IT'S NOT ABOUT THE SHOES...
Every now and then life hands us the chance to define ourselves. These moments - sometimes big, more often, little - usually don't come all gift wrapped with fanfare and hoopla. Of course, the big ones are pretty easy to spot. The little ones, well, they're pretty easy to miss. And the thing is, it's the little ones that add up...and allow us to complete that all important, self-defining sentence: "I'm_____ and I'm the one who......." Here's an example from my own life...
Not that long ago, I bought these drop-dead gorgeous shoes, really smashing and sexy...(if only they'd been on sale.) And as I left my office to head home the first day I wore them, the heavens opened up and it started to pour. I mean it was torrential. I didn't have an umbrella and there were no cabs in sight. So I did that thing, you know, where you just "will" a cab to come? (Hey, I had on new shoes, right?) And guess what? A cab pulled up right in front of my office building! A woman got out, said, "nice shoes" - and I got in. "Hah!" I thought, "It works!"
We raced up Madison Avenue towards 88th Street and at about 67th Street we stopped at a light. I glanced out through the rain-streaked window and saw this young, worried looking guy on the corner, holding a large yellow dog, wrapped in a blanket. He was obviously looking for a cab. The light changed and we sped up the avenue. For a moment, I thought to myself, "Gee, poor guy. I hope he gets one..." But then some other instinct kicked in - and I said to the driver, "Hey, did you see that guy with the dog?" "Yeah," he grunted. "You gotta pull over," I said, "I think he's got to go to the Animal Medical Center." (One of the best places for animal care in NYC...) He pulled over and I got out. "Don't let anyone take this cab, okay? I'm going to go back and get him." I raced back three blocks and said to the guy with the dog, "C'mon, I've got your cab!" We hustled back to the cab and guess what
else happened? The driver was actually standing outside in the pouring rain, holding the door open for the guy with the dog. They got in and sped away. "Yeah, baby," I said out loud.
So, you know that squishing sound that very wet shoes make? Well, I squished my way up Madison Avenue, about 20 blocks - and when I walked into the apartment sopping wet, our daughter, Abigail, said, "Are you okay? Oh, wow, look at your new shoes!" "Yeah, they're probably ruined," I said. "The thing is, I saw this guy with a dog..."
So here's the question: What are we doing here, anyway? What difference will it make? Well, maybe "it" won't change the world - certainly not all of it. But a little here and a little there...Well, that would be a good thing, right?
And here's what I know: It's not about the shoes. It is about being able to complete this sentence: "I'm Gail...and I'm the one who...stops." So watch for those little defining moments, okay? You might just find out who you are... and what you're doing here.
By the way, someone asked me why I didn't just take the shoes off and put them in my purse. I don't know... have you ever walked barefoot up Madison Avenue? Neither have I...
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