There is something so soothing about the weight of my precious Labrador Charlie pressed against my body in bed in the morning. The morning sun lightening the dark navy sky to a soft yellow. Newly fallen snow covering the branches of my backyard foliage, creating a winter fairyland. My bed is so warm and comforting.
I gently push Charlie off me and plant my feet in my cozy slippers. My robe is thrown on haphazardly as I do my morning shuffle to the coffee maker. The incandescent light of my kitchen softly welcoming my sleepy body to a new dawn.
There’s a tickle in my tummy. Life is exciting these days. For no reason in particular. It’s really just winter. It’s really just Calgary, Alberta. It’s really just my little home in the middle of the city. It’s also Wednesday, after all.
But in my chest is a beating heart. The sun has come peeking in my window again. The possibilities are endless! The experiences so beautiful awaiting me today…! A smile from a child. Laughter with a coworker. Something yummy in my tummy. Beautiful snowfall. A day in peaceful Canada. With peace in my heart.
I sent this picture to a few of my favourite people. I said, ” what I want my heart to look like”. I found it SO interesting that that was my first thought when I looked at that picture. So my next question was, “What is it that you see when you look at this picture?” So from what I can see, here it is…
nothing is for show. someone entered the kitchen and took a picture because the sun rays were beaming in. the moment of stillness caught on film in a fraction of time. the brita drink container in its useful ugliness wasn’t even put away for a better shot.
it’s not fancy. nobody has tried to capture the perfection of pinterest in this kitchen. the drawers are melamine. the fabric under the sink is from a discount booth at a Walmart. but, in my heart, no “perfectly put together” and Italian marble could capture the essence of this kitchen.
all the things I love and matter to me are in this kitchen. sun rays. warmth. love of nature. comfort. sustenance. humility. beauty. safety. functionality. ease. and most of all, AUTHENTICITY. there’s also a beautiful aged chandelier adding a touch of glamour to the room.
So Yes, I want my heart to look like this kitchen on a summers day. The window is thrown open. Cats bask on the window sill. There’s onions ripening for a family dinner on the counter top. The unpretentious brita jug is in plain view. There’s a touch of glamour in the chandelier adding a touch of celebration to its function. a little indescript clock is marking time.
There’s a chair waiting in the dining nook for you, my friend.
I used to resent special treatment. I can hold my own door, thank you. The other day I had a change of heart. Two gentlemen stood on either side of the elevator and held it while I got on. Wow. Was my heart ever a puddle of love and respect for them. I wanted to reciprocate. Did it ever start a conversation in my head for the rest of the day. I queried. I introspected. I wondered. I understand the women that don’t want this. I used to see it as pandering. Thinking to myself, “Oh yeah, now what? My number? My address?”
Instead these men just kindly continued to discuss a deal they’re working on. They just were humbly doing what they felt good doing. That was holding the elevator for a woman.
I’d say their mamas raised them right.
Thank You to the men who just want to Do Right in their place in society. They crave the peace that comes from Nobility. From Dignity. From Being True Gentlemen.
On the Other Hand, I will Do My Best to Be a Lady. Kind. Virtuous. Discreet.
Here’s to Chivalrous Men. Here’s to Ladylike Women.
The Dreaded Question. My Name is Long. Convoluted. Some would Say Pretty. I’ve Come to Terms with It. It is French, After All. I Adore All Things French.
So the Spelling…Jeannine….is Tricky for Even the Brilliant.
Starbucks can be Tricky.
“Can I have your name please?” …”Sure…it’s Jeannine..”…
The Barista stares without comprehending for a moment at the screen trying to imagine the spelling. The inevitable question becomes, “Can you spell that?”. “okay, so J….”…”G?”…”No, J…”. And So It Begins.
Sometimes I just say “Janine.” That seems easier.
Today I had an Epiphany.
I, on a whim, decided to say “Susan.” It was Brilliant. No Questions Asked. No Spelling Needed. Win! I Felt a Giggle well up in my tummy. Humour on Monday Morning. Win! A Chance to Practice My Memory Skills by having to Actively Listen for “Susan” and responding in kind instead of Just Crickets as the barista stares and motions with the drink. You know, the “two pump” I call it. The double nod and the double fist pump as they try to entice you out of your reverie and forward to grab the drink you ordered. WIN!!
