I’m experiencing an ‘aha’ this evening…just home from work after another day of shocks and thrills. I’m considering that the universe feels I’m suited for the frontline, I’m supposed to be the commander of the artillery regiment. I certainly am becoming adept at putting out fires and managing change. Not initially, I still react like a terrier during a lightning storm at first blow, but I know I’m best qualified for red alert, Mayday alerts and though rarely heard of, today was close to a DEFCON 1 alert. In fact, these alerts are becoming commonplace in my world.
‘Ohhh, another pesky earthquake, hold on darling, I’ll be there in a sec.’ Yawn.
I no longer dream of lazy afternoons on Italian hillsides in the sun, I think more about how fantastic a mere 12 hour work day will be or a day off to shop for groceries and change my sheets.
This thinking brought me to something new today. After dealing with our ‘company alert’ and bit of mayhem today, I watched this team of mine in their own style rally forth, come together, solve problems, give of themselves, find some appropriate giggles at one point, (thank you) and of course make fun of their boss in the most affectionate way. They are a sturdy group of ‘gals’ who I’ve somehow gathered together, a crop of loyalists perhaps, the high percentage ‘older’ women like myself, (though we appreciate the ‘youngster’ in the group greatly and her spirited perspective of the world)!
These ‘older’ women though….they’ve been ‘there’, seen the world through their own lens, experienced heartache, loss, had their triumphs. They somehow seem to ‘get’ what I’m after and have an appreciation of the jobs they’ve accepted and been chosen for and in my estimation, take them to heights of commitment which honestly, I haven’t seen lately in the way I see it in them. There is no martyrdom, no need for recognition, just a sense of duty and commitment which I appreciate more than I might EVER know how to express. Truly.
I’m the parent of this business, it’s my job to be present during turbulent times. Certainly at this point in my business. But it’s the small moments of offering time, help, thoughtfulness from my entire team that moved me tonight.
Being New Year’s Eve, I’d planned a night of zydeco dancing in Athens, (and it’d been a looong time since I merrily moved my feet in public or saw my band of lively dancer pals), though was foiled by our ‘today’ travesty which needed my immediate and prolonged care and attention. (A business being not unlike a very small baby).
While waiting for our visiting chef to finish his New Year’s Eve prep, I sat with Debbie, my new operations angel, going over the day, the week, the month. It was New Year’s Eve so I felt it appropriate to break open a bottle of wine while we waited as it had been a VERY long day full of stressful moments and uncertainty. As we relived the day and the month, we’d get to what are NOW the fun parts of dramas lived, (and which we survived since her recent tenure at my establishment), and began to relive and act out (well I did), the unbelievable episodes of our recent past.
We laughed til we nearly peed our panties….and Debbie has a laugh, (which I love) which could rival Paul Revere’s call. Welcomed moments during a day of siege, indeed!
I remember in a moment, feeling a certain sense of peace, which honestly I’ve not been having much of lately. I thought, ‘this is exactly where I’m supposed to be, (for now), in THIS moment.’ I often am way ahead of myself, missing my ‘now’ with pursuits which nip at my tail. But here, exhausted after a day of nip and strenuous tuck, I was experiencing the good humor and dedication of this extraordinary woman. Lucky me.
And then Lois, fondly name the ‘Velvet Hammer’ arrived, my new financial wizard. Having worked in the Gwinnett government system for 28 years, ‘the Hammer’ as we affectionately call her, is the presence who will assure that each department in my company has their policies, procedures and protocol. (did you hear a HUGE sigh)? In came Lois with a bag of salty corn chips, a bright red ‘jar’ candle which she’d bought on sale and Paul Newman’s spicy salsa. She’d come to see if we were okay and if we needed anything. I could feel my shoulders drop a solid foot.
‘Wow. Thank you. No, really, thank you. How entirely thoughtful.’
And there we sat, three ladies over 50 truly enjoying the passing of time and stories we’d already built in knowing one another barely a month.
Then in came Roger, our tall, slim, ‘fix it’ man, in like a wandering troubadour! I’d left a message earlier that day that our sink was linking in the back kitchen, to alert him to let Debbie know when he could come fix it next week. His long lanky self appeared in the doorway of our office with his wrench in hand and that crooked smile.
‘Roger….you’re here on New Year’s Eve!!’
‘Well,’ in his low voiced southern drawl, ‘you said your sink was a leakin.’
I hugged his skinny frame and led him to the sink.
I learned that his wife was out in his truck in our drive so invited her in to see the place, to ask about her holiday, plans for the evening. She met Debbie, Lois and our chef and then off they went, and our leaky sink sat dry as a bone.
It’s the moments. Only the moments which matter. What did Mother Theresa say, something about not worrying about doing great things, but to do small things greatly.
I am a woman whose wealth is best measured by the people who surround me. Of that I am sure.
My sheets will get changed tomorrow, (maybe), and groceries, awwww, there’s cereal in the cupboard. Tonight, as I ready for bed to service a full work day tomorrow, and as we symbolically move into a new decade, I look forward to experiencing the moments which might unfold in 2010.
With gratitude to my entire team at Carl House. Thank you. Here’s to great things in the upcoming year and beyond!