My life has an interesting way of seemingly coming together. Is it my positive attitude, supportive cast who lift me up or allow me time to be alone when I need quiet? Or perhaps it is my army of angels who mysteriously work so diligently on my behalf? Even with all that goodness, last week a dear friend carefully inquired about my “lack of sparkle” lately. I found myself verbally stumbling to explain what I had been feeling. I mentioned many things I thought could be attributing to the dullness, but amidst my rambling she helped me realize the real why.
For years, but most recently months, I have focused on everything football, family and life. I handled, managed and organized it all. I worried for everyone because it was my job at the time—but it was not my career. I proudly chose family first and me second, shooing a few of my dreams out of the way. I’ve shared with you before the odd nature of being a parent is to love our children until they are ready to live independently and leave home. I am proud to say I have two well-adjusted children, but therefore lots of alone time too. My accomplishments these days are rearranged spice cabinets, grouted bathroom floors and blogs. I honestly enjoy and am really proud of it all (after all, who can't appreciate having their spices alphabetized?) but, these tasks do not really make me sparkle. It is high time I handle this—for me. So I am dusting off a chapter book that has been waiting patiently in my heart and mind for many, many years.
This is an overwhelming challenge for me because my storyline has endless moving parts. Think of it like a jigsaw puzzle. I see the overall picture and subjects, but am left searching for all the edge pieces. I’ve always said I haven't had enough uninterrupted time to focus, but truth is I was afraid of failure so I didn’t make the time. It is clear to me now; never writing this book was ultimately accepting failure. So I’ve added book writing hours to my day like a job. I’ve turned off my phone and turned meditation music on. As my mind clears of daily life it fills with a complex story board and yes, some sparkle too.
This book requires quite a bit of air travel research on my part and as my life would have it my husband and I flew to Memphis this past weekend for a former football player’s wedding. So I stayed in the present on this trip, taking copious notes of every little and big thing. I watched shuttle drivers, TSA pre-check guards, bathroom lines, ticket counter workers, flight attendants and, of course, passengers too. As soon as I was seated and buckled in I jotted down this note. It appeared to me that many of the workers seemed pretty unhappy.
What happened next can only be believed if you trust me. The flight attendant came on the speaker, “Will the couple who hung their garment bag in first class please hit their call button.” That was us! My immediate embarrassment was followed by panic. I hit the button and as the flight attendant came down the aisle everyone craned their head to watch. She said, “Do you have any other bags?” I nodded in panic and she replied, “Get them and follow me please!” Holy Cow, we are being escorted off this plane!
I anxiously arrived at the front of the plane and the attendant smiled, “Please be our guests in first class.” After I doled out big hugs to the flight attendants and yes, pilots, too, I kept thinking "WHY?" A flight attendant giggled, “We all agreed you were newlyweds and wanted to make your flight with us extra special.” Once we stopped laughing, we fessed up to 25 years of marriage, but added we’re indeed on our way to a wedding. But I am convinced they experienced the glow of my newly returned sparkle. And so, in Allison fashion, I spent the next two-plus hours asking endless questions and furiously working from the comfort of a first-class seat with my groom by my side.
Moral: It’s said if you put what you want out into the atmosphere it has a much better chance of becoming your reality.
A little thing you should know: Over 15 years ago I purchased what I thought was a new suitcase. Inside one of the many zippered compartments I discovered an old plastic bag with important documents and two handwritten love letters. For years I have failed to locate this woman until a few weeks ago. At first she was rightly suspicious, followed quickly by shock and lastly with questions. I know those feelings well. That old plastic bag filled with a bit of story for me is finally on it’s way back home to her. More of this story to follow...pinky promise!