Small Talk

Today I tried to make a difference.

Although I can’t change society as a whole, I can take small steps. With social media, very few people have in person conversations. How can we start to understand people if we don’t take time to communicate?

This morning Liliana and I went to Target. In addition to buying half of the store, we stopped and had conversations with complete strangers.

*We talked with a mother of a two-year-old boy about how easy Christmas is for kids this young. Her son got restless and I instantly thought of Maximus.

*We talked with a man about how hard it is to ‘drive’ those Target carts through those narrow aisles.

*We met a mother of a five-month-old. We stood trying to decode the Target discount that made no sense and talked about the ‘mom uniform’ of leggings and a sweater.

*We talked with the woman who checked us out. She unfortunately has to work Thanksgiving evening and turn around to return to work Friday morning.

*We talked with a couple in the parking lot who loved Liliana’s hat and volunteered to take our cart back.

These people were of all races and ages. We didn’t target any of them to communication with. But, as our paths crossed, a welcoming conversation ensued. We have to start getting to know each other and realize how many commonalities we each have.

These conversations may have not been life changing, but it definitely made my shopping experience more enjoyable and we both left with a smile.

As you’re out and about these holidays, take time and say hello to the person next to you. Wish the people behind the register a happy holiday season. Help someone in need. One small gesture on your behalf could be a hidden blessing in the life of someone else.

THAT Baby!

THAT Baby!

I was excited when I first heard the news.  Visalus was paying for me to fly to Los Angeles, CA for the National Director experience!  As I checked the calendar, I realized it was Columbus Day weekend which meant that Milton and Maximus could join me. I instantly became nervous as I realized that it would be Maximus’ first time on a plane.  And leave it to us to make that first trip across the country to California.

As a parent, you’re always nervous that you’ll have “that baby” on a flight.  You know, the one nobody wants to sit next to? Our flight out was early on a Friday morning on Southwest.  There was a one hour flight to Chicago, then a four hour flight to LA.  And, although I was nervous.  Either my breast was Maximus’ best friend or sleep was his best friend.  He was good, I was good and Milton was good.  At the end of the flight people complimented him for being a good baby.  Life was good.

Or so we thought.  Milton had to fly back early for work, so he and Maximus flew back a day early.  Alone. Solo. By themselves. Without me.  Milton just knew that everything would be easy going again.  I said a prayer for safe and silent travel.  Um, let’s just say it was an interesting experience!

Immediately upon getting on the quiet early morning plane, Maximus took the opportunity to yell at the top of his lungs.  You know that yell when a swarm of bees are attacking you?  Yeah, that yell!  And he doesn’t stop. Nothing Milton did could calm our son down.  The flight attendant even asked the gentleman next to Milton if he wanted to change seats. Yeah, it was that bad!

Right before takeoff, the flight attendant walked up to Milton and said there were a group of ladies a few aisles ahead of him.  They wanted to know if they could take Maximus back there and they would pass him around to try to calm him down.  Milton said he thought about it for all of ten seconds and then passed our dear precious son off to the flight attendant.  He heard Maximus cry a little longer, then he calmed down and then there was silence.

After takeoff, and once the unfasten seatbelt light came on, Milton walked to the front of the plane to check on Maximus.  By this time, he was asleep.  Milton said he volunteered to take him back, but the ladies shooed him away and said they’d keep him the rest of the flight.  And they did.

Milton was extremely thankful for their helpfulness and generosity.  So often, others in that situation would have just turned up their nose.  I’m thankful that Milton got their contact information.  The women actually worked together and live in Texas.  I called them a week later, introduced myself as Maximus’ mother and shared my appreciation for their help with both my husband and my son.  We followed up by sending them a gift from Edible Arrangements. Angels come into your life at various times and Michelle, Taylor and Corrie were our angels that day.  Bless them!

What’s Your Story?

“What’s Your Story?”

One of my best friends is known to ask people the above quote.  If you think about it, each of us has a story.  While on my trip, I was intrigued at the lives of the people I met.  First there was Mimi who I met on the van shuttle to the resort.  She’s a red haired painter from Chicago.  She has 10 weeks of timeshares at the Grand Mayan and has been going there for the past 12 years.  She’s loud, proud and knows everyone there.  She and her sister come for the first 4 weeks and the husbands are ‘allowed’ to join them for the rest.  I learned so much about the resort and town in that short ride.

I then met someone I’ll call “Stella”.  Our tables were next to each other for lunch.  She’s a fly sista who is going to permanently move to Puerta Vallarta when she retires next year.  She told me about her male friend that she met there in March who’d been helping her out since her most recent visit.  Then after we bonded while listening to the Toni Braxton CD in the background she felt she could share her secret.  The night before she went out with her friend’s friend to the club and somehow or another they ended up sleeping together.  Stella got her groove back – although now she regrets it.

Lastly, there was Tammy.  She and her husband waited next to me for the shuttle to the canopy tour.  Also with them were her father and his wife.  She didn’t grow up around him because her parents divorced when she was four.  His new wife (her stepmother) was only six months older than Tammy.  It was their first father/daughter vacation together.  After an hour drive to the site, Tammy felt I was now a part of their family and became a sister.  The sexy Mexican guides would tell me where my ‘family’ was when we got separated.

You never know when you’ll cross paths again with someone.  “Stella” and I exchanged numbers and she called the next day to see if we could get together.  (I told her I wanted an update).  Mimi was always nearby at the resort and continued to give great advice through the trip.  Tammy and I have emailed each other since returning to the states.  Life isn’t only about what you do, but it’s also about the impression you leave with others.  The next time you’re in an elevator or just standing next to someone, take the time to say HELLO.  You never know what their story might be or how they could affect your life!

M.Y.  November 2007