This week was a personal turning point for me. I won’t go into too much detail because the lesson is more important than the circumstances. I launched this blog, a new business, had a lot of great meetings, a flooded inbox with consulting requests, and a great week with my team. So much to be joyful about. But, I quietly struggled underneath, just trying to “keep it together.” I had one meeting in particular this week that I did not handle gracefully as a result. I let my emotions get the best of me. It reminded me that I am human, fallible, and that no matter how strong I think I am, my heart strings can be pulled too far. I really wish I could have told that person, “I’m not handling this well right now because I have absolutely no emotional reserve. Come back next week.” 98% of my days I feel on top of the world. But I’m learning that every so often, something unexpected happens that throws me off course simply as a test of my faith and resilience. Those of you who follow me on Twitter may remember these updates from the last couple weeks (all part of this journey I am writing about):
Thinking of my grandpa tonight, reading his favorites.. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 3:13 AM Jul 12th
I have grown to like when life throws me an unexpected twist. If I navigate skillfully & gracefully, there’s always a blessing in the storm. 2:46 PM Jul 14th
Living the phrase “God laughs when we make plans”. Grateful & overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers. Having an interesting (good) day. 1:10 PM Jul 21st
Making the choice to let go of something is so hard, but on the other side is an unmistakable freedom. Listening to Nichole Nordeman / Brave 1:48 PM Jul 26th
As a self-made entrepreneur, it’s in my nature to just handle the tough stuff myself, even on days I want to check out. Sound familiar? I know I’m not the only one here. I’m the boss, so I have a responsibility to always be on top of my game. I’m the boss, so I have to be prepared. I’m the boss, so I can’t take a day off. I’m learning that the best example I can set is to be strong AND true to myself. So, I made myself take two full days “off” (which just meant I worked alone with no one else in the office and slept a tiny bit later). It was really good for me. I had my best friend listening to me and praying for me (thank you), Abby Kitty Pants (yes, that’s her name. I named her Abby but you can blame Ari for her middle and last name) here to remind me to love like she does- unconditionally, and a good long talk with mom.
My mom loves this season when rainier cherries start to appear. (lovely images above are from one of my favorite blogs, La Tartine Gourmande. You must read her latest post.) I remember seeing them for the first time at The Market in Shadyside when I was at Carnegie Mellon. My mom, a trained French chef, would always bring home unusual things for us to try. Her culinary adventures make me smile to this day when I go to Whole Foods and see goose berries, fresh mint, or anything I grew up picking from her abundant organic garden. She still grows her own lettuce, basil, rosemary, thyme, tomatoes, calamondins, meyer lemons and has a tree by the side of our house that is loaded with figs.
And so I think of my mom as the seasons blossom and new adventures and challenges appear. Like life, these sweet fruits are a reminder that no matter what we endure, all things are made new with time and care. Seeds are planted, roots grow, flowers bloom, fruit appears and the cycle returns… plump cherries fall to the earth and return as seeds to start the seasons again. There is a season for everything and abundance even when we feel lost and alone.
To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal …
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance …
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
This week one truth kept revealing itself to me: you never know what someone is experiencing. No matter how together a person may appear, they could be in a season of hurt or loss. Be kind and “slow to speak, quick to listen.” Some of you didn’t even know you were helping me this week, but your innate kindness was such a gift. I woke up yesterday just grateful to be alive and given another day to love and give. Sometimes our blessings are as simple –and profound– as that.
I love this image from Anna and Michael Costa… a quiet walk through the cherry blossoms. (from the film feature in our premiere issue)
Wishing you a joyful weekend full of sweet adventures,