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TP365/Year 10:: Connections – River

13 Oct

Today’s post is dedicated to River.

River is a 9-year-old terrier. But he’s more than just a dog, he’s a calming force for good.

I connected with River and his human at lunch while on vacation. River is a massage dog, meaning he hangs out and keeps the room calm and peaceful while his mom works her massage therapy. He is indeed a healing presence.

I have always loved dogs since I was a little girl. Dogs and life just go hand in hand for me.

So today, on the last day of vacation, I am reflecting on a connection with a little dog named River. He is a river of calmness. Something our world (and I) could use a lot more of, especially as I sit here in an airport terminal waiting for another delayed flight.

There are two lessons as I reflect on this post: vacation always goes by way too fast and patience flows like a river.

More tomorrow,
Jamie

TP365/Year 10:: Connections – Taylor and Sunglasses

12 Oct

Today’s connection is dedicated to Taylor who I haven’t seen in almost two years… and my sunglasses. As in, here you see them, here you don’t.

After a day of sunning at the pool, we three (Amy, Taylor and I) hiked through the jungle at CREW. It was a beautiful night with a rainbow above us as we drove to the park entrance. The rain that had been pouring down happened to stall and then stop just as we hit the trail.

The first sign hugging the trail ahead of us had a huge image of an alligator and warned how to share the trail with them. “Share the trial?” I turned to Amy who already knew the hair on the back of my neck was up in hackles.

“You’ll be fine,” she reassured. “I will protect you.”

Taylor then said, “Jamie, I would have thought you would love nature.”

“I do,” I confirmed, “I just don’t love the alligators and snakes in this part of the world.” I grew up in the mountains, in the north, a land without prehistoric creatures that run on all fours.

As we weaved down the trail, I focused on the beauty all around me and began to pay attention to the flowers, snapping photos with my new iPhone 13, mesmerized by the photos.

I got lost in the magic of Mother Nature and all the birds and flora and fauna surrounding me. So many species that don’t exist up in the North. Like a foreigner walking through a foreign land I took photos documenting every bit of it.

Until I sneezed.

Luckily I held onto my phone but I did not see my sunglasses falling through the air until it was too late. They hit the deck once and then bounced right through the bottom of the fence line into the water below. The water that, for all I knew, was housing a team of alligators looking for dinner.

I looked up at Taylor and then Amy and grimaced.

My sunglasses were gone. They were now an offering to the land below our feet, “under the boardwalk out of the sun.”

We kept walking until we came to a pass of water. Just on the other side was a large Great Blue Heron walking slowly into the distance.

A hush came over all of us as we watched him walk down the path and then slowly take flight and swing through the air into the trees. It was a sight to behold.

As we left the trail I was relieved to still have my new phone and all the photos on it. I may have lost my sunglasses but the lesson was not lost on me: the most magical things always happen in nature. Whether it is a walk with amazing friends or visit from majestic creatures. (I’m just glad it wasn’t an alligator.)

More tomorrow,
Jamie

P.S. It was so good to see you today, Taylor. Let’s not wait two more years to connect.

TP365/Year 10:: Connections – Pool Strangers

11 Oct

Today’s post is dedicated to a stranger at the pool. One who helped me in a very kind and important way — he opened the door to the clubhouse so that I could go to the bathroom.

This is may be one of the most important connections to make in life — when you have to go, you have to go!

Not only did I have to go, I couldn’t find the key FOB to get into the pool’s clubhouse where the restrooms reside. So I was panicking in two ways — to find the key and to make it in time.

This very nice man got out of the hot tub to help me. I don’t know his name, and I’m sure I never will, but I am beyond grateful for his help unlocking the door.

The good news is that I found the key FOB — it was right where it was supposed to be in the holder on the table the whole time (go figure)!

But I also found a bright spot of humanity that still exists. Strangers helping strangers …even if it was for a strange reason. Now, that’s a genuine connection!

More tomorrow,
Jamie

TP365/Year 10:: Connections – Organically Twisted

10 Oct

Today’s post is dedicated to my favorite place to eat… Organically Twisted!

I haven’t been able to enjoy this delectable array of amazing food for so very long. Almost two years to be exact. Today was my first day back and the best kind of reunion one can imagine with Tacos Gone Nutz!

They are tacos made with walnuts, black bean salsa, shredded cabbage, lime and a side salad. It’s quite heavenly and made with so much love. In fact, you can’t go into the O.T. without feeling the love of life and plants all around you.

