Charles and I began September (my second favorite month, after October) by taking a road trip to Connecticut (and New England is my second favorite place, after our town in New Jersey). :)
Our destination was the Fairview Country Club in Greenwich, to spend the day with one of Charles's longtime friends from college, who is now a dear friend to us both.
Our friend invited another couple to join him as well. I was very saddened to hear that the other gentlemen didn't feel comfortable and was too intimidated by the surroundings, and he and wife declined the invitation.
I've been thinking about how easy it is for us to become intimidated. Although I felt comfortable during our time at Fairview, there have been SO many times that I've felt intimidated by a person or my surroundings.
Today I want to share with you my very first experience with intimidation, and how my mother Nadia gave me some great advice that I still use to this day.
I was almost five years old during the 1984 Olympics. I was enraptured by the figure skaters, and shortly afterwards I began figure skating lessons.
By the time I was eight years old, I had progressed enough that Nadia suggested I begin working with Peter Burrows. He is a legend among figure skaters, and was the top coach at my skating rink.
I told Mummy I didn't think that was a good idea. Mr. Burrows was a previous World Champion. He drove a fancy car. He was very wealthy. Sometimes he yelled at his pupils so loudly the entire skating rink could hear.
I was filled with nervousness and intimidation at the thought of Peter Burrows becoming my coach.
Wise woman that she is, Nadia gave me the best two-word life lesson I've ever had.
When she said that I was shocked, because she raised me that there are certain words we never say and many things we don't talk about in public, the most private bodily functions being among the forbidden list.
But then Nadia said it again.
"Everybody poops. No person's value is more than or less than another's."
This time I started giggling, and my little eight year old heart was able to make the leap of understanding that every human shares not just the same basic body but the same material of their souls.
There may be people in your life that intimidate you, whether a relative, teacher, boss, colleague, or friend. Remember that their "soul material" is the same as yours. Their worth before God is equal to yours. And, yes, their private bathroom tasks are identical to yours. :)
I took lessons with Mr. Burrows for five years, until I chose to end my figure skating career. Having him as my coach was a very positive experience, and I am thankful for both the skating lessons and the life lessons that I learned from him.
Below are some pictures from our lunch at Fairview. Above is a gorgeous American beech tree that is on the grounds. Isn't that the most perfect climbing tree?!