Have you thought about those people in your life who are your cheerleaders? The kind of person who, when you are with them, always is building into your life? The kind of person who, when you are with them, leaves you with the feeling that you are loved and important and special? The kind of person, when you are with them, makes you believe in yourself and make you want to be the best you possible?
I have someone who is that person. Let me give you an example, a little vignette, of what I mean. (It is kind of long…sorry about that!):
This is year 3 for me in the SOL challenge, and for some reason, life seems to be pushing in on me this year. Time is a tyrant, not giving me extra “slicing” time. My slices don’t seem as powerful as in the past. Being a perfectionist, I want them to be perfect, but I haven’t had the time I need to ponder, revise, refine, and ponder again. In addition to that, I don’t have the “Welcome Wagon” volunteers who read and comment on newbies’ slices. (Year 1 was so great!) So…a bit more discouraging. And the 2 slices that are my favorites didn’t really get any comments. (Just as an aside, I bless you, the “Welcome Wagon” volunteers, who built into me as a writer in my first year. Wow! Did I feel the power of having an audience read my first real, risk-taking attempts at writing! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Hmm, that might be another slicing topic to stash away…) Anyway, even though it has been a bit discouraging this year in the “not receiving very many comments” sense, I still personally am committed to writing everyday. Go me!
With my hectic schedule this March when the Literacy Coaches in our district travel to Ohio (all 500 miles of it) for 3 days of ongoing professional development through Literacy Collaborative at The Ohio State University (for which I am super thankful and appreciative), I have the added bonus of getting to see One of the Best People in My Life while here! This person travels up to Columbus from Yellow Springs to spend one evening with me. She travels up and is waiting at the hotel for me when I finish my sessions at 4:00. We then have such a sweet time together, catching up on all the gossip: “How is so-and-so doing?” “How is the baby?” “Is she already a year?” “Did I tell you the funny story about…?” “How is your friend who was sick?” And so it goes happily through the evening.
Then I remember…in the middle of a sentence…that slice! I forgot to finish it. I run to my computer. (“Grrr,” I think, as this is eating into my precious time with One of the Best People in My Life). I quickly finish it up and post it. Then, One of the Best People in My Life comes over and looks over my shoulder, trying to see what I am up to so frantically. I decide to take a risk and read it aloud to her.
“That is really good! I love it! I can’t believe you wrote that! I could never write like that.”
This is exactly why this person is One of the Best People in My Life! I don’t have to tell you how that made me feel!
I didn’t even feel the need to endlessly check my blog for comments. I am walking on Cloud 9…I still am!
Next, pizza. We have a tradition of picking up pizza at Tommy’s Pizza on Lane Avenue and bringing it back to the hotel to eat. We want to have as much time to chat as possible. (Sadly, we can never remember what size pizza we ordered last time and end up with way too much left over! I can tell you positively that we should be ordering the SMALL!) We chatter and laugh as the evening is slipping away.
Then, in the middle of a funny story, “Oh no, I forgot to comment on 3 other Slicers’ pieces!” I grumble to myself. MORE time away from One of the Best People in My Life. I zip over to my computer, praying I’ll find 3 short slices on which to comment. I comment on 2 slicers who use WordPress. (Yah! That always is quick.) After reading the third slice with which I can really relate, I notice too late is a Blogger site. Boo! That always takes me about 10 times as long, because it doesn’t let me comment without first signing out from one account and logging into another one. But, I do it anyway because I really want to encourage my new “friend” on her honest slice. Done.
The evening fades with heavy eyes and quiet, “Good night! Sleep well.”
Today is Day 8. As the soothing water of my morning shower flows, my mind is busy thinking, thinking, thinking. You guessed it, What will I slice about today? And then it comes to me like a bolt of lightning flashing across the blackened sky: I’ll write about One of the Best People in My Life.
Did you guess who it is?
Yes, my Mom. Thank you, God, for this wonderful person who is One of the Best People in My Life.
One of the Best People in My Life
I hope you have one of these people in your life, too…