I learned yet another lesson the hard way, today. Although I’m finding that’s the way of lessons – most of them and all the valuable ones are learned the hard way. Maybe I should just call it “the way.”
I learned that if I’m meeting someone somewhere in public, I need to make sure that we both know that we are going to check in when we get there, in some way or another, such as a quick text of “here!”
I was meeting Elaine for coffee at a large cafeteria. We were aiming 9:15 and she emailed me that she would text me when she got in. I didn’t have her phone number but I assumed she had mine. She didn’t. I got in early and looked all around for Elaine and sat down where I could see her arrive. Here’s the sad part: she did the very same thing! Somehow we missed each other and missed out of half an hour of our visit – wondering where the other one was.
I have learned that I can handle just about anything if, and only if, I have a stable base on which to stand. And I’ve learned that the elements that build that base, for me, are Sunlight, Activity,and Rest, in that order.
Rest alone doesn’t do it. It seems like it might, but it doesn’t. A string of dark rainy days, followed by sunny days only when I was inside, working, left me with no reserves at all. Every little thing seemed insurmountable and the big things seems downright daunting.
Then I got outside again, popping in and out of shops in a corny Vermont town with Steve, and then back walking up and down hills in the woods with Gale, all in the bright winter sun. Suddenly nothing is that hard any more and everything seems hopeful.
So for the rest of this winter, with our way-too-short days, I’ll be outside gathering whatever daylight I can grab, building the solid base that I need.
If I learned one thing in 2014, it’s that there are lessons to learn around every corner, from every person, every day. But I learned much more than one thing. I have piles of note scraps, memos on my phones, scribbles in the margins of every paper I can see, all of things I’ve learned this year. Now it’s time to gather them together and start sharing again. In the early days of 2015, I’ll be writing up what I’ve learned, and writing as I learn.
I’ll also set out to learn how to overcome the obstacles to posting – mostly my desire to be away from the computer when I’m not working. I’ll have to figure that out. Perhaps you have some ideas? As always, I’d love to learn lessons from you!
BTW I have so many lessons saved up to share with you, but it’s too nice out and I’m learning that I want less time in front of the computer, not more. But some day soon it will rain and you will be flooded with new lessons. I promise.
It’s so easy to make fun of people who do the same thing over and over: Always sit in the same spot on the couch, have spaghetti for dinner every Wednesday, eat the same lunch after bowling every Thursday. It’s so easy to think that I’m too cool for routine, for sameness, for knowing what I’ll do when. I’m so cool that I can use BOTH sides of the locker room at the gym and sometimes use a locker on the right, and sometimes one on the left. Oooooh. I am so freaky and spontaneous – a wild and crazy gal!
But here’s the thing: If you do the same thing over and over, then you know where your locker is. It’s always on the left. Or the right. Always there. And when you come back to it, on the right, or the left, the side you always always use, the combination on your cute little lock will always work. You’ll never, for instance, try your combination a million times, then go get the staff to cut off the lock, only to look in at someone else’s stuff! And realize that the locker you just broke into by force was on the right, but your locker is on the left and look!…your combination works just fine on that one!
I learned that this is what happens if you hand over your phone to a clown and ask her to take a picture of you with another clown:
This is the photo I wanted and eventually got:
We’ve known and lived across the street from Ben since he was born. He’s wanted to be a clown as long as I can remember. And now after lots of hard work, he is one! He’s in THE circus, the big one, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey.
Kat and I were lucky to be in Miami at the same time as the Red Train, and we got to see Ben – he was amazing!
I learned that anyone with a ticket can come to the pre-show and hang out with the clowns, talk to the performers, try some stuff.
I learned, from Ben, that if someone asks to hold the juggling pins, it usually means that they can juggle. A teenage boy showed us that. His mom told us that she used to be in the circus. Then she juggled for us. It was extremely cool!