February 12, 2016: Day 67

(realization from yesterday, Day 66, that was left out of my blog…)

(90 Days Off realization #8: Treating people with dignity weaves its way into every facet of life. Regardless of our impression of someone’s level of neediness or our impression of them being ‘deserving’; all people deserve this level of respect and human right as they carry out their daily lives.)

On to Day 67…

A Friday in Denver. Still warm and we enjoy the day at a relaxed pace.
I do believe this day demonstrated the recurring theme that I continue to feel as I walk through my 90 Day Journey. I am patient. I am relaxed. I am able to enjoy life and take in all the little details that surround me.

Many years ago, as I passed by a church outdoor billboard while stuck in traffic, I read a message that sticks with me to this day. I think of it often while I wait in lines; losing patience or feel my blood pressure rise as I fall behind the timeline dictated by my Outlook Calendar.

“The definition of impatience is waiting in a hurry.”

An impossible feat that ultimately leads to nothing.

I can be in a hurry and I can get stressed, but does it ever help the situation? Almost never. And tension spreads like wildfire. Even a toddler in a car seat can feel the stress of their anxious mother in the driver’s seat. Does my waiting in a hurry in the grocery line make the slow elderly lady carefully counting her change ahead of me feel accepted or does she feel rushed and barely tolerated?

Although I always strive to be kind and this tends to come easy for me, patience does not. And unfortunately when this strength and weakness meet, I have to fight not to allow my weakness win. That’s when I repeat this church quote in my brain. It reminds me of how silly it is for me to be impatient.

Through my 90 days of down time, I am finding myself less and less in situations where I am repeat this quote. My pace has slowed as I realize my daily race in days past has subsided to a leisurely stroll. My mind and eye are catching details previously missed along the way.

Aware. Back to my personal word for the year. My awareness of people, things, and events around me is at an all-time high. And with this awareness, I find myself more present in conversations and actively participating in those events that still fill my calendar.

Today was a great example. Garrett had scheduled two meetings for the morning. One was of a business nature and the second, personal. He invited me to join him for both. Without a hint of worrying about what ‘I should be working on’ or stressing over this use of my valuable time, I tagged along.

I met a new friend, toured a new medical office building, and then sat by Garrett’s side as we worked through details of some life planning. We never looked at our watches or stressed that this last meeting was running over in time. We took notes, stayed present in our conversation, and developed a well-thought-out plan.

And then the fun part, we walked hand-in-hand downtown checking out restaurant and menu options until making our final decision on the Yard House. Our only deadline of the day to was to be home for a 13 year-old who was playing with a group of friends until mid-afternoon.

Lunch was a kale salad with salmon for me and cobb salad with salmon for Garrett. We enjoyed an interesting appetizer of ahi tuna piled on edamame and each of us tried a micro beer sampler. We had a ball. Talking and laughing for an hour and a half, neither of us even considered taking out our phones. What e-mail? Who could possibly be more important for that hour than each other?

On our drive home, we reflected on our fun lunch and the mutual enjoyment of ‘being present’ for each other. I noted the now-obvious elimination our constant looking at cell phones while spending time together.

It’s amazing what one can convince themselves as ‘okay’. Seriously. No one is that busy or that important to not listen to the person sitting across the table from them. If you are, then don’t commit to attend. If you commit, be present and engaged. My new golden rule (can I have more than one golden rule??).

I would be remiss not to share that after our drive home, I walked a half a mile to a neighboring nail salon. My attire was shorts, flip flops, and a light fleece North Face jacket as I took this comfortable stroll crossing Kipling Parkway.

With no imminent deadlines, other than grabbing some Qdoba for the said 13-year-old on my way home, I went for the pedicure deluxe. Hot coals. Hot wax. Cool lotions. And lots of leg and foot massaging. I am pretty sure I was there for a long time. But I honestly couldn’t tell you, since I never looked at my watch.

(90 Days Off realization #9: Life is meant to be lived. Each day. Each hour. Each moment. Flying through life thinking about the next event is not God’s plan. And it’s very difficult to have ‘realizations’ if you never take the time to think.)

Tomorrow is on to 'brrrrr' of Chicago (10 degrees):

Day 68 (Saturday 2/13): Travel to Chicago to meet my high school girlfriends

Day 69 (Sunday 2/14): Remsen St. Mary's Class of 85 invasion of Downtown Chicago

Day 70 (Monday 2/15): Travel back to Omaha

Day 71 (Tuesday 2/16): Omaha and Garrett joins me

Day 72 (Wednesday 2/17): Omaha



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