This week I celebrated my birthday. You all know how much I love birthdays. This was my first birthday since 2008 that I did not have cancer, was preparing for treatment for cancer, or recovering from cancer surgery or radiation. It was a little bittersweet for me because I had to be in Philadelphia for a work meeting. Although I hated being away from my family, I had fun with people I had trained with before, but I also met a new lovely woman who I know I will continue to stay in touch with. For this meeting, my roomate was a beautiful girl who was almost 20 years younger than me. It was great and interesting to get to know her as well as my new friend who is almost 20 years older than me. I loved listening to their stories and perpectives on life, work , family, etc., and what led them to make the decision which led them here.
For this birthday, like every birthday, I looked back at my life and everything I’ve been through and also looked ahead with apprehension. I am comfortable with the decisions I’ve made and the path I’ve taken. There are many things we cannot control, you know, “life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it” (Stephen Covey). We all decide which path we take in each situation, whether it’s which peanut butter to buy, which doctor to choose, which job, etc…what most people don’t want to do many times is take ownership on those decisions. Sometimes we blame the situation or end product of our own decision if it is not what we thought or planned. Looking back, I have made many decisions that I thought I may have regretted but I look at where I am today and I’m content and feel very blessed. I would not have chosen to have cancer, but I did choose to fight it and believe in a positive outcome. Let’s own up to the decisions we’ve made and change our perspective a little, there’s no going back.
Today I wear Bobbi Brown lipstick in Chocolate. It’s actually a soft , creamy medium brown which on me has a hint of a plummy undertone (probably my lips). It’s great for fall and not as dark as it sounds or looks. I chose it because it was my birthday and I love Chocolate (as well as the color).
Last week a great man passed away. Yes, we all know that Steve Jobs of Apple passed away but that is not who I’m talking about today. Yes, Steve Jobs was an incredible mind, innovator and inventor, he changed how we communicate today; but I’m talking about a man named Al. Al was also a man in his 50′s, married with children. For the past few years, my family and I (sometimes just my husband and I) frequented a local family restaurant. The food was good and inexpensive and the atmosphere was extremely relaxed and family-friendly. Al was the owner. The first time we came, Al introduced himself, asked our names, and said welcome. Subsequently, anytime we would come in, he would greet us by name and stop to chat every now and then. Throughout the years (6 years to be exact), Al would have us taste the new soup he was trying to sell, bring us small desserts ‘on the house’, and after learning that I liked his warm rice pudding with whipped cream on top, he almost always brought some to the table for me. That’s the man he was. He remembered our names and what we liked. If he wasn’t talking to us, he was wandering the restaurant talking to the other customers.
His funeral was last Saturday and hundreds of people showed up. What made him so special? He knew people’s names, he looked you in the eyes and focused on you when you spoke, he remembered small things about you and would ask how you were, he treated everyone special, regardless if they were there for a cup of coffee or for a full meal. Al had customers of all ages and walks of life, he always had a smile on his face and you could tell that he cared. About a month ago, my husband and I were there without the kids and he sat with us awhile and told us he sold the place. We were sad that we wouldn’t see him so much, but happy he could finally relax and spend more time with his family. On October 5th the world lost a visionary in Steve Jobs, but in our small community, we lost a man who cared for each of us.
How easy it is to make people feel special. Remember their name, look them in the eye, care about their answers when you ask a question. It makes a such a difference. I recently heard a quote, “There’s no rewind in life but it’s always being recorded.” Think about it, people everyday are recording or remembering your actions and you can’t take things back.
Today I wear Dior Addict Lip Polish in Glow Expert in honor of Al because I know he made that conscious effort to make every person he interacted with feel a little more special and leave his restaurant with a glow.