An Unexpected Friendship

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It never should have happened. I was taking my morning walk – she was getting her mail. A simple smile was exchanged, then “hello,” followed by idle chit-chat. But somehow, someway, we connected that day. On any other day, when I usually walk with my husband, this never would have happened. But on that day, a new friendship was born.

Now we are sharing laughter and building memories.

It makes me think about all the opportunities was face every single day. About all the times we can help someone or learn something new, but somehow let it slip away. I truly believe that there are always opportunities in front of us. Sometimes we just don’t see them.  We’re not ready to venture down that path.

Think about the different connections you have made. I bet that there’s a story behind each one of them – a story of chance and where you could have kept on walking, never stopping to give it a second thought.

My hope for you is that during this time of isolation and confusion and loneliness, that a light shines down on your path and you find the courage to follow it; to try something new and form a new relationship, even if it’s with yourself.

Anais Nin said it best: “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”

Thank you for your friendship, Cindy.

 

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What Do You Mean You Don’t Agree With Me?

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These days I find myself a little more testy, more direct and voicing my opinion more emphatically. I wonder what’s causing this? Maybe it’s the continued self-solation – or maybe it’s just old age.

Either way, I don’t want to become that little old lady who screams at the top of my lungs: GET OFF MY LAWN. So now I’m trying to dial down my directness so I can stay open minded. Easier said than done!

One thing that has helped me is to fine tune my listening skills. Recently, a dear friend told me about the debate team he was involved with in high school. He said that after his team given a question, researched the facts and prepared for the event, they were then asked to argue the opposing side. What a great idea! I’ve always believed that there are two sides to every story; that there is always good with the bad. I thought this was a great way to embrace the different points of view and sometimes even see colors other than black and white.

So, now when I hear someone’s opinion that does not align with mine, I bite my tongue and ask them to tell me more. In the end, I still may dismiss it. But there are those times when I learn something new; there are times when my world is enhanced.

 

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Is It OK to Laugh?

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That’s a good question. With people losing their jobs, trying to figure out how to home-school their kids and dealing with uncertainty every single day, is it really OK to laugh?

My answer couldn’t come fast enough – YES. Yes, we all need to laugh and as often as we possibly can. You’ve heard the old saying: “Laughter is the best medicine.” Well, with no vaccine in sight, laughter may be our ONLY medicine.

This pandemic has hit everyone. It doesn’t matter where you live or what language you speak, this virus is global and it does not discriminate. It has taken a lot from us. In my friend’s case, it has taken away her sense of smell. Please don’t let it take away your sense of humor. Find some way to laugh every single day. If that’s not possible, settle for a chuckle – or even a smile.

Here’s some ideas to bring laughter to your day:

I promise it will relieve your stress, even if just for a little while. So no matter what challenges you are facing, it is OK to laugh.

 

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What Boat Are You In?

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Recently I had coffee with a friend. During our conversation, she suddenly said: “We may all be in the same storm but we’re not in the same boat.”

Wow – that really struck a chord with me. Think about it. We are all definitely in the same storm named COVID. How we navigate our own boat or the actual experiences we are having are all different.

Personally, I don’t have children so I don’t have to navigate school and lessons and how to become a teacher overnight. Also, I’m not in the same boat as those trying to learn the ins and outs of working from home. Although it may sound sooooo inviting, you soon begin to understand that you need to set boundaries so you can stay motivated.

For me, my greatest challenge has been the isolation. You will find me in the boat with all the other extraverts, trying to figure out how to survive without other people. I even love interacting with strangers. I’ve been told that I can make friends while standing in line at the grocery store. Well, I don’t have that option anymore. Now things have changed so much that people are hesitant to speak to each other. For an extrovert who get their energy from other people, that is torturous.

So, you see, there are all different kinds of boats. The trick to survival is knowing what boat you are in, taking the good with the bad, reaching out a helping hand to those who are going a little more crazy than you are, and remembering that we are all in this together. It sounds trite but it is so true, so I’ll say it again:

We are all in this together.

 

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