I wanted to write this post yesterday, but I was having a “first world problem.” I am writing this on a brand new (to me) computer that my oldest son configured for me right before he left the house without giving me the password. He knows most of my “usual” passwords, and I thought I had tried them all. I texted him, and I called him, and after no answer, I gave up and I enjoyed my evening. This morning when he told me the actual password, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried it. It was so obvious (knowing me).
I dubbed yesterday “self-care Saturday.” The planned activities centered around taking care of myself. I planned time in my “zen den” drinking a pot of tea (check). I planned coffee time with my dear husband (check). I planned a workout at the gym (check), I planned a haircut (nope) and the big daddy… I planned a 5-mile run.
It was far too beautiful to run indoors on the treadmill. The high school stadium was in use all day and all evening, so that was out of the question. I decided to run through the beautiful neighborhoods in my quaint home town. Although I have lived here for 15 years, there is so much that I haven’t seen because I am a creature of habit.
I ran to my office where my husband was mowing the lawn and re-hydrated. I ran through all of the roads in the Lagoons, and ran along the beach where my shoes promptly filled with sand. I found a conveniently-located bench and removed my shoes to shake out the sand, sat to enjoy the view, and decided to run a neighborhood I had never explored. I didn’t mean to spend 1.5 miles there, but I did, and after another run across the sand (and another stop at another bench to shake out the sand and enjoy the waves), I headed back for my office for more water (and a bag of jelly belly sport beans) and headed toward home.
Knowing I was later than I was expected home already, I called my husband and let him know where I was and what route I was taking home. I’m not sure why I did that, because I usually like to plan my route on the fly depending on how I am feeling. On my way back, I briefly thought about taking Exchange Street instead of Douglas Street like I had planned. I kept running past Exchange, and as I turned South onto Decatur, a car pulled up to the stop sign, and the driver called out, “Excuse me, is your name Betty?”
I turned and answered “yes,” and proceeded to have a conversation with the driver, who knew me from this blog. She’s a darling woman who has touched so many lives herself, and I was blessed with the opportunity to meet her face to face because I explored a new neighborhood, added 1.5 miles to my route, and followed the route I told my husband I would follow home. Now that we have met, I hope to hear more of her story.
I was walking (jogging) on a cloud the next leg of the journey. As I passed by the high school, I was flagged down by another person (this one on foot). She said, “I have seen you all over town today, and I just have to meet you.” She was looking for the 6th grade football game (it turns out she was in the wrong place for it). We had a wonderful conversation for 5-10 minutes. She told me about some of the obstacles she has had to overcome and I shared some of my story. When we parted ways, I felt that I had made yet another new friend.
I reached home and my husband was hard at work cutting up a huge tree limb (actually bigger than many trees) that fell down a short while back. I decided to blog about my experience, but it was not to be, so I spent some more time in my “fortress of peace,” my “zen den,” and fell asleep with a smile on my face.
I awoke to the sound of a high school marching band (the Festival of Bands was starting just a block away), and went out to tell dear husband that he didn’t have to cut the whole tree up in one day. I persuaded him to join me in the hot tub to listen to the bands, and I told him about the wonderful day that I had, the chance meetings, the new friends, and the experience of serendipity that made it all so special. If I had to define serendipity, I would deem it “a happy coincidence.” When my life is moving in the right direction, though, it seems these happy coincidences happen with such frequency that they don’t seem coincidental at all. I often end up learning valuable lessons from the people I meet when serendipity takes over.
In order for these meetings to happen, I had to deviate from my planned 5 mile run and run 7 miles. I had to get sand in my shoes (twice) and take time to enjoy the beautiful beach (twice). I had to run the direction that I had told my husband I would run instead of turning a block earlier like I decided I wanted to.
As I concluded the paragraph above, I received a beautiful message on Facebook from the woman I met on Douglas Street. It seems that she would not normally have been there at that time, either. She, too, remarked on the serendipity of the moment. She shared that a friend of hers calls these moments “God’s appointments.” I think she is right. We were destined to meet, and I look forward to getting to know her. Had I known the password to this machine and blogged this yesterday when I intended to, I would have done so without the benefit of knowing how truly serendipitous my meeting was yesterday.
This blog started out as a way to “just write what [I] know” because I truly enjoy writing. The fact that even one other person has found it a blessing makes me truly grateful for the ability to write. I’m off, now, to a local festival where I hope I will have the opportunity to listen when I am led, and to keep more of God’s appointments. Serendipity is the word for today.