My Brother Ayo Woke Me This Morning By Calling Me On My Cell Phone.

It was 7 AM on a day that the girls and I did not need to get up early. (school holiday)
He worked the night shift at the hospital and as if this were the most normal of routines, his opening line was:
"I'm almost there."
I stumbled out of bed to meet him at the door.
He and I had not had the opportunity to celebrate 'New Year' together because of his work.
He acted like we had made a date for the morning of January 2nd, (we hadn't) and since I had neither the energy nor heart to let on that my morning snooze was disturbed, we proceeded to visit without skipping a beat.
I fed him left over sushi, left over crab rangoon, two beers and a cup of tea--while I had two cups of coffee and a cookie.
We did our usual debriefing and post-holiday analysis, skirting around downers and propping each other up with trite resolutions and funny anecdotes.
One of his stories involved an older lady friend that accidentally passed gas in front of him and my SIL.
The friend quickly owned up to it and apologized.
It was at this point in the story that Ayo shared one of his gems.
To alleviate her embarrassment, he said this to her:
This is merely confirmation that you are alive, after all,
dead people don't fart.

This afternoon I was eating a delicious bowl of home made beef and cabbage soup while reading an email from my friend Carole King, not the singer.
She sent me the link to the
TED Talk by Brene Brown about vulnerability.
In a nutshell:
Brown's research teaches that choosing to shield ourselves from vulnerability by retreating, being quiet and being distant does not really protect us.  Even if we find it terrifying to put ourselves out there, the alternative is not any better. If we choose to perform our way out of vulnerability (guilty) or choose rage, criticism, shame or blame--apparently, they all lead to disengagement and disconnection.
I understand this to mean:
Embrace vulnerability!
Brown says, "vulnerability is not easy, but it's the surest sign that we've come alive."

I have had  copious amounts of cabbage that is going to give me a ton of gas.
I enter 2012 at a time of my life when I feel most vulnerable.
Both My brother Ayo and Brene Brown say that it means that I am alive.

I am alive.