Inspiration can come from the darndest things. Answers to questions unspoken can also appear as secret Santa gifts at your desk in the middle of July. Such was the case for me.
I was getting coffee at my favorite coffee shop and decided to sit in one of the comfy chairs that the bottom was actually sitting on the floor. Really – what are people doing on these chairs!? Do the employees jump up and down on them when the store is closed? But there I was sitting in the comfy chair with my knees parallel to my elbows when I decided to close my eyes for a moment. (See, I really needed the coffee.) I like to eavesdrop, hopefully, discreetly on the conversations around me. Not that I am nosy per-se but more that I love to listen to real conversations. I have had my heart filled with emotions listening to such table talk and it is much more real than being tweeted. (C’mon you know the celebrities have people tweet for them. And besides those aren’t conversations.)
So I took a safe sip of my hot coffee, set it down and looked around a moment to see the faces and body language of the people in the shop and then I closed my eyes to try to focus on the them. It is much like using a dial radio and trying to zero in on the channel you are wanting to listen to. I heard the table of three that were closest to me which were talking about their plans for the weekend. The table beside them where two guys were talking about a web page design and then to my left at a table about center to the traffic path was a couple of women who had their notebooks on the table and their laptops on. I heard the words “please understand” and tried to focus. I have learned the best way for me to focus is to open my eyes and look at the people I am trying to focus on and then begin concentrating on them directly slowly closing my eyes. I have, let it be known, got up from a seat to sit closer to a conversation that I found very interesting. Right now though the words “please understand” for some reason struck a chord with me.
“I know that you want to succeed and that right now there is a lot of pressure to perform but you need to consider where you are at. You are new to the team and the team knows that. What you need to acknowledge is that this is not the employer where the unprofessional and arguably the unethical behavior took place – that was in the past.”
“I know, I know but I am somewhat apprehensive and concerned. I wonder if I am making the right choice working on this project. I am not sure I can meet the team’s expectations…”
“You had no problems until a week ago so what happened?”
“Jay called me, my old boss, and offered me a new position…”
“So that is what this is about? Money?”
“No, no I am looking ahead and I am not sure…”
“Quit looking ahead, for that matter quit rehearsing the past as well. You need to live in the present…”
Connection broke – it was like someone took those seven words and planted them in my heart and mind. “You need to live in the present” – why were those words so jarring to my mind? I ran through the conversation again in my head and nothing else stuck out. I began drinking my coffee and looking around at the people and mulling over the feeling those words gave me. The best I could describe it as is the so-called Eureka moment.
I began to think of Tess and my mind told me softly “you are on the right track”. (Aren’t people who hear voices in their heads and listen to them given lots of medication to shut up those voices? But I digress…) I have been concerned why Tess – such a wonderful woman would allow me to be in the center of her life. I have been concerned that I will screw up the whole thing as well as my fear of repeating past mistakes. Then the bell rang – past and future, I was dwelling on things past and unknowable future events instead of enjoying the present. I looked over at the two ladies talking and I wanted to say thanks to them. I was all excited now and knew I needed to see Tess and give her the biggest hug I could muster. I picked up my coffee and got out of the coffee shop and headed over to the store she worked at. My heart swelled and I could feel a lump developing in my throat – I was so fortunate to be enjoying life with Tess and I was never going to forget that again.