Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What's in a Hug?

Hugs have become very important to me as of late. Maybe it's something to do with stress or lots of life changes or just living alone, but . . . Hugs mean the world to me. I'd rather have someone give me a good hug than a 20-dollar bill.

I didn't always love hugs. I used to be very concerned about who came into my personal space, actually, and would rarely give hugs or let anyone hug me for longer than a second. (My sister thinks it had something to do with being in an incubator for the first two months of my life.)

Taylor Giddens changed all that. He was my best friend in the mid-2000s, and he hugged everyone. Everyone. Women and men, old and young. But he didn't just hug them; he held them. Through the power of touch, he somehow let people know that they were worth something. That they were worth holding. I don't know how long it took, but eventually, Taylor taught me how much it meant to connect with someone just by hugging.

Now, I notice good hugs. I know which of my friends are exceptional huggers. Here's a list (in order of appearance):
  • Taylor (obviously)
  • Brandy
  • Mike
  • Adam (a.k.a., "Ehdem")
  • Pete
  • Alana
  • James
  • David
I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones who immediately come to mind.

"But Sara," you say. "What makes an exceptional hug?" Here, dear readers, is what makes an exceptional hug:
  • Front hugs only. There is no place in the world for side hugs or semi-side hugs. If you absolutely do not want to hug someone, then don't hug them at all.
  • No time limit. Hold on to someone until it feels natural to let go, even if that means the hug lasts for a whole minute or more.
  • No patting. Do not pat someone on the back while you're hugging. If you must do something with your hand(s), give a short, light stroke on the shoulder blade or middle of the back.*
That's it. That's all. That's all there is to it.** Am I missing anything???

Now, go out and hug someone!

*If you're Ehdem, you put one hand on the person's neck . . . Now that is a great hug.
**If you're me, you talk to people while you're hugging them. It makes for a longer hug, but I personally think it also makes for the best kind of hug.

Thing I'm thankful for: Taylor Giddens, a master of human connection

Friday, March 18, 2016

Silver Linings, Pt. 2

I believe in God, but I don't believe God uses platitudes during times of tragedy and sadness. He doesn't say, "Buck up, buddy! Things are gonna be okay; just get up, brush yourself off, and work through this!" He also doesn't say, "Hey! Be grateful! At least you're not dead!" or something equally as ridiculous. Instead, he sits down and cries with you for a while.

Like this:

(See Silver Linings.)

Thing I'm thankful for: mint brownies

Monday, March 07, 2016

Silver Linings

Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes there's just no telling why. And sometimes there is. Regardless, I would just like for people to say, "Gosh, that stinks. I'm sorry." I don't want them to find silver linings; I just want them to listen.

Note: I don't know if every negative situation in life has a silver lining, and I kind of think that silver linings aren't really meant to be seen or understood until the negative situation has passed. Attempting to find them while you're in the thick of things can be maddening.

(See Silver Linings, Pt. 2.)

Thing I'm thankful for: distractions