Surrounded by goodness.

It is a most interesting day.  I’m inspired by people and their capacity for trust, connection, empathy, joy and kindness.   First thing this morning I get up and go to the gym.  It’s leg day and I really would rather sleep just a little longer. I stay in bed as long as possible then hasten the journey.  Corey pushes me but it feels good.  I’m glad I go today.  Next stop is home where I need to connect with a friend whose mother has just died.  He is doing well and notices how much support and friendship he has around him.  When we talk he wants to know if there is anything that he can do for me.  No, I say.  I tell him that I’m fine and to focus on his family.  We’ll talk when I get back next week, but I’ll attend the funeral on Thursday, but I’ve heard it’s important to remember the date 1 month out, 6 months and the anniversary of a loss, when the world is continuing and the formal grieving seems to have passed.  I’ll mark them in my calendar.  He is always outward looking and I think that is what makes him such as gem in my life.

Next, I’m late for a meeting with a colleague and friend.  We start to work but soon realize that we are having some trouble working well. We are not at our usual high capacity of collaboration. So we spend the morning working on our feelings and challenges.  Listening to one another’s perspective and gaining insight in our own.  It’s an amazing experience, painful at times but I realize that when one avoids ‘lumps’, one may have harmony, but real depth and trust comes from sorting out difference and hurt feelings.  When one builds on a foundation of trust there is a deeper and more meaningful richness that allows connections to strengthen and those can take you places that you couldn’t go along.  Oh for the joy of friends that are willing to travel with one another on their solitary journeys.

I leave exhausted but lighter and more happy than I’ve been in a while.  I feel relief and a sense of surety that the work we do together will continue to be strong and inspired by one another.  On my way back to my office, I’m enjoying the sunshine so much that I decide I will take a detour to go meet the women that own and operate Babycakes, cupcakery in Red Deer —  Andrea and Diana.  I love their store and think I’ve found my new happy place away from distraction.  It’s a place that I’ll occasionally escape to, read for a while, and think.  Their cappuccino is excellent and then I bite into a ‘brown sugar mama’ with penuche icing.  I think I have died and gone to heaven.

We visit for a while on and off between customers.  It’s time to get back and focus;  perhaps I am putting off the paper work on my desk.  I decide to buy a box of these wee cupcakes and take them around the building to the tenants and staff AND I have to buy the cool t-shirt that goes with these things.  Who knew that they were such a phenomenon?  Downtown, with cupcakes in hand I wander the building spreading sugary chocolatey fudgey joy.

In the afternoon Carson and Lousie from Idea Market appear to size up the new office and see how I am making out with the painting and cleaning.  It’s good that they came by.  It’s going to be wonderful to have more creative people in the store — especially this team.  They are hearing great things about moving into the downtown of Red Deer.  Tomorrow we will get the painting and cleaning nearly finished and will hopefully be working on the details before I leave for Ireland.  More great people.

After work I come home and spend some time with my niece Kathryn who has just nicely moved away from home, but into our suite.  I’m pleased that she has come to live with us and look forward to some good times.  In some ways it feels like I’m a parent.  Kathryn is grown up, smart and charming.  She shows me that she’s mostly unpacked things and set up her apartment.  While we talk I suggest that that I have an old, but funky two seat chair with wooden arms at the store that she can borrow and perhaps recover.  We decide we’ll take her car and go get it.  At the store we haul the thing out of the basement and onto the quiet street.  Will it fit in the back seat?  No!  Will it fit in the trunk? No!  We stand there and think about our options.  We could put it back into the store and come around to collect it tomorrow.  I say to Kathryn to give me a couple of minutes someone will drive by that I know that will have a vehicle big enough, if that doesn’t happen we’ll go with plan b.

A black truck comes along the road and pulls into a stall near the RBC bank on Ross.  I can’t really see who it is but think I’ll ask for a favour anyway.  This is Red Deer after all, people like to help one another.  I excuse myself as I walk up to the man descending from the cab.  ‘I wonder if you can help me for a few minutes?’  As I get closer I see that it is Davin, a young man and I’ve had business dealings with a couple of times.  We chat for a moment and he agrees that he’ll help us for 10 minutes or so, but he’ll be late for his band practise.  Being kind and helpful is more important to him, that says something about his character.  He backs his truck up to the store and before he is out again Kathryn and I have loaded it the back.  ‘It is small’, he says.  ‘I know, I thought it would fit for sure in the back seat,’ I reply.  30 seconds later we are off to the house.  Kathryn leads the way.  On the way he tells me that he and some friends have purchase Records to the Rafters from Bill, the former owner whom I also know.  We exchanges notes on the retail music business and catch up a bit.  I’m really happy to have made this connection because he share things with me that we’ve had trouble discovering at Sunworks.  5 minutes later we’re home and unloaded.   We agree to get together and chat more.   Kathryn stands beside us keen to hear that they carry music she likes.  Then he’s on his way.

I sit here typing this because it feels like something that should be shared.  I had interactions besides these, with colleagues, customers, lovers, and friends.  Many of today’s experiences came from not being afraid to express my fears, my needs, or my appreciation.  All my interactions today were important and wonderful.  I think how very lucky I am to be surrounded by so many good people, not just in this City but in my life.  Doesn’t get much better than this.

3 comments to Surrounded by goodness.

  • Paul, it sounds like you are finding your “happy place” within yourself. The cupcake was really nice, thank you.

  • Louise

    I’m glad I found your blog, it is inspiring to read how one little moment can lead to more than our minds realize. It is rewarding to push ourselves to take one step out of our comfort zone. I’m going to try that tomorrow, thanks.

    I look forward to cupcakes in the new Idea Market office, Paul. Oh and the much talked about mystery lattes that apparently exist somewhere.

  • Sheila

    Brown Sugar Mama! yes! Reading this helps me remember why I deeply love Red Deer. I wish that Babycakes were downtown – then I would give into the temptation more often. 😉

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