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Inner Decisions

. . . journey to wholeness

Happy Birthday to Me!

Wonder how my yesterday went? Yesterday was my 56th birthday. I’m old for my age and am what 56 looked like, and felt like, before everyone became so obsessed with not looking or acting their age. I’m good with that – except when my knees hurt, which is every day. I’m an ordinary person living an ordinary life in an ordinary town. Mixed in with that ordinariness is a love for incredible thinkers who can assimilate ideas and theories in such a way that it challenges our very ordinariness.

When my older daughter Meghan told me that she was going to take me to NYC to see my one-and-only superstar crush I was speechless. Truly speechless. My insides started quaking. What would I do if I met the one person who I had given superstar status? Would I survive it? Meghan, who prefers to arrange adventures rather than giving a present, convinced me she would take care of all of the details. And she did. She was able to get front row reserved seats. I was going to have a great view of my superstar crush.

Meghan talked her friend Scott into taking off from work to drive us down to NYC and back in a day. Holy mackerel, that was a lot of driving and very, very nice of him. We left at 10 AM and got back about 2 AM. Scott was good company and a thoughtful person which enriched the trip.

Meghan and I chatted all of the way down, and many friendly names came up in our conversations about family, Elmira, Corning, workplaces, TEDActive, TEDxChemungRiver, Inner Decisions, Church with Spirit, and other important (to us) jobs and causes.  Therefore, it is true that many of you went on this journey with us.

Though I have been to NYC several times I’m never comfortable there. Scott loves it, Meghan enjoys it, I do not. The energy always hits me hard and I feel like I’m driving in a tornado (which I really did once, and it was not fun). The people have trained themselves, or have been trained by the city, not to look directly at you, though I’m sure are they are quite friendly. And NYC smells bad; though, to be fair, they would probably think my farm smells bad. Perception is born of what you’re used to.

It was a very long day to spend one hour listening to my superstar crush Malcolm Gladwell speak – not only about his books, but about his thoughts, his ideas, and glimpse his soapboxes. The author whose words rearranged my thinking first with Blink, as I read that first, then continued to challenge me with TheTipping Point, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, David and Goliath and two TEDTalks.

Yes, we  were in the front row. My name was on the chair reserved for me. We were sitting in the flagship store of Barnes & Noble. We were so close to Malcolm Gladwell who was standing on the raised stage had I leaned forward I could have tied – or untied (as it would have been more fun) – his cool sneakers.

 My good friend Malcolm, as I can  now refer to him after spending this intense hour with him, is a ball of energy he harnesses for speaking engagements which are more like a quiet little performances. Malcolm uses his resources so well one doesn’t feel anything but the sincerity of him and his message. He was raised in a tiny Mennonite farming community in Canada, called Elmira (no typo), Ontario,  which allowed Malcom to project that he was simple, down to earth and reachable. He made the people who were asking questions feel as if they were the very first to ask him such a question. Oh! The art of it! Well placed lightheartedness mingled with serious issues, harmonized with a voice that draws one into his thoughts. I felt like he was an expert farmer tilling the soil of my mind, ever gently turning over my ideas or long-held beliefs in effort for the truest and best to be able to take root and grow. I was left with the knowing that I had to pluck out my own weeds and weed that garden often.

I was so captivated by my good friend Malcolm’s energy that while writing this I cannot tell you what he said. Honestly. I’ll have to separate out what I felt, and then maybe later I can tell you. Though what he said wasn’t as important as how he was saying it. Which, I suppose, is true of all those who have been elevated to superstar status. When a message is well-constructed, sincere and meaningful our soul takes over – and the soul hears what the soul needs to hear.  We are left to sort the rest out later.

I could go on, and probably will over time. For now, know  this journey was worth it to me. It was a journey of a lifetime for more reasons than I could or would ever put into words. It was a moment of wholeness. I see life better, I can breathe better, I am better.

~Colleen

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In November I'll join you in being 56 and "old for my age" by current standards. I'm good with it too (for me its my back not knees). I'm *SO* happy to read of your mind being tilled - I know you tend it well and shall pluck out the weeds you find :) Thank you for the birthday gift to us your readers.

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An experience beautifully captured: "I felt like he was an expert farmer tilling the soil of my mind, ever gently turning over my ideas or long-held beliefs in effort for the truest and best to be able to take root and grow. I was left with the knowing that I had to pluck out my own weeds and weed that garden often."

Thanks for bringing us along on the journey! What a magical way to celebrate you!

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