This is letter ten.
This letter is about beginnings, blankets, and my cat Tinkerbell.
In our very first letter, I mentioned that the idea for these thirteen missives came to me while I was sitting in what I described as our “very comfy but giant and unsightly overstuffed recliner that I was juuuuust about to ditch right before La Pandemica Global came to town.”
The reason we hung on to that chair for so long is because it was Tinkerbell’s favorite spot. Our petite kitty liked to nestle in her fuzzy blanket on that chair – or, better yet, nestle in her fuzzy blanket on our laps while we reclined in the chair.
(The reason we STILL have the chair, several years after Tinkerbell’s death, is because my husband has a sentimental streak a mile wide and doesn’t like change – which works very much in my favor when it comes to being his spouse, but not so much when it comes to negotiating the “refreshment” of our home decor.)
One day, Tink hopped up onto the chair before I had the chance to arrange her blanket for her. I attempted to maneuver her blanket under her but, diva that she was, she became very upset that this member of her staff was scrambling with last minute preparations, and so she refused to help.
At our impasse, she stood there, at the back of the recliner’s seat with her front two paws on the blanket and her back two paws off the blanket. I was trying to get her step forward so that all four of her paws would be on the blanket which would then allow me to easily slide it into place.
As we ridiculous humans do with these cute, funny furballs who quietly distain us, I squatted there for several minutes, explaining to her that I was trying to give her exactly what she wanted but she needed to make the first move in order to get it.
I remember saying, over and over: “Tinkerbell, you have to go first here. You have to go first. I can’t get your blanket right until you take a step forward. You first, then me. You first, then me.”
And then I froze.
I was struck by the notion that this is probably what the Universe (or whatever is “up there” peering down at us) has to deal with when it’s dealing with us.
We gripe and moan (repeatedly) about what we want and all the while the Universe is up there saying, “Yep, got it right here. Would loooove to give it to you right this very second… but you have to go first. You have to take a step forward first.”
Step of trust first, cozy blanket reward second.
That little moment happened over five years ago, but it was one of those blinks of insight that has stayed with me ever since. I think about it each time I’m taking my first step of trust on a new project or path – as I am doing today.
Today I am starting something new. Actually, I should say I’m “starting something startling” because, even just seven months ago, this whole thing was entirely unforeseen.
Will I still be offering life and career coaching? Yes.
Will I still be offering coaching to helping folks turn their skills and strengths into streams of income? Yes.
AND I am now…
…well, to save us 1,000 words, I’m going to show you a screenshot from earlier today of my new little corner of the internet:
There are three things I want to note about that image:
The first thing I want to note is that I didn’t see this coming. Had I seen it coming, I most certainly would have turned right around and run in the opposite direction. However, late last summer, my soul started its whisper campaign and I started to realize that my skills, strengths, and experience as an organizer, coach, and caregiver make me uniquely positioned to help support this particular group of people (who definitely need support).
The second thing I want to note is that, yes, I would truly love for you to share @youfirstcaregivers with anyone you know or meet who is either embarking on the caregiving journey or who is already in the thick of it.
That would be the best 50th birthday present you could ever give me.
Even what I share on Instagram and in my free mini-class (available via the link in the bio) will help folks integrate caregiving into their unique circumstances in healthier and more sustainable ways so that they can do it without losing themselves in it.
To me, though, the most important thing about that screenshot (the part that will have me keeping it in my files forever) is that it clearly illustrates what a beginning often looks like… just you… trusting enough to step forward publicly as the first “follower” of your dream.
Only three letters left.
(Hey… did I just hear you say: “Thank God…”)
Anywaaaay, in the next one, I’ll bore you to death with something I’m choosing to focus on throughout my next decade ( something personal, not professional).
All of our previous letters are here.