Part 2 of My Gratitude Journey
So, instead of lamenting over not getting this done on Sunday evening, I felt fine and didn’t fuss at myself because I planned ahead and jotted down ideas on the back of a napkin (over the past week and one day/calculated from my first post…in this series, LOL).
Several years ago, I had an important conversation about strategy fitting best on the back of a napkin…and I’ve been stuck to writing on napkins, post-its and tiny notebooks ever since. Anyway, I’m really excited about this set of gratefulness. I’m focused on #3 today…transforming the giver and the receiver…but this is still an exercise of self care (#2) – I’ve actually been smiling the entire time I’ve been writing this!
6 of My 40+ Reasons
- Chanelle Elise Long – half little cousin, half heart-breaker and all amazingness. Chanelle lived with us for about three years…it was fun AND it was HARD. (Standing ovation for all the everyday parents!!!)
She and her brother, Brandon, were part of our lives in a big way. We didn’t have kids – and we helped out, when needed. Because AT and I are big kids, it was great to borrow them…then, help a little more. Brandon passed away in 2013, and it broke our hearts…especially his mom, sisters and brother…but truly all of us. In the process, we had a chance to keep loving on C and helping out where we could. She’s 16 now and it’s so amazing to see her as a young woman and know that there’s a small piece of us in her fabric.
- Fabulous stationary – last week, I received a gift from a new contact – and with it a handwritten note on heavy, smooth stationary. The note reads like a thoughtful, handwritten kindness. However, that weight of paper screams ‘I thought about you enough to use my good notecards!’ It came fully-loaded with an embossed name at the top and an envelope liner that matched the ink color of the printed name. OMG…so nice! I have loved stationary since receiving my first mailed letter from my mother…I was fascinated by the paper, patterns, thoughtfulness…and the content. I have a trunk full of stationary and not enough time to hand write anything. That’s why someone won’t let me buy stationary anymore. 🙁
- Seasoned Saints – people who have lived full lives, have years of experience and stories upon stories to regale grandkids with (or anyone who will listen) are generally ‘seasoned.’ And in the Church that tends to mean the folks who have an opinion and don’t mind telling you what it is…and you better listen! I’ve always thought seasoned folk are
the cutest. I like talking with them, hearing their stories and learning. I’ll stop, nod my head and help if I can…I try to be extra patient when they’re in line in front of me at the store…and I will try extra hard not to rush them…especially as I get older…because they paved the way and I truly respect that. A few people that strike a chord for me – I especially liked talking with Rosa Lee Houston (when I was a member at Mt. Zion) who was sassy, smart and sanctified in every way, who recently passed away. And Francis S. Guess, who taught me where the bodies are buried (background and stories, not actual) and how to train a client…still working on that last one!
- People Who Attend Funerals Well – I suck at being comfortable attending funerals. But I know I need to pay my respects…or am often reminded by A.T., so, I’m grateful for my ‘professional funeral attending’ family/friends, specifically Anthony Owens and Cassandra Gray, along with her cousins. They attend ‘the Fune‘ and are perfect examples. I truly do not understand how they do it. It’s an art-form and skill to pay your respects. I get nervous every time. It’s a wonder to me to see people who can get the courtesy to the family right, shake the right hands, have the right things to say, weep pretty or just settle in and not fidget. That’s Sandy to a ‘T.’
- Clarity and Clear Expectations – Need I say more? Everyone needs it, but not often enough is it given. I wish people, overall, were better at this with each other…so when I receive it – personally or professionally – I am so grateful. And sometimes it’s of my own doing for not receiving it, I’ll admit it…again, as a self-professed late bloomer, there are times when not having all the information means that something seen one way by someone else, means that I don’t see it that way…or can’t see it until I have more info. Most of our people issues are that people really misunderstand each other – because we’re too busy to seek clarity or it’s just not part of a persons ability to extend that to the other, at that time…or clear expectations are not provided so a project goes off the rails. I’ve experienced it a fair amount…but I do know that I could sure use more of it! In fact, it’s awesome when this deal is done right.
- Random Conversations with Your Extended Network – If your schedule allows for pop-up meetings or relationship-building opportunities, you should “always take the meeting,” as a former client would often remind me (years ago). I happened to have an open window (on my schedule) recently and an opportunity to connect occurred out of the blue. Nothing is really out of the blue, but…it was a meeting at the Jefferson St. Cafe and with a gentleman who had given me a hard time (in jest) about ‘not inviting him’ to an event series. Which was the furthest thing from the truth. But all these years it’s what he has thought. It wasn’t why we were meeting…but it gave us a chance to not misunderstand each other…and see clarity…which leads me back to point #5 on this post…it was a truly great meeting.