the simple minded suburbanite


Don’t get Mad, get Glad

My floors are filthy, I thought as I squeezed a 30 minute nature walk in between volunteering in the kindergarten class and lunch with a friend.  I savored the crunch, crunch beneath my feet.  I alternately forced myself from feeling suspect for not being fully work-out-attired and fist bumping myself for having the foresight to throw a pair of tennis shoes in the van so that I could squeeze in some exercise today.  My plan was a one hour yoga class after volunteering, but my little boy looked up at me and pleaded, “Please, Mommy.  Can you stay for lunch?” Of course, I hugged him, of course.  I’m glad I took time for lunch with my son today.

I scanned the forest for signs of predators, not the furry kind but the kind that might be waiting for a single woman hoofing it in a pair of jeans, obviously not fit enough to dash away in safety, sticking our amongst the occasional gortex-clad mountain bikers that faired the same path.  Yet, I forced my mind to rest.  Sucked full breaths of musty wooded air through my nostrils and savored my increasing pulse.  I’m glad I took time to walk in the woods today.

And back to the van.  The wheel wells are filthy.  And so is the interior. Have I ever waxed this thing?  If only I could park it in the garage. Ugg, the garage….  And my mind wandered through the garage, past the muddy, mudroom, up the back steps to the office, strewn with…  I really shouldn’t be meeting my friend for lunch.  I should cancel.  I need to get caught up.

But, she’s leaving for Turkey tomorrow.  Peeling off my sweat socks and donning my leopard flats, I fist bump myself again for my foresight.  I doff my North Face and toss it on my dirty van floor, tuck my blouse into my gold belt at my hips, release my pony tail, and put on my buggy expensive-looking shades.  I am superman.  My van, my modern-day phone booth.  A quick stop for $3.29/gallon gas, armed with a $10 restaurant.com coupon for hibachi and I’m on my way.

“I read your blog,” my friend said, peeling the paper off her chopsticks.  “I love the post about sharing and bartering.”  And she began talking about how she and her husband were planning on getting pregnant after their marriage this summer in Turkey (he’s a Turk) and how the information I shared helped her open her mind up to perhaps renovating a portion of their home to accommodate international (not foreign, as I’ve been told that Ted Turned has new employees sign a contract vowing never to use that word)  exchange students.  She, herself, speaks three languages, works at a university international exchange program.  And we both started jabbering about how that could come to be, all the while I was thinking, wow.  I actually inspired someone.  It felt good.  I’m glad I took time to blog, that day.

She generously turned the conversation to me, what was I doing?  She noticed the new signature on my email that contained my new business’ name.  So, I smiled and explained and found myself getting really passionate about my future plans and how I wanted my new business to morph into a social entrepreneurship, and how I wanted it to be flexible because compartmentalizing our roles in life is becoming archaic, how I wanted giving to the community and my family time and my creative talents to be part of a whole instead of trying to niche time in the day to dedicate to each one individually, and how this new business could achieve all of those things, and…whew!  “That’s so great!”  she said.  “Some people have a vision without the skills to make it happen.  Some people have the skills but no vision.  You have both,”  she said.  “I think this is the right thing for you.”  I’m glad I took time to have lunch with my friend today.

And I was just glad.  The whole day through.  And I’m sure that someday I will be glad that I popped myself on the couch with my laptop and business plan template before the bus pulled up to the corner.  I’ll be glad that I schlepped my oldest off to music lessons, that I put dinner in the crockpot that morning, that I helped the boys with their homework and made them pick up their rooms before bed.  I’ll be glad for sharing a good belly laugh with my hubby over Jimmy Falon’s impression of Charlie Sheen but, also glad that I sobered myself and reminded my husband that Mr. Sheen is a man and someone’s father and someone’s son and could be ours or anybody’s too.

I’m glad I took the time to be glad in my day.  Fist bump.

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