“Kind people are the best kind of people.” ~ Cory Booker
Mercury went retrograde last Monday, making it a things-shouldn’t-be-this-hard kind of week. Then today comes. It’s Friday the 13th, and there’s a full Honey moon. I (jokingly) said I was going to call in sick and stay inside. I didn’t. On my way to work I drove over someone’s missing U joint. I heard a steady thump thump thump to the parking lot. I found a long piece of metal protruding from my nearly flat tire. I chuckled, remembering what I had (jokingly) said. Rapidly losing air, I got back in the car, catching every red light to the tire store, of course. I left with a donut spare. A story for another day.
Back at work, and now sufficiently late, I was feeling rushed. Thanks to Reinette Jones for letting the cat out of the bag, the Libraries PR director, on a noonish deadline for the weekly newsletter, wanted to know about my inclusion in Angela Smith’s new book, Women Drummers: A History from Rock and Jazz to Blues and Country. I didn’t own a copy, and the libraries’ copy was so new it wasn’t yet in circulation. I pulled a few strings, tracked it down, and looked myself up in the index: Page 105, Chapter 11 (ironic, as Stacy Yelton noted, since bankruptcy is part of my musical history). In bold letters I saw my name, read the quote, and started to cry. Ms. Smith’s writing is superb. She makes me sound way better than I am. The story, my story, made me proud of everything I’d done, even the bad decisions, of which there were many. It is a powerful feeling when you realize someone thinks your contributions are worthy enough to write down. It’s validation. It’s appreciation. It’s acceptance. It’s ego (there’s always ego). It’s gratitude. It’s all that and then some. Eventually, I collected myself and went back to work.
If my story stopped there it would be more than enough for an incredible day. But no. I opened my email to a thank you note from the Dean for something unrelated to the book. That was followed by a text from my boss in California also thanking me, again unrelated to the book. Crystal Heis sent a message after lunch; “Don’t buy the book!” She had bought it for me, delivery in a few days. Co-workers stopped in after the newsletter was released. “You’re famous….again!” Gordon Hogg laughed. “So, does being in a book make up for the flat tire?” Deirdre Scaggs asked. “Why, yes. Yes it does.” I posted the above photo to facebook. Shares and comments followed, each as kind as any person could ever hope for. To top off the day, Stacy Yelton and I had dinner with Susan Stewart and Catherine Brereton in their home, not in the hospital. When you sit across the table from a survivor like Susan, you count your blessings, you’re grateful for your failings, you vow to be better, do better, you give thanks for every good, bad, and ugly thing you have in this life. It is life affirming.
See, I think we’ve got this whole Friday the 13th superstition all backwards. It’s not a day to be feared. It’s a day of unexpected joy. It is a day in which to revel in the successes of life, and give thanks for every experience and all we’ve learned from them. And when you combine Friday the 13th with retrograde Mercury and a full moon? Just look what can happen! Am I blessed? You bet I am. In more ways than I ever realized.