I should be sleeping.
I have to be up in just 6 short hours.
But... it's been a day and as I am sitting here enjoying watching these large, fluffy, snow flakes that have started to fall... I am having a hard time deciding to head to bed.
I worked this morning for one of my staff that is out ill, so I headed east in the early morning hours to open the building by 5 am. As I was making the coffee and conversing with our long time members I was reminded of the joy I feel with this mixed group of people.
I enjoy their stories, the conversations are always had in big bold strokes. Some of them have been members of my Y for over a generation. We've been around 90 years now, we have the time to savor their stories. I spent almost 6 months working that shift when I was searching for the right employee to pass the baton to. I found him. But in the process I had to give up something that was enjoyable.
I gave up the time with the morning gang. Coffee drinking, story telling, some of them outgoing enough for the entire crowd, other's quiet and reserved more like me. I hate that my staff member is sick, but I needed that jolt to my system. They remind me why I do the work I do.
So many of that morning crowd are houseless, I won't say homeless, because I believe after getting to know so many of them that they have a home, it's our Y and our family is their family. With it's lumps and bumps, they are genuine and caring, for the most part they are all trying to get a little further along in life. I won't say on a bitter cold morning like today that they are not a bit begrudging of a nice warm bed or a fire to sit by. They are supportive of one another, looking out for each other, and so protective.
Some of them are battling demons that we cannot image. Be it drugs, alcohol, the horrors of mental illness, veterans that haven't quite found their way home from what they have seen and experienced. Some of them have simply made the choice to live unshackled.
Then there are the business men and retirees, some of them are veterans also. The ones that seek shelter from the fact that we are a predominately adult Y, that the scars of life are not there in the open to prying eyes. There are doctors, lawyers, soldiers, judges, teachers, college professors, there are men and women that are simply there for health, and others that are there to bond and build a community.
It was so wonderful to renew those friendships, to surprise them by knowing their names after a couple of years without daily contact. It was fun to talk to them about their pets, their hopes, their dreams. To remind them to bundle up and to take care of their coughs and sniffles. To ask about their families and how their work outs have been going.
The day was not without hiccups.
But it managed to have many more bright spots in it.
Followed by this beautiful blanket of snow.
I find a snow peaceful. I love the beauty that is brings to the world. The tranquility.
I was not ready for it. It's been so mellow and only recently have we dealt with a bitter snap of cold.
I am concerned it will keep some of my long lost morning friends away tomorrow or worse harm some of them that were unable to find shelter for the night.
My eyes are getting heavy, so I am heading up to bed. I just wanted to share how very blessed I am. I didn't find my career, I didn't search it out. It found me. There are days and even moments in beautiful days that I hate parts of it with a passion. And then the beauty that happened many times today, made it so worthwhile!
Look for your blessings in the tiny things. They are always there you simply have to look. In the midst of storms there is hope and love. I am blessed for the love I find around me.