[caption id="attachment_496" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="pic dad sent me from their outing while i was gone. she loved the bear. "]
[/caption] apparently i actually don't do down time alone well. or at all. and all the forces have worked against me to be busy and encouraged stillness, and yet i resist. It all began when i powered up the computer on my plane ride from Charlotte to Phoenix that i realized that i had taken. Stephen's. computer. not. mine. all the way across country for 3 days. wow. me in the middle seat panics, shuts computer, puts face and hands and tries to keep breathing. panics. cries a little. wonders what stephen's discovery moment was like and what his voice will sound like when i call upon landing. wondering how i will make up for the 3 hours of lost work that i had planned to do and set up to do... on my computer, the one with battery life and my files. stress. pain. close to the end of the flight, i speak to the lady next to me who seems to be in a constant state of chi. she is centered. she manages to say something along the lines of, "well, things are either really bad or not really". hmmm. profound. and no thank you. i want to be upset. God told me he wanted my attention, my rest when possible on this trip, and this is me trying to control that, wanting to chose the windows where i have to think. i call stephen and he is the kindest soul one could know. this adds to the millions of instances that i would have responded FAR worse where it the reverse situation. he was solution oriented and nice to me, grace i think we call that. how does he do it? i would have been SO hot if he took my computer, and his is way more important because it has a bunch of special design programs. ahh, i calm a bit. so, with my husband's dead (no more battery) computer in hand, i arrive to my new board meeting at US Airways. i rally. and it's fabulous. i was scared and it is a really neat board that i am going to love being a part of with a totally surprisingly wonderful group of board folks from Philly, Charlotte, and Phoenix that are down to earth and approachable. and i find myself at ease and even pursuing people. i find myself asking a lot of questions, learning where people came from, what they are about, what they do? i listen and enjoy hearing stories, i try to be present to my present. however when i depart each portion of the meeting, i panic that i don't have a working computer system to log onto, which after the first day leads me to walking down to the Starbuck's on Mill St. Starbuck's, the answer to many of life's problems. i search the place for a person on a MAC computer and i see a nice woman and i ask her if she happens to have her power cord and if so, if she would mind if i used it to charge my computer. she is SO nice. she loans her cord to me and i am trying not to act too ridiculously giddy about my future hope for reconnection with electronics. she even tells me i can sit at her table (which was by a plug), so i do, and i begin to learn a little of her story.. just moved to phoenix, getting married, works as as florist and a nanny..and then she tells me she has to go pick up her fiance, and i see i am only at 18%. okay, fine. and then she says, why don't you keep the cord and mail it to me when you are done. or something. me shocked, trying to resist the offer but powerless against the opportunity to get work done. then we actually realize she will be back in the area the next day so i will just leave her cord at the front desk of my hotel for her to pick up. she leaves and says "i understand being in a pinch and i would hope someone would want to help me out". i love her. i feel this wonderful renewed sense that there are still people in the world that trust one another and are willing to be inconvenienced to help someone else. i feel so happy, now i am centered. and i promise, it's not about the computer, it's really about this act of kindness and trust to a stranger. so anywho, long story long, i then pass this cute shop later in the day and buy her a very small gift to leave with the cord and tell her that i hope each time she sees it, she is reminded of her generous spirit. and so i reconnect. and avoid stillness. i can only hope i will pay the kindness forward.