I was standing in line at Chipotle, waiting my turn to place my order. No matter what time I go, there always seems to be a line. The man in front of me had a list and was ordering meals to-go for his entire family. When he got to the register, he looked over at me and told the cashier, “Add her meal to my bill.”
I immediately said, “That’s so nice of you, but you don’t have to do that.” He replied, “I want to. Sorry for the extra wait.” I was still in shock, but thanked him, and walked out the door with a smile on my face and my free Chipotle dinner in hand.
This complete stranger had no idea of the long day that I had, but because of his random act of kindness, I ended that day feeling joyful.
“It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood. A beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?” Anytime I hear these song lyrics, a smile comes across my face, and I immediately picture Fred Rogers putting on a red sweater and changing into his sneakers. And for some reason, I always feel a sense of peace and comfort.
I grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. At the time, I didn’t realize how much of an impact this show would have on me...or the rest of the world. For 31 seasons, Fred Rogers invited us into his neighborhood.
My mom retired after 35 years of being an elementary teacher. As she was ending her teaching career, I was beginning mine. I loved sharing teaching stories with my mom. She could relate to what I was going through, and on those really tough days and weeks, I always felt better after talking with my mom.
Unfortunately, a few years after my mom retired, she passed away. I expected holidays and birthdays to be hard without her. What caught me by surprise, though, is how much I missed her as I drove to school. And at the beginning of each new school year, waves of grief would roll in and out.
Now, I anticipate the waves, and instead of them overtaking me, I ride them out. As I drive to school each day, I welcome the childhood memories that come to mind....
Years ago, when I was going through a leadership training, part of the training required us to take the Myers-Briggs personality test. Through this test, I discovered that I am an ISFJ: The Nurturer.
I wasn’t sure what that meant, but when I read the description I was surprised at how well it described me. And for the first time, I realized that as an introvert, I have just as much to offer the world as an extrovert. I no longer saw being an introvert as a weakness, but a strength. As a quiet observer, I often pick up on subtle non-verbal cues, and I can usually sense how others are feeling.
I’ve known for years that I am an ISFJ, but several months ago I heard about something called the Enneagram. According to the Enneagram, an ancient personality tool, there are 9 different personality types. Knowing your personality type will help you understand why you think, feel, and behave in certain ways.
Here’s a fun infographic about the Enneagram:
At 2:30 a.m. my alarm went off. After only 3 hours of sleep, it was a struggle to open my eyes and roll out of bed, but I kept telling myself, “It will all be worth it at the end of the day.”
My friend and I had been planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, and a 6 a.m. direct flight meant we would have the whole day to explore the area. We would just need lots of caffeine to help us stay awake.
Even though it was a 4 hour flight, because of the change in time zones, we landed in Phoenix at 7:05 a.m. With Starbucks in hand, we picked out a rental car and began the 4-hour drive to the Grand Canyon.
I'm an ordinary introvert who loves an extraordinary God.