The Very Best Thing

Writer/director dream hampton asked this question on Twitter and shared a steady stream of responses. People taught their children to read, nurtured loved ones in times of sorrow or ill-health, quit jobs they hated, and traveled or moved overseas.

Some took classes and learned things that allowed them to radically transform their ways of being. Others wrote books, got married, took a chance on love, or learned to love themselves.

It’s a beautiful question, and one that requires no external metric. I’ve been thinking about it, and while there are lots of things I’m glad I accomplished or tried or read, I think the best thing I did was push beyond my comfort zone. There were several times this year where things felt risky or scary or I was unsure how they’d turn out, and I decided those were great reasons to try them anyway.

Comfort with discomfort is pushing me toward new goals for 2014, and I’m intrigued and excited about how they will manifest.

But enough about me. What was the best thing YOU did this year?

It’s a small world, after all. | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy.

Watch globally; connect locally…

My local baristas know me by name and drink. Medium or large iced coffee, depending on the day. Black. Extra pump of classic. I like to think I don’t need the caffeine, it’s just nice to have. Ahem.

“Tom” asks which size I prefer today. Definitely the large. He is immediately curious.

“Busy day today?” he inquires.

“Nah. Well, no busier than usual. But I was up until 2 a.m. watching the rover land on Mars!”

And with that exchange, a middle-aged white man exclaims from his seat across the café. I turn to be sure he is reacting to my announcement, and indeed he is. Hovering over his laptop, he beckons, halfway hiding the grin on his face.

I laugh, strolling over to him, coffee in hand. He tells me about his night – the sleeping kids, the sleeping wife. Reading under covers, so as not to disturb her. Falling asleep in his makeshift tent and jerking awake around 1 wondering why.

Realization dawns! Mars! Of course he powers up his computer and logs on.

He, like I, experienced the entry and landing of Mars Curiosity with the happy pairing of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s live stream  and Twitter. We take turns spreading the good news: science is great! NASA is so cool! Did you see the pictures? I love Twitter! What a great way to experience space adventures, etc.

As I turn to leave, he stops me. “Don’t forget your excuse for today!” I’d seen the post early this morning but had indeed already forgotten it:

From outer space to a local coffee shop in just a matter of hours.

It’s a small world, after all.