“I love your shoes.” said I to the woman who had rushed to join me in the Orlando Airport Starbucks line at 5:00 am this morning. We had both made the crazy decision to book a flight that left before 7 am – meaning our wake up had been much earlier. Coffee was a must.
In the span of time that it took to order and deliver our precious caffeinated treats I learned the following about my new friend from Denver:
Besides having fabulous taste in running shoes (Red SPARKLY Adidas) she has 2 teenage sons. They love baseball and play or train for it year round. The colors of their team are Red, White and Blue – thus explaining the choice of running shoe color and the justification for the $200 price tag. They recently switched to online high school since their grade point averages were hovering around 1.5 and their social choices were suspect. She had run a marathon at Disney World in November and was presently returning from a Rachel Hollis ( Girl Wash Your Face) Conference which she described as Life changing. When my non-fat chai tea and her english grey were delivered I was a bit saddened that we would need to go our separate ways. “Safe travels” she said with a smile and off she went. It was the kind of conversation that lead me to believe we could be friends. The reality is I will probably never see her again.
As an extrovert I live for moments like these. I adore connecting with people – learning their stories and seeking to discover why our paths have crossed. I find the human race fascinating and hold my relationships with others and time with them as one of my all time favorite activities of life. I have found the passion to be stretched a bit though in a world were the opportunities to delve into the lives of loved ones and those we’d like to love has grown exponentially. Over the first 16 days of January I have done much thinking about my need to turn down the volume in my life. On January 3rd I wrote some thoughts that I am processing today as I now sit quietly in my living room after 3 days of intense connect time with my business peers on both business and personal topics. I share them below believing that like me, wether introvert or extrovert, you may be feeling the world a bit loud. What God has reminded me of in this start to 2020 is that I have complete control of the voices I allow in my life. May you be reminded of this too.
Jan 3. 2020
We left early. It was too much talking and not enough listening. Not because we didn’t want to….
we just couldn’t hear each other.
It was my 10th high school reunion. A banquet followed by dancing DJ’d by the same man who had lead our high school dances so many years ago. Kind of felt like prom- which is great – if your 17.
I’m pretty sure the DJ, after years of spinning the vinyl had lost some of his capacity to hear. Or at least he thought our 10 years of aging since graduation had caused similar hearing loss.
The music was loud. Sooooo loud. The kind of loud that prohibits good conversation because you are screaming to be heard. You wonder what words actually hit the ears of the person next to you as they pushed their way through Kool and the Gangs “Celebration.”
After a couple of hours I looked at Tom and said – I have to leave. The desire to catch up with old friends would not be met. I felt frustrated and disappointed with expectations unmet.
As I evaluate my current world- I realize it can feel like that high school reunion noise. The amount of voices I have access to increase everyday. I recently heard there are over 50,000 podcasts with thousands more starting each day. I have access to hundreds of lives and hundreds of stories and hundreds of opinions with just one click of access to my social media feeds. It’s just too much.
The one voice I desperately need to hear is waiting patiently on the sidelines of my life for me to armor up, push through the noise to sit in the quiet with him.
This is the time of year I am encouraged to set goals and timelines and vision boards for the upcoming 12 months. There are dozens of calendars and life planning systems I could purchase. Business and life coaches that promise if I follow them I will increase my productivity 10 fold. And they may be right.
But before all the planning, and visioning and proclaiming my claims of an amazing 2020…. I’m going to do one thing…
I’m going to do the work of battling for the quiet. To walk away from the noise and the temptation to want to be heard and recognized. It is only then that truth will reign, connections formed and expectations met.
Jesus settle my restless, overstimulated heart so I can listen to you.