Working this week, the first road trip of the year, I’m finding myself sliding into the complaining, in my head and out loud, that I really started to notice last fall, as I was constantly traveling and just over dealing with people. Most people don’t believe me when it comes up that I am not a people person, but I know you understand this. You, too, would get to the point of just being done with people, though I think for you it was more about needing quiet time with yourself, for me, it’s about feeling assaulted by people’s attitudes and energy and anxieties.
So I’m reigning that in and sharing the happy in my day. I got to have dinner with long time friends! Friends I haven’t seen in several years. Their little boy is 5 going on 6 and other than a quick hug at our yearly conference, I haven’t gotten to sit down and share in their life since their little guy was around 1. We had Mexican food at a place in the middle between where they live and where I am working. A 45 min trip took me about 75 min! When I got to the restaurant, she asked me if I was crazy with the traffic. My reply, not really. I’m so thankful that traffic just doesn’t really get to me. I can plan and be diligent, and then, it’s not up to me! Can’t change it, can’t fight it, so I don’t. And I’m so grateful for that! These friends have work in common, though not in the way they did when I first was getting to know them. It’s fun to hear how his business is growing and how the crazy woman started teaching high school math. What the…?!?! Brave woman! Not me!! It was fun to get to see them interact with their little boy; tender and clear and timely and truthful and consistent and…just sweet.
This dear woman and I have a deep connection. As we would meet on the road, years ago, her doing her work, me doing mine, we did our best to sit down for a few minutes and catch up. We shared deep things with each other. Sometimes it’s almost easier to share with a compassionate heart that doesn’t reside in your day to day world. That’s the relationship she and I have. She always asks me about you. Her question today, “How did Jen show up for you today?” What a PERFECT question! She must not have seen the gorgeous sunset as I entered the restaurant, or she wouldn’t have needed to ask that question! She always asks about your little brother, too, and celebrates with me, as I love my kids out loud. Thank you, Sweet Friend, companion of my heart. She shared with me how she is missing her Dad. He was a safe place for her, as she was an adult. A consistent encourager to her and someone who always had time for her, always had space for her, someone she could receive from. As a fellow giver, I connect with that. Needing someone to receive from; receive encouragement, receive space, receive forgiveness, receive a hug in the form of words, receive lack of demand, receive grace. I hope she has that again, if even for a moment. I would be that for her, in time of need, as I know she would be that for me.
Today, I am thankful for safe travels in bumper to bumper traffic, Shipley’s Donuts, chips and queso. I’m thankful for friends who are easy, and who go out of their way to connect with me. Such a gift. I’m thankful for someone who cares enough to ask how you are in my day, today. I HAVE to remember that question. It’s appropriate for so many people so many times! I’m thankful for the weird end of day congregations of mockingbirds in Houston. Randomly (to me, probably not actually randomly), at close of day, giant flocks of these birds gather together to commune before calling it a night. I have no idea why they do it, why they choose to congregate where they do, or what is really going on in their heads, but it’s interesting to me, that they do congregate. And interesting is happy making, for me. Oh, and they’re a little bit creepy in these giant flocks, which also peaks my interest!!
As I mark the 1/2 way point of this work week, I’m thankful that today, I was reminded to be thankful.
I am thankful for today!!