Yesterday, I attended a 4-hour workshop on “Bringing The Best Out of People”. I was one of two employees that didn’t have managerial experience. But what I came away with was some extraordinary insight. The highlight of the workshop was a short video featuring Ben Zander, a conductor, educator and composer. He also is the co-author of “The Art of Possibility”, which I am eager to find a copy.
What I took from that video was the most amazing sense of possibility, that life is about experiencing everything with passion. We should all be curious about what is out there, to grab onto it and look at the world with a child’s eye, full of wonder. When I was with My Love, she introduced me to similar ideas. But what go in the way, at the time, was a lack of money to do things. I now realize that it isn’t about money, it’s about taking what you have and savour it.
I did two things yesterday that proved to be worthwhile experiences.
The first happened at McDonald’s. A young woman entered the restaurant at the same time as I did. Approaching the counter, I gestured that she should go first. After she ordered, she moved to the side and waited for her order to come up, while I placed my order. As we both waited, I was struck by the stockings she was wearing. They were wonderfully colorful, an abstract pattern with pale blues and lime green. They definitely were eye-catching.
I am always aware of my surroundings. Too much interesting stuff is going on all at once. This time, I noticed the stockings, but I took it one step further. I struck up a conversation with this woman. Nothing deep, just a comment on her stockings. She smiled and we talked briefly.
So what does a pair of unusual stockings have to do with possibilities?
I wanted to go outside my box. Normally I wouldn’t say anything. Maybe a glance and nothing said. But this time, I wanted something different. No, I didn’t want to pick her up. I just wanted to flirt. Part of me wanted to see if I could do it.
I was a self-conscious 19-year old- didn’t have the tools or the experience.
I was an uncertain 22 year old – afraid of rejection or saying something stupid.
But, at 48, still redefining my life, yes I want to flirt. I want to feel vital. I knew nothing was going to come from this encounter, but I was willing to take a chance. Take a risk, knowing there was nothing to lose.
The second event was I shut off my computer. I have developed a habit of coming home, retreating into the Man Cave, and playing mindless card games, just staring at the screen. It made my eyes hurt after awhile.
But yesterday, I shut it down. I put on some music in the living room – Jennifer Warnes’ “Famous Blue Raincoat- The Songs of Leonard Cohen”, and I sat down and began to write on a legal pad. Just notes, off-the-cuff, in a wonderful stream of consciousness. Every so often, I’d close my eyes and breathe deeply, enjoying the moment.
It was a small moment that felt big.
Here I was, at home, in sweats, no particular place to go, and loving every minute.
This post is a direct result of my experiences last night. I want to write. I want to tell my story, but I don’t want to be restricted by this blog. Why should I wait for time at the library to write? Who says I should type in my thoughts? Put them down on paper. Broaden the horizon a bit. Get outside the box.
Discover the possibilities.