I have been traveling a bit more than usual and, as a result, have not been blogging weekly, as I am accustomed to doing. But now, on a brief hiatus before the next quick trip, I realize that getting away was just what I needed. Sometimes, when we truly step away, unwind and unplug, we become far more aware of the extraordinary attributes of the very ordinary experiences that surround us. They are there every day, yet somehow we manage to miss most of them in terms of being truly in the moment and aware.
This past weekend, I slowed down long enough to enjoy my 10-year anniversary being married to the man with whom I was meant to live out my days and, believe it or not, we chose to celebrate in Las Vegas. No gambling or shows, but lots of eating, drinking and walking. Miles of walking. And unplugging from the news, fake or otherwise, and the ongoing messages of doomsday and devastation that one can readily access 24/7.
In that quiet, thoughtful space, and across the conversations with multiple Vegas locals, a resounding theme kept emerging.
The future is bright and, together, we’ve got this.
While we were in Vegas, we visited two of the makeshift memorials situated just outside of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival grounds. Standing below the two temporarily repaired windows of the Mandalay Bay, taking in the silence, I was surrounded by the Vegas-neon signs up and down the strip with #VegasStrong and words of resilience as people gathered. Locals doing their jobs, locals making plans, locals coming together doing the ordinary with a newfound attitude that was extraordinary.
The locals had one message: their future is bright.
On the first day there, as I caught up on my emails, I read a Caring Bridge entry by my dear friend who is fighting for her life. The Dr.’s have clearly indicated she needs a miracle, she is taking every measure to fight this horrid disease, yet the pictures shared with her friends are of her beautiful, smiling face. And as she shared her optimism in this particular post, so much so that she has planned a lovely trip with her extended family for next summer, her plea for prayers has brought a multitude of communities of people who love her and her family together. Her message in that beautiful post last week? She will not give in, she will not give up, she needs us to pray – together.
Her post had one simple, determined message: the future is bright.
Upon our return home, Scott and I attended my high school’s Distinguished Alumni Award Dinner. I was fortunate to have been given this honor a few years ago, so I love going back each year to meet the winners and hear their stories. This year in particular, however, blew me away. One recipient’s story struck something inside of me. As Justin Wren shared snippets of his journey, his obstacles, his demons and his fights – there were many – I was touched by how transparent he was at such a young age. Then, I was reminded by a friend as I gushed about his awesome journey from darkness to light, that maybe I was so shaken, yet inspired by his words because I had my own story – fully transparent – that I had shared so openly.
Wow. In that moment, I had honestly forgotten about my story as I walked through my ordinary day-to-day. Yes, I said it. I had FORGOTTEN the trials of my own extraordinary journey. And, SHE-friends THAT is when I knew, unequivocally, that the future is so bright. For the people of Las Vegas, for my sweet friend in her fight, for Justin and for us all.
So, SHE-friends, if you have read this far and still have not fully captured the point of this blog, let me say it in the simplest of terms:
The world of social media, television and technology make it so easy for us to lay our focus on the biggest of tragedy, trauma, disconnect, divide and, honestly, “gloom and doom.” But if we take a few moments to sit in our own silence void of the noise and we actually bring our awareness to the moment that is directly in front of us, the people who are standing next to us and what lies within the deepest part of us, we will so clearly see extraordinary in the most ordinary of lives and circumstances.
Let us come together and consciously make the choice –
together, our future is so bright.
Notes from the SHE files: Vision cleared, there is no doubt, our future is so bright!