People so often lump a person’s “core” within boxes. Boxes of artificial labels society places on ideals. “Republican.” “Pro-Gay-Marriage.” “Working Mother.” “Christian.” “Athiest.”
Our values in my family are above labels. They are paragraphs of ideals, gray areas of judgement. They are curated over years and formed through connections. They are intangible but visible.
Between work and family and bills and co-workers and clients and rainy drizzly days and sick kids, it becomes rare if not impossible to have those conversations. The lists stack up, the mail remains unread, the dishes grow hard with food someone didn’t finish. Perspective is lost and ideals get boxed. Identities fail.
Within that space, the failure, the questioning, the near-palpipal-self-doubt, I boarded a plane to Glens Falls last Tuesday to work with a firm I’ve freelanced for two years with. And, more importantly, within that firm I’ve had friendships deep and connecting above labels and distance.
Arriving in obvious discomfort of my own skin, sharing a hug by littles who barely know me, and a glass of beer of a website I helped build, I found again the conversations, the gray areas, the perspective. Within hours the labels dropped away and connections cleared and values were defined. I was refreshed.
As the week sped too quickly along, I remained optimistic. Exclaiming beauty at every space. The snow! A ski resort a mile away! The sun! Lovely people! And the office, oh the glorious office filled with humans who work and laugh and rally. A lovely office of people I’ve known and connected with two years ago and work so well together who have the same taste in music sans a few Country Songs.
It’s painful to see the alternate versions sometimes.
The grass beneath the snow in a state three thousand miles away beaming greener and more fresh smelling than your own.
The children who face-time with friends they’ve met once and squee and exclaim love for me and mine.
The hospital with the blog I coded.
The Brewery with the owner begging us to move there, bring our family, stay in Glens Falls and thank you for coding his award-winning site.
The sun beaming in the windows of the office above the store anyone should be proud to own and support those whose craft and brand are breathing it to life.
The underground bar owned by a couple of wit, sass, and class as comfortable to be around within minutes as a friend you’ve known for years.
The lines blur. Home. Values. Family. Truly, there are places just as fitting and as lovely as the one we’re in now. Some days, perhaps, possibly, even more so.
As I come back to my own, the reality of the days catch up again. My husband, my rock, the amazing man who takes our small children while I pursue so many dreams and propel in a career I could not have without him, takes his turn to work on his own boxes. He leaves for work an hour after I arrive, after hugs, and kisses, and I miss-yous. He trudges to work and stays over-night tackling his own deadlines and expectations.
These are the values we own. These are the labels we wear proud. We work hard. We love our family. We snuggle and exclaim with joy our children’s delights. We go above and beyond the expectations and push ourselves to achieve more than we thought. So long as the days continue to march, we teach our children the value of ethics.
I count myself thankful for all those who share this core. Who remind me it’s possible. Who dance with their children and believe in their work. Those who also connect above boxes and labels and share a belief over beer.
Thanks so much for coming. While you fit right in here, the photos in these last few days are proof that you’re right where you’re supposed to be. Glad you made it home. Bob, if you’re reading this: you’re the man.
By Sean Magee on 2011 02 14
As beautiful as its author, this post.
Honored to have you in my life, professionally and personally. Looking forward to our families having old fashioned face time.
By Amanda on 2011 02 14
Ditto to you both. And Sean, I am home where my family is. Next time I bring them with me, we’ll be able to enjoy that home all the way over there.
Thank you both for amazing opportunities: in code and in person. Muwha!
By Mrs. Flinger on 2011 02 14
I had so much fun with you, Leslie. Can’t wait for you to return.
By Heather B. on 2011 02 14
Exactly. When we get beyond the…“labels” we see where we connect…in our human needs and feelings. Great post. Good to see you (though across the room and in passing) @ #Blissdom11.
By Leisa Hammett on 2011 02 14
My gosh, woman, the way you make me smile, some times. Okay, okay, so, like, it’s more often than not. Fiiiiiine. You rock, ALL THE TIME!
By Liz on 2011 02 14
Heather, same same. Looking forward to seeing you in Seattle next!
Leisa, sorry I didn’t say hi. Man, those places are crazed, eh? Next time we’ll actually bump in to each other.
And Liz, omg lady. Truly? YOU made my day. XO
By Mrs. Flinger on 2011 02 14