Spending a week in lake tahoe, in northern cal, has its ups and downs. the ups: you are really up there. some 6500 ft. you can see a long way, and the view is spectacular from that vantage point.
there’s a lot of happy, healthy people toodling around.
the air is clean and it even feels different on your skin.
the downs: usually self-imposed.
My self-imposed downs were eventually righted, thankfully. But it compelled me to think more about invitations.
Invitations are like micro-opportunities. Sure, there are the kind that pop up in our everyday chats; “would you join us…?” or “what are you doing next week for dinner?” Those are more of easy variety, a la the softball toss.
Then the kind that show up in our Inbox as an “Evite”.
But the real five-star winners are the ones you can’t really detect as invitations. They are bold statements (“You’ll never be able to….” OR “I’m feeling terribly lonely and my sickness is scaring me”). They are an invitation for action. Your action.
In the past weeks, I’ve had two. One came from a world champion athlete and good friend. First it was veiled behind a “You should go to _____ to watch me race”. Later, it came in an email, addressed to me and her parents, her closest family members, and several dear friends: “To all on Team Wellington Crew”. And what followed was a short but sweet ‘invitation’ that outlined what we would be doing the week of the most significant race in her year, and how we could (and should) reach each other while we were there.
The second invitation was more of the “I’m feeling miserable” variety. And, coming from a parent, or loved one, these tend to get ignored more than they should. It was, however, one that I didn’t – and was the cause for a few self-imposed “Downs” as I mentioned at the start of this post. In the end, the action taken (a visit to my parents) brought delicious memories that will last as long as the grey matter between my ears keeps gifting me with its magical powers.
Invitations are curious things. The ones that seem the least like them, are sometimes the most thrilling, important, or deserving of attention, a second look.