Saturday, November 19, 2016

Don’t Worry, She Said.

                After tennis I hurried into the grocery store to pick up fixin’s for dinner – a surprise dinner for my dearest friend. Despite it being barely 50 degrees outside, I was stinky! I wanted to get in and out and home quickly. Alas it was not meant to be. With a Hawks’ game tomorrow and Thanksgiving a few days ahead, the store was packed. Since I can’t do anything in a linear fashion, I was all over the store. I was nearly done when I got stuck behind an elderly lady pushing a big, mostly empty cart. I wheeled around her and she caught my eye. “I can’t find the cookies,” she declared.
                I looked at the signs and said, “They are two more aisles down.” Her eyes remained fixed on me.  “They are just two more down, I’ll take you there.”
                We made it to the cookies and she began to talk, “You know, I’m 93-years old. I have 50 grand kids.”
                “Wow, that’s an amazing life.”
                “The secret is to not worry. You will always get what you need and things will work out. Just don’t worry.” We chatted for a few minutes about life and worry and why we shouldn’t and what cures it.  Eight kids, 23 great grand kids – a legacy she proudly described.
                “I’m not sure if I was supposed to populate the world so much, but it’s what I did.”
                Ninety-three-years old.  Double my life and add 11 more years. Few of us can only be so lucky. 
                As I checked out, I could hear her in the aisle next to me, telling the same story.
                Worry isn’t my greatest fault. I’ve discovered its antidote: planning and faith. I read somewhere that you can’t have both worry and faith, it confuses God. So, I chose faith.
                In its own way and in the right time, God will provide you everything you need. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for – say cookies for example – a step toward the solution will come. When I look back on my life, I see the path that landed me right here. Many moments of doubt, anger and angst sit behind me. They also sit ahead of me, I’m no fool to think otherwise. But when I take a deep breath and declare I am lost, it’s not worry that fills me. It’s faith.
                This week professionally was very difficult. Since I can’t tell you the details, I’ll share this with you. I found myself having to lead four difficult conversations. I am a people pleaser; I don’t have difficult conversations. But I decided no more. It was time to face issues head-on. Leading up to the interactions, I reminded myself that I have prepared and am prepared to navigate the opposition. God did not bring me this far to leave me.
                He did not bring me two aisles from the cookies only to leave me empty handed. When you allow worry to consume you, you’re unable to clearly see the solutions. You can’t ask for help. You confuse those around you and yourself.
                “Don’t worry,” said the 93-year-old stranger, completely unprovoked. “Don’t worry,” she said with a kind smile. 

Don’t worry. Be kind. Smile. If you’re lost, don’t worry. If someone is lost, help them. Because as it turns out, helping others find their cookies is a sweet reward.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Legendary Air Drop

Picture it: Monday, mid-afternoon. Carefree worker on her way from one office to another. She takes the train. She passes the time playing Candy Crush Soda Saga; and doesn't apologize for it. As she alternates between staring out the window and playing, the Seattle scenery passes quickly. 

While in the midst of her game, something pops up on her phone. A picture. A woman staring out the window. The words:  I always feel better after I poop. Our heroine looks at the text above the picture:  "Mickey wants to share this with you through Air Drop" (or something like that).

She lowers the phone and looks around. The girls ahead of her had been giggling, so our beautiful heroine leans in and asks, "Are one of you Mikey?"

They're not.

Snickering is heard from behind.

Our beautiful, intelligent heroine says, "Are you Mikey?"

"Mickey," the slight Hispanic man replies, "it's Mickey."

"Did you send this?", our stunningly kind, humble heroine asks to Mickey.

He nodded.

"Well, that's not really appropriate; I'm going to delete this."

She then turns off all her Wi-Fi capabilities and wonders, "Is this how the kids are hooking up these days? Is this how they're meeting and falling in love?"

She imagined the scenario of Mickey and the girl it worked with telling her family how they met:  There I was, just sitting on the train.  No, I said SITTING.  And this picture pops up on my phone and it was about pooping and since I love pooping, I turned to him and our eyes met and we fell in love right there.  Meant. TO! BE!!! I WAS SITTING ON THE TRAIN. SITTING.

Our heroine (I confess, it's me), is not the kind of girl who can be wooed this way. She'll never be dropping her panties for a stranger who air drops her an awkward meme. She will call you out. Because as much as she feels it's not appropriate to talk about shit, she is not going to put up with your shit.

Footnote:  Apparently, this is a thing!  Read more here

Want to keep your self safe:  here is how

Be safe out there.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

And so, I ran

I had a coaching session today. After the session, the client/classmate was checking her texts only to find out her daughter's classmate took his life. At the age of 17.

We sat in silence. Because what else can you do? No words can fill the space that news creates. Tears. Tissue. Silence. Emptiness.

I was not a good coach during that session. My insecurities took over, creating an uncomfortable session. We both knew it and declared it.

The clock read 3:00 when I arrived at home. I started my backwards counting:  dinner at 6:30, leave at 6:10, start getting ready at 5:30. That left 2.5 hours. The weather was beautiful.

"What do you want to do with this time?"

"I want to run."

And so, I ran. I ran for 30 minutes. It was the first time I'd run since spring, when the days were longer and warmer.

I thought about the untimely deaths that have happened this week. I thought about young people who have taken their lives. I thought how lucky I am to run. I tried to remember why I ever quit. I didn't count time. I just ran. I prayed for those we lost this week. I prayed for our nation as we hit the final stretch of this election cycle. I pray that we'll be able to move forward together.

With my music set on shuffle, I was delighted as every new song started.  Then came "I Lived" by OneRepublic.  It brought me to my knees. It's every word I want said to me and I want to say.

Over the last three years, I've come to see how incredibly precious life is. Perhaps it was leaving the beach, turning 40, or too many heartbreaks. As I ran with those words pumping through me, I wanted so desperately to declare that I lived my life to the fullest. I haven't. I've done a lot, but I haven't done it all.

At some point in my life I decided I didn't deserve all my heart desired. I became scared to fully go after it, scared to be honest with myself. The further I get into my coaching training, the more I see I'm not alone in this.

A wise man once told me I was going to change the world. I've decided it's time to prove him right. If I apply the counting time mentality to my life, it'd go something like this:  I'm 42. I plan to live until I'm in my 90s. That means I've got 48 years. I've got to write a book, that will take a few years. I want to become a certified coach. That will take a few more years, or I could do it at the same time. I want to get married and share my life with someone. I want to own my own business. I want to live at the beach again. I have 48 years.

"What do you want to do with this time?"

"I want to live."

And so, I live.

I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places 
Things that I did 
With every broken bone, I swear I lived