One of Be Brave. Lose the Beige’s truisms is: “Great ideas come to you in the shower”. We often find that when something is troubling us or there is a question to ponder, that when you remove yourself from distractions and allow yourself to relax (as in a hot shower first thing in the morning) solutions or ideas just pop into your head. Such was the case with me this afternoon. For days I have been considering what to get a good friend of mine for a big “milestone” birthday that was fast approaching. As I have already passed this particular milestone myself a while back, I know that at this stage of life there are few tangible things that I want and actually fewer of those things that I really need. And so it is I believe with many of my Lady Boomer friends. So I have been troubled by trying to find something to give this friend that would not only be meaningful to her, but also in some small way convey my celebration of her presence on this earth (and more selfishly, in my life) and also communicate to her my undying love and friendship. And then, in a flash, in the shower after a long, hot day on the beach, the ideal gift popped into my head….I would write this blog post.
I had recently read an article in one of Kevin Eikenberry’s weekly leadership newsletters entitled, “How to give A Gift”. He encouraged the reader to consider 3 things when giving a gift to increase its meaningfulness: 1) Think about the process of gifting as well as the gift itself, 2) Think about how to show your intention in the process of giving the gift and, 3) Make the gift 100% about the other person. After reading that article I knew immediately that writing this blog was the perfect gift for my friend because blogging is something that she had been wanting me to do for the longest time. But, more importantly, I knew that she would realize that in order for me to give her this gift I would have to face and overcome some of my personal fears and self-created obstacles and give of myself in order to prepare this gift for her.
After this lengthy prelude, my birthday message for my friend (which also popped into my brain while in that same shower)…
What I realized at that moment is that there are Angels on Earth and that this friend of mine is truly one of these. She is someone of flesh and blood, but with one of the most heavenly spirits I have ever known. Someone who lives her life in service to others, but in the most humble and self-deprecating way. Someone to whom others gravitate like insects to a lightbulb because she has a way of illuminating and inspiring each individual and making them believe they are capable of the most wondrous and creative things. And someone who has made such a difference in my life. Although we have known each other for just over a decade, in some sense it feels as if our souls have traveled the same path for eons. And to this Angel on Earth I say, “Thank you” for the gift of your presence in my life and for making me that much more whole than I might have believed of myself. And, “Happy birthday” as I celebrate the time we spend together working, playing, stressing, crying, laughing, praying and all those other things all of us Lady Boomers do together. There is no need to name this Angel on Earth as she will read this and recognize the value of this gift given from the heart (because of course that’s what Angels do). Look around. She may be standing right next to you.