So today, it’s Susan. Tomorrow it’ll be Chris. If they ask me if its a C or a K…that’s still easier than…”there’s two n’s in the middle?”…”oh so like Jean-nine…!!”…
Yep, thanks Parents…love you so much, but honestly the name is a pain in the pahoukie (behind in Hawaiian)
Walking through the atrium to work yesterday, a Beautifully Dressed Man Broadly Smiled at Me. Touched To My Core by Its Genuine, I Smiled Back. Walking a Few Steps Away, I heard him start to Cheerfully Whistle a Contemporary Hymn. It Reverberated off the Granite Walls of the Atrium. My Eyes Filled with Happy Tears as My Steps Slowed. My Heart Melted.
The Hymn my Children used to Sing when they were Little at Assemblies …
“Bless the Lord, Oh My Soul…Oh My Soul, Worship His Holy Name…Sing Like Never Before, Oh My Soul, Worship His Holy Name…
I Stayed with my Back to Him, My Footsteps had Stopped. There was a Moment of Stillness in that Atrium. I will Remember That Moment til My Last Breath. I Don’t Know Who He is, But He Has My Honour. My Respect. My Gratitude.
I Felt Touched By an Angel…in a Beautifully Tailored Suit and a Broad Grin.
I slept Like a Log last Night. Unable to Shower, I Decided to Distract Unfortunate Passersby from my Bed Head with a Loud Skirt. Long. Puffy. Color Blocked.
The Cabbie Liked It. A Gentleman with a Cane as I Hurried My Just Sprung Out of Bed Behind into Banker’s Hall Liked it. Beautifully Tailored Suited Men Liked It. A little Girl in a Red Jacket Liked it. My Boss was Speechless Over It.
Let’s Just Say it Was a Hit.
So Lesson Learned. Big Bold Fashion Statements when the Hair is More Than Usual Disheveled and the Sleep is Still Being Wiped From Your Eyes.
Love Y’all. You’re One More Fashion Tip Overloaded.
A group of Female Lawyers are Playing Poker for United Way. It’s really Quite Adorable. There’s a lot of Explaining for the Dealer. A lot of Clutching Cards in Well Manicured Nails. A lot of Horn Rimmed Glasses and Small Printed Blouses. I’ve Come to Love These Women. Corporate Female Lawyers are Very Strong. Highly Intelligent. Wonderfully Kind. Levelheaded. Patient.
There’s Something in the eyes of Dedication. Studious. They know how to Endure to the End Game. Self Propelled. Disciplined.
It’s Really True Gorgeousness.
Thank You to Brilliant Female Lawyers. Your Giggles and Your Earnest Kindness Spoke Volumes to Me.
Yesterday my law firm put together a 1.03 Billion Dollar Deal. My job was organizing their many boardrooms and making sure their breakfast, lunch and dinner were catered to. Many a late night snack as well as they Worked Out The Kinks. A Rather Small Role in the whole Scheme of Things.
So I was deeply humbled this morning to come to work and find three emails from our Top Managing Lawyers for my exceptional service. Thanking me for the “extra mile” hospitality.
I’ll tell you what is Extra Mile…
Out of all the people they could thank and remember in a Billion Dollar Deal going down, is not the catering coordinator.
That’s the Extra Mile.
Again, a Lesson Learned.
You don’t get to be in these positions in life without knowing how to Pass the Kudos Down. People that Get Somewhere Special in Life are True Leaders.
Empathic. Kind. Humble
They Recognize the Extra Mile, because they are Extra Mile People.
Our office is Full of New Potential Associates at our Law Firm. They stand at the window in our Reception area and excitedly speak of the views. The Calgary Tower looms directly in front. The Views truly are remarkable. When I was here for my first interview, the boardroom faced the same view. I remember it was hard to focus with so much beauty awaiting my eyes out the window. Now I Breeze By. Now and Again, there’s a Quick Glance. It’s more now to check the weather for my walk home. It kinda makes me sad How Quick things Become Old News.
So how do we Stay Enthralled? How do we not Grow Calloused to Beauty? Why do we always need new? In what we View? In our Careers? In our Relationships?
Is it not to take a Moment and Let it Be New Again? Where we can take off the Grey Glasses of Accustom and put on the new shiny Glasses of Appreciation. Where we stop and even revel in the memory of the First Moment we saw it. Our First Day at our Dream Job. The moment we saw the One we Love.
Take a Moment and Savour the Old. Make it New Again. Your Happy Heart will Thank You.