There’s only one way to make local face to face connections, I have to go where other people do stuff that I like doing. Or at least think I might like doing. So, once a week, I’ll be out in my community attending events, classes, and anything else that beckons. Through illustrations and posts I’ll chronicle my adventures here – the cool or not so cool stuff and the inspiration and/or learning that’s bound to happen along the way.
In conversations with others, I’m finding out that many of us long for local connections, but one thing or the other, usually fear based, keeps us tucked in at home with our online peeps for company. Now, I adore my online friends and, contrary to the criticism I often hear about online friendships, I experience them as real and often deep connections, but I long for a few women to call for coffee dates, sharing and giggling. Sounds like some of you do too. We may not meet our best friends on day one, or even on day forty-two, but if we don’t get out in the community we’ll never meet them.
For my first adventure, I signed up for a Knitting 101 class at my local Joann’s Fabrics and Crafts. During a retreat with Liz Lamoreux and Kelly Barton, the truly patient Teresa Rehmann taught me the basics and I wanted to reinforce what I’d learned and get started on some new skills.
Toting my bag packed with knitting supplies, snacks and a little extra cash in case of a “gotta have that yarn” attack, I showed up at the store. I know my eyes had happy sparkles jumping around in them, but the associate I asked to point me in the direction of the class definitely didn’t have sparkles – she got all frowny and concerned because the class had been cancelled, and it turns out the cancellation happened before I ever registered for it. Yep. Exactly. I felt all my sparkles drain into my flip-flopping belly.
The whole saga really started a few days before that when I went into the store to sign up. Here’s a quick run-down of the timeline:
Tuesday 1/6: I go in to the store to register for the class, first a cashier comments that I am “lame” when I asked where the carts were because I didn’t see the three carts at the end of a long hallway at the entrance. She also didn’t have any sparkles in her eyes once she realized I heard her. After a prolonged search for the magical employee who can help me with registration, I finally get it done. She’s a nice lady and she tells me I don’t need to buy supplies. So I buy more yarn, of course.
Thursday 1/8: I get an email confirmation for the class that includes a list of supplies I need to buy. I suspect the nice lady that registered me wasn’t really the magical class registration employee, all the people calling back and forth on their walky-talkies just got tired of looking for her and sent an impostor. I get back over to the store and buy my supplies without much incident, except that neither I nor the employee helping me knew anything about worsted wool and we pretty much had to climb the shelves to find it -my sprained ankle isn’t happy about any of this.
Saturday 1/10: I arrive to find the class got cancelled three days before I registered. The real magical class registration employee showed up, quite unhappy with the impostor who caused all the problems – she also made sure to give me a run-down on all the other things she was unhappy about including that I should never have gotten the 50% off from the coupon I used because it didn’t apply to classes. Also, no one ever listens to her. She tells me it’s too late for a refund and schedules me for a class for a Saturday in February.
A complete fail, right? Not exactly. I stayed mostly centered during all these shenanigans and found out I have more patience that I know and that I can speak up when my boundaries get crossed with a bit of grace and kindness (Thank you Randi Buckley! Her amazing class Healthy Boundaries for Kind People has benefited me so much.)Because I could find some inner stillness, my compassion bubbled up when I noticed how tired and haggard the employees all looked. The store is understaffed and the employees run in twelve directions at once – I worked retail back in the day and this kind of situation causes so much stress and frustration.
When I got home from the store Saturday, I allowed myself a 3 minute rant with the Sweet Man and then I got on the phone to their corporate offices and talked with someone about the situation with calm and with clarity about what I wanted – a refund and/or a transfer of the class to another store. It’s a little further away, but I’m familiar with it and think it might be a better fit. The district manager is supposed to call me tomorrow to work it all out.
Then I took a two and a half hour nap after the Sweet Man fed me his scrumptious stir-fry that he made on the spur of the moment while I was gone.
I found I have a bit of patience, experienced compassion, stood up for myself in ways I can feel proud of, was reminded of my Sweet Man’s love and got a delicious nap. I didn’t get the opportunity to knit or make connections, but I did remember that I am my own best friend.
Any stories to tell about your adventures?
P.S. – Want to go on a different kind of adventure with me?
I’ve spent the last few months conjuring a little magic and it’s time to give that magic a test run. I’m beginning the journey as a witness and guide for women who are ready to uncover their truest self – what I call our feral self. You can read about it here: http://goo.gl/moawdb , how it works here: http://goo.gl/Ot3Ppz and all about me here: http://goo.gl/iMrhj2
Does it sound like a good fit for you? Is there someone you know who might be interested? I’d be excited and honored to work with you. I want to open four spots, one as a give-away and three others. I’ll draw a name for the give-away next Monday, January 19th. The other three paid slots will go to the first three names on my list (unless one of you snags the give-away!) Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put you on the list.
For how long? Six months, beginning February 1st
How often will we meet? We’ll come together via video call or phone twice a month for 75 minute calls.
What is the cost? I’m just beginning to test the waters, so the cost (unless you receive the give-away) is only $25 per month for six months.
Let me know if you have any questions. Hope you’ll come along on this new adventure with me!