If I had not done anything and it was HIS mishegas, then I would be clear as well. I sent the email. It is a year. I’ve had no response. But I finally began to heal. I can think of him without wincing. Even better – mostly I don’t think about him at all. When I think I might be slipping into worrying and fretting about what I did or didn’t do or WHY???, I am able to take a deep breath and say, I have moved on, that is in the past. I have tried sincerely to make amends. I have forgiven myself for whatever I have done or not done. I have forgiven HIM. I do not know why things happened as they did, but I do not blame him anymore, I have let go of the anger for the hurt. I am healing, because I have forgiven him. “Finally, the Sages also emphasize the importance of granting forgiveness to others. The Rabbis teach that one should not be โ€œcruelโ€ by refusing to grant forgiveness to somebody who offended him. A person who willingly grants forgiveness to others will earn Godโ€™s forgiveness for whatever sins he may have committed.”

To me, this is what Yom Kippur brings. It is my chance to repair the rips and tears in my life. It is my time to let go of anger. It is my time to accept people for who and what they are, and free myself from my expectations of how they should behave. It is my time to clear my slate as best I can and to hope for a better year to come.

An easy fast and Chag Sameach! And to everyone, member of the tribe or not, G’mar Hatimah Tovah (May You Be Sealed for a Good Year in the Book of Life).

Note: quotes on halacha:ยฉ Copyright 2010 Torah Learning Resources.
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OOTD 20150216

Sometimes people just stop liking you. You can’t change it, fix it or even know why. All you can do is let them go, don’t yield to the temptation to reach out. Learn to move on. There’s a lot more that can be said but it all comes down to the same thing: Accept and learn to move on.

Hi There!

Okay, I’m really neglectful. It’s been ages since I posted here. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I actually started a post Thursday morning and then I had to – GASP!! – work!!!! OMG! How rude can they be???? Expect me to actually do THEIR work instead of MY pleasure? Oh wait – I love my work. Never mind….. *grin*

It’s been a really good week, both RL and SL. I bought my son a car in RL. It was nearly as easy as buying one in SL, but nowhere near as inexpensive. And he’s already run his first EZPass because he forgot his car doesn’t have one. Yet. /me makes note to self. Work is going well – lots of positive conversations and feedback. Lovely RL indulgence on Thursday (none of your business ๐Ÿ™‚ ). Seeing friends.

And in SL – oh wow – seeing friends BIG TIME!!!! I was back at the Crown and Pearl not once but TWICE!!!! OMG – How I have missed that place and those people. I had a hilarious morning with Calli – that’s the post I actually have half-written. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s coming, I promise. She finds the best toys. I went dancing with another friend at the kind of place and kind of outfit that I simply can’t mention on this blog. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oops. I discovered Midnight Mania boards and got a Red Succubus War Queen outfit. *grin* Yes, there ARE pictures out there. I could NOT resist trying it on. I LOVE it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure if you offer enough, one of my dear friends will betray me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Make ME an offer. Dale and I went to a great little party. We rode a carriage and danced and chatted and laughed. I should probably post THAT, too. And I got some good work accomplished the last 2 days – built a platform for the latest demo, accessorized it, “acquired” a teleport script to move us from the office to the sky platform (you have to love Google and people who want to share their scripts).

I think, however, that there is a storm cloud on the horizon. I have a strong suspicion that my next-door neighbor wants to buy my property. I logged in this morning to find a “I HAVE to talk to you IM”. And since we don’t ever talk, and since she’s been doing extensive remodelling….. well, that’s what I think. Sigh. You KNOW how bad I am at decisions. And I love my property. Where would I go?

missing_OuraBut right now…. RL is calling – have a brunch to attend. Where the chef is phenomenal and so many good friends will be there. So my blogging must wait yet again. And I MISS Oura, who is away for a few days. So after all my running about yesterday (scripting, Noma concert, CnP, MM boards, buying new hair), I went to Oura’s and relaxed in her chair and missed her.

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this before – but I really, really, REALLY love my life in SL. *grin*

Cowgirls

all-the-pretty-poniesWe were both having a hectic week. A lot to do, deadlines, not much time. The beauty of living in a virtual world is that it takes no time to commute. We can say – I have 15 minutes now – do you? And if the answer is yes, well, there we are. Together. So we got lucky amid our respective craziness shengri-la-sunsetand I tp’d to see all the possible ponies that you can rez at Shengri La. We each picked a pony and set off for a gallop. We galloped til we both crashed. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hey – it’s like running or working out. Do it til it hurts. No pain, no gain. I love the ponies of Shengri La. Thanks, Shen.

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life-is-good

Thank you

This past week has been a very full week. A bit of an emotional roller-coaster. There were definitely some points in this week that were a bit difficult. Things got better, however, as they usually do when you take a moment to breathe in, relax, breathe out. Many good things began happening, with perhaps the most exciting happening at the very end of the work week. I received some feedback on the work I’ve been doing. *grin* Positive feedback, in case you were wondering. I feel extremely happy and proud. I would even say “validated”.

validationIn my mind, I see a straight progression from the day I first heard about “SL” to the end of this week. The mind is wonderful that way. ๐Ÿ™‚ It can make sense out of anything if it so chooses. I was talking with a friend last night, discussing everything. She made the point that I did the work. Yes, that is true. But in my mind and heart – I could do the work and push forward and stay determined because of my friends. Actually – these people were not my “friend” at the point where they reached out and offered a hand. (They are all my good friends today.) I see many people who could have simply shrugged and said “not MY problem” and ignored me. But they didn’t. Each one of these people made what probably seemed like a simply, easy gesture. But to me, the recipient – the combination of each of those little actions was life-changing.

It is so easy to be kind, to be helpful, to be generous. You can’t always see the consequences of your actions immediately. But it could be a life you are saving.

Perhaps you know this nursery rhyme:
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

I like the meter, I like the simplicity of the message of that nursery rhyme, but I don’t like that it’s a negative approach. I prefer to phrase things postively.

In response to an email a friendship was born –
Encouragement offered instead of just scorn.
In response to introductions more people were known
Volunteering accepted, a challenge was sown.
In response to distress call an offer was made
A task was completed and yes, “face” WAS saved.
In response to that project a new path was taken
A new life was picked, confidence still unshaken.
And all from the help of my friends.


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