Friday, September 9, 2011

A Year of Gratitude - Day Eighty-nine

Day 89 - Checking In
The day began with a good experience.  I went in for an interview with the recruiters at Boly:Welch, a recruiting consulting company based here in Portland, and one with a very strong reputation.  I had tried to “get in” there before, but finally a position for which I was qualified came up, and I got the initial interview.  (Maybe they’re too busy just to meet for coffee....)
It was a great conversation - good enough to have them ask me to speak with their managing director of consulting (another great conversation).  I left feeling good about my standing with their company, and hopeful I would hear back from them.
I did hear back - about an hour later - asking me to interview with the client company next week.  Although the company is located in Hillsboro - deep into the suburbia that my whole body wants to reject like an implanted kidney - it sounds like a positive work environment.  That’s something I haven’t worked in since Northwest Hospitality Group lost the contract to manage the Coast Long Beach Hotel.
Then I got to have lunch with one of my dearest friends, Paul.  He was my best friend in high school, and the only one with whom I kept in regular touch afterward.  He is among the smartest people I have ever known, among the most talented, and he has a heart of gold.  Apart from my friend Stephanie, Paul knows me as well or better than just about anyone else on the planet.  There isn’t anything we can’t talk about, and I value his perspective enormously.
I often think of my visits with Paul as a “Check In.”  It’s not just a “reality check” - sure, there is that element, too - but Paul is great at listening, validating, understanding, and making me feel valued.  We talk about all sorts of things (and we are aware when people at neighboring tables begin to listen intently to our conversations).  I always feel better afterward because I get to celebrate just “being” whenever we get together.  I get to “check in” with the way things ought to be with all of my relationships.  In many ways, Paul is a great role model.
I spent part of the afternoon in nature up in the Columbia Gorge, and got to relax my mind a bit - I have been going “100 miles an hour” (to quote my friend Virginia) for so long that I’m needing to slow down a bit just to survive.  And while the afternoon was relatively quiet, it was lunchtime that I consider the highlight of the day.
So here’s to “best friends,” good conversation, and the value of “Check Ins.”  I know I need them.

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