The plants are just as much a part of the restaurant as the food. My favorite sign is the one that says: “Be Considerate: Plants have feelings – respect and love them.”

I can certainly report this: if you ever eat at The O.T. you will feel the love that is infused into every fiber of the food, the interior of the restaurant, and the plants that protect it.

In a year of making connections, I am grateful for reconnecting with my fave food place and all that it stands for. Plus, in a post-Covid world I’m also aware of the many connections our health has with the world around us and those who feed us.

As the Greek physician Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food” 

More tomorrow,
Jamie

TP365/Year 10:: Connections – Amy

9 Oct

It’s officially vacation and Girl’s Weekend! So today’s post is dedicated to my dear friend, Amy.

In so many ways she is more like a sister than a friend, a sister-friend if you will.

We officially lost half the day to laughing, sharing stories and just catching up. Before we knew it was almost time for a late lunch, and really, it was practically time for dinner.

I think that’s what I love most about the deepest connections we make in this lifetime. There are no minutes or hours to count, just memories and moments to savor.

Here’s to even more connections and memories to make while we are on vacation.
And of course, chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate!

More tomorrow,
Jamie

TP365/Year 10:: Connections – JetBlue

8 Oct

Today’s post is dedicated to my suitcase and JetBlue.

That’s right, I reconnected with my blue suitcase and an actual airplane today.

It was a genuine connection. Especially since my blue suitcase has lived in seclusion in the closet for almost two years now. But today, Mr. Blue was freed from captivity and released into the wilds of the airport (and JetBlue).

This was my foray back into the land of travel since Covid began. From way up in the sky everything felt normal again. Crisp blue sky, fluffy white clouds. Seats and trays in their upright position.

Then we landed in Fort Myers and were officially stranded on the tarmac — FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF.

I am not exaggerating. I wish I were.

When the pilot announced that our gate was not open and we would be waiting for at least 30 minutes the entire airplane groaned in unison. As if every voice joined forces to sing in disgust, all together now. Grrrrrrr.

What I will say, is this, the crowd was very well behaved. The children and even the dogs were patient, but most impressive, the adults were kind and respectful of each other and the situation.

Believe me, nobody was happy, but everyone was on their best behavior.

Then the pilot announced that we would be stuck there for another 30 minutes (it was over an hour more by the way).

I called Justin to report that I had landed and was also stuck on the plane. He demanded that I put him on speaker phone so that he could start a group sing-a-long of “Sweet Caroline” since the Boston Red Sox were playing the Tampa Bay Rays at that very moment.

I refused.

He chided me in his fun-filled voice and said, “hey it would be a great way to connect with a lot of people.”

I’m sure he was right. Maybe it would have been more fun to have a sing-a-long but I will save that trick for another day.

For now, I’m just happy I was finally able to roll my blue suitcase off the plane and into the tropical air.
Here’s to vacation, a great adventure, a girls weekend, and maybe some more connections!

More tomorrow,
Jamie

P.S. @JetBlue how do you feel about granting us all 70,000 miles for our good behavior on the tarmac?Asking for a friend…

TP365/Year 10:: Connections – Al

7 Oct

Today’s connection was a surprise. I actually wasn’t sure what connection would line up since I didn’t have a lunch plan or a meet up or something that would put me in touch with a friend.

I worked from home in the morning to make sure I wouldn’t miss the FedEx delivery and then headed to the office. I stopped at Whole Foods to grab a quick lunch and then headed to the office.

As I drove away the light turned red and I was officially stuck in traffic.

Then, I saw a black Jeep waving at me.

The man in the Jeep was waving at me to move forward so he could pull into the bank parking lot. I looked at him and shrugged as if to say, “sorry, I’m stuck.”

Then, just as the car in front of me inched forward so that I could also inch forward I noticed the man in the Jeep was pointing right at me exuberantly and smiling. At first I was confused. Then I realized why he was pointing — we knew each other!

It was our friend Al, who we haven’t seen in a long time.

We met Al when we lived on Martha’s Vineyard. Justin and Al worked together at Long Point, for the Trustees. We spent many summers together hanging out on the beautiful island but that was almost ten years ago.

But today, there was AL!

It was the perfect connection. One I could never have planned.

I laughed out loud and waved a big smile back to him, then the light turned green. He drove to the bank and I drove to work.

As I drove away I thought about all the connections that had to line up for that exact moment in time to happen, down to the exact second. From the FedEx delivery to the Whole Foods check out line to the traffic light turning red. Everything had to be synchronized in the most perfect way connecting all the dots.

