I uttered these words early last week when I met up for coffee with a family friend I hadn’t seen in over 20 years – the wife of one of my Dad’s co-workers, who has known our family since my brothers and I were very young. Turns out she has been working for many years at the same company where I’ve been working on a short term assignment – in the building right next door! So many small world connections at this company it is just unreal: one of my team members is a neighbor and also used to work with the husband of a cousin of mine in Oregon, another is the step brother of my sister in law’s best friend, and another I used to work with indirectly at a prior contract gig about 3 years ago. What is it about this place with so many Six Degrees things going on at once? Delicious.
So when I had coffee with K a few days ago (the family friend) and made that “right thing” comment her response was, “Wow, you are very wise to know this at your relatively young age!” We laughed. You know, I hadn’t really thought of my age, early 40-something, as “young.” But I guess that’s because I tend to spend a lot of time with friends who are slightly younger than I. On the other hand it is also nice that age doesn’t really matter much anymore. I cherish the people I resonate with and adore my friendships as extended family, whether 10 years younger or 10 years older or anywhere in between or beyond. I’ll never forget my folks visiting me at college and commenting on how young the students looked! At the time I had no idea what they were talking about. Now that I have 20 years of life under my belt since college, I get it.
OK, so the right things happen when they’re supposed to. Really? Sometimes I say this to convince myself it’s true and to fight off the deep DNA urges to be impatient and worry. All that has done is burned up energy I could have spent elsewhere and left me with a slight crinkle between my eyebrows which is a likely target for a shot of Botox. But, for now I’ll stick with bangs and a personal vow to not worry so much.
Work wraps up end of December, and after that who knows. I do have a handful of job leads – including a couple possibly where I am right now – which is comforting not only for my sanity but my wallet as well. I’m tired of feeling the burn from the Recession. I think we all are. But perhaps it was a correction that needed to happen and has happened as I’ve witnessed in a few cycles during my adult life (but not as severe). And OK, I’ll say it outloud…I’m tired of my skimpy paycheck. I LOVE the team I’ve been working with, but I’ve been living on half or less than half my typical income for 7 months. I guess these things come before us as life lessons to learn about saving and investing. And, to be thankful. I can still get by just fine. My house is still standing, I’m in good health, I have wonderful family and friends and I’m not hungry.
I’ve also learned to listen more to instinct and other intangibles, the “dark matter” that is out there and defies rational, practical definition but nonetheless packs a punch. I’m trying to understand, breathe and be gentle…understanding this is a Blue Moon month and the universe is giving us a strong dose of wacky. Things have broken, communications have gone haywire and most everyone I know is stressed with the holidays right around the corner.
Yesterday I had the thrill of reconnecting with a friend from high school I hadn’t seen in, gulp, nearly 25 years. She and I had traveled as part of a group to eastern Europe and what is now the former Soviet Union in the mid 80s with our Russian language teacher. Turns out she’s been living in various places in Europe for years and was back here in the States very briefly to see her Mom. Through the magic of Facebook we got back in touch after all this time and she and her husband and I had coffee and some good laughs. It was as if no time had passed (well, other than some crinkles and a few grey hairs). It is simply magical to reconnect with someone after over half a lifetime and just pick up right where we left off. How do you cover the past 20 some years in just an hour?? These are friends where you can just look eachother in the eye and just “know” and “feel” the life connection. Lots of life has happened. We’ve all had successes, struggles, tragedies, changes, growth, learning and so much more that goes beyond what we can put in words. And there’s a lot of comfort in that type of bonding from peers.
So, I embrace all of this and look in wonder to the time ahead…tomorrow is the Solstice, Christmas is mere days away, the decade is ready to turn, we have a full moon New Years Eve, and beyond that…who knows. My tired calendar is ready for the recycle bin and a crisp new one is ready to take its place. I decided on pictures of the Greek Isles. I love the bright blue ocean, colorful architecture and sunshine, especially this time of year.
Meanwhile, my mind races with what’s next: more job hunting, networking, time here in fivenineteen, getting trained for another 5K or two, the scary Diet Coke detox upcoming in January, home projects, pro bono work that might turn into something paying, including launching a Blog for the company’s website. And I seem to have become fascinated with Arctic issues, so I may use this downtime next month to read and learn…the issues with melting ice, political disputes in the region, the indigineous peoples and their many ways of life. I can’t wait for the New Year and what lies ahead. And yet, I remind myself to be patient too.
“…wow, you don’t let grass grow under your feet, do you?” This was K’s response after recapping a few things I’ve dabbled in the past year or so. Oh she’s so right!