I have a gripping memory. A moment that I don’t think that I will ever forget. When I was around 10 years old, a young man in our church was sick with leukemia. He’d already been down the road with several treatments and had been been in remission once, but the leukemia had returned. He’d started the treatments again, but his body was weak. His limbs were thin and he looked almost like a walking skeleton. Everything that could be done, was being done, it was as they say, in the hands of God. As we gathered on a Sunday morning for service, the pastor called for a prayer vigil and a day of fasting. For those not familiar, instead of your normal day of eating and napping, we’d take that time to pray for our friend and keep him in our thoughts. This was all voluntary. I wanted to help. I cared. But fasting. Food. Egads.
The drive home was somber. On the way home we stopped to check on some friends of my parents who hadn’t made it to church. And wouldn’t you know it, they had the biggest back yard grill and barbecue going. I could smell the hot dogs. That was the only thing I cared for at that moment. We’d eaten with them before and it had been heaven on earth. I think that I’d eaten 4 hot dogs and 1 burger if I remember right. Yeah, I was a growing girl. Like a girl with a butterfly net, I lost sight of the man with leukemia, the prayer vigil, the fasting, compassion and all the promises I’d had made in my heart and mind earlier that morning. I only saw hot dogs floating in the sky. Until I heard my dad say, ‘No we have to go. We’ve made other plans.’ No explanation. No talk about fasting. Nothing. But that’s my dad. Quiet. As few words as possible. Conagher like.
Dad was sold. All in. Now, I’m not saying that fasting is the answer, because, sadly it wasn’t. And I’m not saying that being all in, is the way, or the only way to go. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. It’s a memory I have that has been on my mind. There are times that I feel the need to throw all of my cards on the table. Hold nothing back. Give it all I’ve got. I’m proud of that moment that Dad said, No we have other plans. If he’d have done any other thing, it would seem cheap. Not that the outcome would have been any different maybe, but the heart of matter is showing you care for another human. It was the belief of my family. And in their belief it was the greatest show of caring.
Sold or Sold Out?
My opposing memory is being with those who can’t seem to stay with you for a meal. Or feel a client’s phone call is more important than family time, even it’s scheduled. I’ve had this happen. When I asked why, he said, The client pays the bills. How do you argue that? My thoughts were, if there’s no one here, then you won’t have any bills to pay, but I didn’t say it. I just stewed in anger instead. At the time I thought it was better to be silent than to start a fight. Now I’m not so sure. Sold or sold out? Maybe he was sold also, just to the client. Maybe he was as another had told me, married to the job, more so than me. I was the mistress, the job was the spouse. I think a lot of people these days are sold out and don’t realize it. It’s not that they intentionally go to the crossroads and make a deal with the devil. They just give away a piece of their self a bit at a time. Even I did that when I kept quiet. We do it every day.
This week, I want to be careful, but not in a fearful way. In a way that is awake. I want to carefully step every day on firm ground, one step in front of the other, making sure that it’s the direction I want to go. I’m going to set down the butterfly net, so I can give full attention to the people around me, to those I truly care about.
“Careful, but not in a fearful way. In a way that is awake.” Not just TODAY, this *week* I want to be careful. You are SUCH an inspiration to me, Janet.
A New Year’s intention has been working its way to consciousness that became clear as I read this post: In 2015 I want to re-people my life – ONLY with those who are awake and aware, and willing to make regular time for friendship – IN their calendars, as important as any work appointment.
As for those who cannot (or will not)? I must let them go – with love – but I can no longer justify spending time on friends who might as well be clients who resist the coaching. I have been making excuses for them for far too long – and it is time for me to step up and “put on my big girl pants” (as a friend likes to say about actions she finds difficult to take).
I wish we lived close to one another – I think we’d be best friends. So much of what you write could come out of my own head – less beautifully languaged, of course. Merry Christmas, my blogging friend. I am so grateful to have found you.
(Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
– ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
“It takes a village to transform a world!”
We are part of the same village and we are both changing this world! Have a great Christmas!
You as well! (“Great” meaning restful/peaceful, yes?)
There has been more than enough “excitement” this year — right up to tonight, when I was stuck in the CVS parking lot because my darned van wouldn’t do anything besides make funny noises!
It was after midnight when I called Peggy and she (bless her HEART!) came and got me, my puppy and my many packages into her car and drove us home.
I am BEAT – but at least *almost* everything is sort of organized or put away so that maybe I can better deal with it tomorrow. If not, not.
I plan to sleep until I awaken and figure it all out then!
I doubt my mechanic can get it fixed on Christmas Eve day anyway, because I’m sure he will need parts, etc. The timing SUCKS (but what else is new?) – I refuse to stress about it. It will be whatever anyway, right?
SO, without a vehicle, my Christmas may turn out to be quiet indeed – which will be j-u-s-t fine with ME!