SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 153: “Slow Down!”

It’s me, Terri, Richard’s other half, and I am host writing for Richard today. I call it “host” writing because I am not truly “ghost” writing (he would not allow that). Richard’s life has been speeding a little past the limit the last few days and to keep him from crashing I have offered to help out with today’s entry.

TERRI:  Hey honey, remember, you have a doctor appointment today at 4pm. 

RICHARD: Ummm… I rescheduled my appointment for tomorrow.

TERRI: Huh?

RICHARD: I’ve got a meeting with the group fitness manager at the new L.A Fitness  Center.

TERRI: (rolling eyes and pretending ignorance) Why?…

RICHARD: Well, they are going to open soon and I think they may be looking for spinning instructors.

TERRI: And that would concern you because…?

RICHARD: Well, I thought I might like to pick-up another class (or two).

TERRI: Seriously?  Three spinning classes a week (and subbing), a photography business, writing a daily blog, hours of weekly volunteer work, being a husband and a dad is not enough excitement for you?

RICHARD: Well, this gym is a lot closer to our home.

Richard went to his meeting at L.A. Fitness and came back with his 365 friend for today.

TERRI: You photographed the person you were interviewing with for a job?

RICHARD: Yes.

OK.  I think that is a little unconventional, but not for Richard.

The truth is, my husband loves people and he loves to teach. Actually, teach is not really an accurate word to describe his passion – inspire is a more accurate description of what he is all about. Whether it is teaching a photography class on expanding your creative vision, or mentoring a single student on finding and trusting their own creative voice, or (and I think, deep down, this he why he is interested in picking-up another spinning class), encouraging someone to get to the end of a spin session, especially when it has been a challenge for the participant, and sees the satisfaction of accomplishment in their countenance, it brings him joy.  Perhaps it is somewhat self-serving, but I know Richard, and I know that for him he truly likes and cares about people — he does not harbor a lot of pretense. So, it really does not surprise me that his 365 friend for today would be the person he went to interview with.

Meet today’s friend, Teri.

When I walked into our office and saw Teri’s photo smiling at me from Richard’s monitor I just wanted to smile back — “Is that the person you interviewed today?  Isn’t she darling!” I do not mean that comment in a condescending way. It’s just that when I saw her beautiful, radiant face I just wanted to smile back at her and that is the first word that came to mind.

Richard tells me about her.

“She has a real sense of calm about her. Her words of counsel are: ‘Slow down. Enjoy the gift of life.’  It’s clear she practices what she preaches. She had a Zumba class to teach right after our interview, but she made no appearance of being rushed, she was very much present and focused in the moment.”

When asked what she would like to see for the herself or the world over the next 1,5,10… years:

FOR THE PLANET: Restoration

SELF: That wound also be restoration, I am a part of the planet.

PEOPLE: Feel encouraged to do what you really want to do.

I did not meet Teri, but I do believe in the classic saying that a picture can speak a thousand words.  Teri’s photo radiates optimism and encouragement.  It’s no wonder she is a group fitness manager — I’m sure she pumps everyone up, helping to give them confidence in themselves and inspiration and encouragement  “to do what you really want to do.”  I think if she told me I really could Zumba and not get all mixed-up (past experience creeping in here), I believe I could… or at least I would give it another try.

I think I can truly say that I understand her character because it appears to be a lot like my husband’s.  We were having dinner with a long time friend of mine a few weeks ago and she expressed to me how optimistic Richard has always seemed to be.  I am a bit more of the opposite (that same friend can attest to that), but thank heaven for people like Richard and Teri! In a world that can so easily keep you looking at your feet, they inspire us to look up at the endless expanse of the universe!

So, with Teri’s words of counsel ” Slow down. Enjoy the gift of life,” fresh on my mind, I am going to end this post and spend some smile-time with my daughter.

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