And maybe that’s what this year is all about.
Connecting the dots.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.
(Good to see you, Al!)

More tomorrow,
Jamie

TP365/Year 10:: Connections – Shelley

6 Oct

Today’s connection is dedicated to one of my favorite healers and acupuncturists. Or maybe I should say acupuncturist and healer because she is both.

Her name is Shelley and she is AH-mazing!

Today I had a regularly scheduled acupuncturist treatment, but it always feels more like visiting a sister or maybe an aunt. Definitely someone who is in tune with both my heart and soul.

In fact, it was Shelley who I first saw when that pesky lump popped up in my throat eight years ago. As I sobbed on her treatment table she reassured me everything was going to be okay. And it was.

It’s easy to say that now, as I look back in time, but back then, when I was a frightened and frazzled, it wasn’t so easy to believe.

I think that’s why I love this painting that sits opposite the treatment table in her office. I stare at it during my treatments and it feels like I can step right into that boardwalk. It is as if there is always a reminder to keep walking the path, to keep moving forward, no matter what feels hard or heavy.

I’m pretty sure it’s not just her needles that help people heal but her angelic heart too.

Thank you, Shelley, for all the healing and the hope. This one’s for you!

More tomorrow,
Jamie

TP365/Year 10:: Connections – Judy

5 Oct

Today’s post is dedicated to my dear friend Judy!

Judy and I first met at Dunkin’ Brands (way back when) and now we work together (again!). It’s been a fun path to watch the way our careers have ebbed and flowed and met up again.

Even though we now work together (again) we haven’t had a lot of time to really catch up. One part because of the last year of lockdowns and the other part because of the everyday pace of work and life.

So, today, since this year is all about genuine connections I asked Judy if we could catch up over lunch. It was so fabulous!

We reminisced about past times and past coworkers and shared stories about life. We even reminsinced about the Mayor of Dunkin’ Brands. His name was Frank Griswold but everyone knew him as Frank – or The Mayor. Because he was.

Frank manned the front desk of the office and knew everyone’s names. He would scold me when I worked too late leaving the office after dark and greet me with a big smile in the morning. He was more than the front desk or the greeter or the man who handed out guest badges — he was the embodiment of culture. Frank passed away a few years ago and it sent ripples through the network of people who knew and worked with him.

Reminiscing today with Judy about the people of our past and where they are now, who we have lost touch with, and those we have already lost in this life, reminded me of a very important lesson: sometimes the connections we make last longer than we know or can ever imagine.

Here’s to you Frank – we’re still thinking of you!
And, thank you Judy, for the reconnection.

More tomorrow,
Jamie

TP365/Year 10:: Connections – Sheryl

4 Oct

Tonight’s post is dedicated to my dear friend Sheryl. We have been trying to see each other more often after this crazy, Covid year of isolation.

So we had dinner a few weeks ago and caught up over a meal in Downtown Boston at Eataly (yum!). Over dinner I shared the idea of The Promise 365 and some of the potential promises that I was considering and mulling over.

Sheryl is one of the most read and learned people I know, and she is always good for a mind meld to bounce ideas off of her incredibly intelligent brain.

I pondered my options:
Do I make a promise to exercise for a year? Or maybe to learn something new? Or try something new?

As we enjoyed our meal and discussed all the potential promises Sheryl lit up with a great idea.

“What if you connect with a new person each day for a year?” she casually said as if she didn’t see the bolt of lightning go through the air.

I immediately loved it and instinctively knew that it was THE PROMISE for Year 10. It was exactly what I had been craving, more human connection. BINGO!

Then Sheryl shared a study that she had read about in the New York Times. It was an article around the 36 Questions That Lead to Love and is based on work by Arthur Aron. The study covers 36 questions that help understand how to create closeness between people.

The questions are fantastic, the kind of get-to-know-you ice breakers that share insights into personal experience, values or dreams.

Questions like:

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

Would you like to be famous? In what way?

I love these questions because they create connection between two people – and it’s scientifically proven – that mutual vulnerability creates closeness between two people.

So as we go about this year I will be asking some of these questions to you (and let’s see if it creates some more connection!)

For tonight, here’s the question of the night:

What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

I can’t wait to find out your answers! (And, we may all owe this connection to Sheryl!). Thank you for the meaningful questions and brilliant inspiration.

More tomorrow,
Jamie

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