and it spins on

Ok, so I promised I’d do better, and I’m still fully committed to that, but I’m a little late for a few reasons this morning. I’m currently on a flight headed to New Orleans, the middle stop in my crazy month of Chicago-Seattle-Chicago-New Orleans-Chicago-Atlanta-New York-Chicago travel.

It’s over next Friday. I can’t wait to stop spinning for awhile.

Secondly, last night was the mid-term election, which meant, for me, a disappointing night of key losses that I could have done without. I know only 50% of the populace agrees with me, but man, we’ll just see what comes next.

Lastly, and most importantly, last night I found out that we lost one of our volunteers (and someone who I considered a friend) from work. The thing about my job, chickadees, is that besides all the planning, spreadsheets, events, and conference calls I sit on, the most important thing about it all is fostering relationships with the people who I serve.

It’s also my very favorite part, especially when I have the opportunity to work with people who I not only respect, but also really, really like.

Tina was one of those people. She was full of life, always laughing, great at her job, and maintained a positive attitude in every situation. Even when faced with difficulties or less than ideal circumstances, she found the silver lining, laughed it off, and moved forward. It’s difficult for me to think of the world spinning without her light and energy this morning.

In fact, I’m fairly certain it hasn’t sunk in yet. I understand that I only knew her from our tiny slice of shared experience, and so I can only imagine the magnified sadness those who had more of her are feeling this morning, and will be feeling for a long time to come. It gives me pause again to think about the fact that we’re all only here for such a short time, and what a waste of energy it is to give any of those moments up to negativity.

A timely lesson for me in particular since I’ve been struggling to see the lighter side of things lately. It’s easy to say that we should let go and keep it light, but it’s not always easy in practice. Or maybe it is, and if we’d just live focused on the positives, we’d find it fairly simple to keep out the parts that drag us down.

Despite the fact that I sometimes find it difficult to be entrenched in so many relationships in order to perform my job, I think that last night’s news has reaffirmed my belief that the absolute best part of what I do is becoming colleagues, and in the very best cases, friends with the people who I meet along the way.

I’m so sad this morning at the loss of our friend, but I’d rather feel this loss than never have had the opportunity to know and learn from Tina’s beautiful example of how to live a life.

There’s no shame in being honest with each other about how glad we are to be in each other’s lives, chickadees. Enjoy this day.

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