I had the opportunity to speak at a Go Red For Women Executive Breakfast this morning. I told the very short version of my story, and encouraged these female executives (and a senator) to get involved in improving the heart health of their employees, co-workers, (themselves) and all the people in their lives. It is very fulfilling for me to be able to have these conversations. I want these people to take away something they can do to make life better for someone else.
In the blog about the elephant in the room, I was talking about my heart disease. MY heart disease. (I'm starting to own what I couldn't even admit to a few months ago.) I believe I've gotten very comfortable talking about it now, and that makes it a lot less scary. I know it made it less scary for me when the ladies at the WomenHeart Symposium talked about their heart disease, and how they are living full and happy lives, elephant and all. Today I saw it as something God has given me to share, the being brave part. Speaking up, giving a hug, being a friend and advocate. It's just one little thing I can do.
Then I went to school. The young fivers were super happy to see me, and plowed over each other to hug me and say hi. This is just medicine for the soul, let me tell you! There are few moments when you feel as loved as when children just honestly care about you and sincerely missed you. I missed them too, and they are my people. I care about them very much. I couldn't do this job if I didn't. There are parts of our day that only Debbie can do, and there are things in the classroom that only I can do. Tomorrow I will have a sub (Simon is sick). I don't think even the best sub knows that snack time just isn't snack time without showing Mrs. Swager the pattern you've created with your snack. Or at least telling her what shape all the things in your snack box are. It's just one little thing I can do.
There are lots of little things I can do that don't amount to much in the grand scheme of things. It's still important to do them. Will the kids in my class become productive citizens without being able to put together "pretzels, drink, pretzels, drink, pretzels"? Sure! But I hope what they're learning is that they are important enough to listen to. Same as my heart sisters. Same as the executives and Senator Schuitmaker. They each have something "little" they can do. Like start an employee fitness plan, or propose legislation, or make a speaker feel that the time her heart stopped was important enough for them to take notice and listen to what else she had to say.
Whatever little thing you can do, do it with great love. St. Therese said it, Mother Teresa said it, I'm paraphrasing it. What little thing can you do?