Abby’s Diary: Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover!

This week’s greatest joy for me was having dinner with a woman I know from the area where I live, that reached out to me and said that she wanted to know where she could get a copy of my book to purchase. My immediate response to her was that I’d be happy to meet her in person, autograph it, and suggested that if she had time that maybe we could get a bite to eat together.

Now the real shame of this story is that I have known this woman for years as our sons were similar in age and had attended and participated in the same activities in high school. But in all that time, I had never spent more than five minutes in conversation with her. I can’t give you any particular reason as to why other than that I lean more to the introverted side of things and making small talk is one thing, but long conversations were way out of my comfort zone for the most part. So it was shocking to me how free and easy our conversation flowed and how fast a three hour dinner went by. We closed the placed!!

We spoke to each other as if we were long term best friends and were just filling in the gaps since we had last chatted, but we weren’t. The sad truth is that while we had known each other for years, neither of us had invested the quality time needed to form a bond of friendship. I suppose we could blame work, kids, sick parents, and husbands that had kept us too busy to make the time to get to know each other as woman and friends, but that would be an excuse on both our parts. Maybe before last night we had each formed an opinion of each other from the limited conversation in the past and decided consciously or unconsciously that we didn’t see a need or desire to connect further. Now I can’t speak for how she felt after our dinner conversation but from my perspective my opinion proved flat out wrong. I felt really comfortable, I learned a lot about her that I didn’t know before, we shared some things in common from being females working in male dominated work-places, and I gained a new found respect for the load she was carrying and still plugging away every day to ensure everyone’s needs were being met. In my mind she was the heroine in her very own story!

In my book, Sno-Cone Diaries, in the beginning of chapter four I use the quote “Above all be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” --- Nora Ephron

Chapter four is the one entitled, Women Take Responsibility for your own Happiness. Well last night we both did. In this dreary month of June with all this rain, and coming off a fabulous vacation in Italy, I was feeling a bit down, bored, and lonely, and had just declared that I needed to either make some new friends, or get off my duff and go see some old ones, the very few I have left that haven’t fired me or me them. I even said a prayer in church asking God to send some new people into my life to lift up my spirits, and help re-energize my purpose as I had been taken off track by a shiny new object or “magic bullet” that was going to take me where I wanted to go with little to no effort on my part. WRONG!!

My purpose is to touch lives, one at a time, and hopefully through the Grace of our relationship, I can inspire you to make the changes you need to live a happier more fulfilled life. My friend bought a copy of my book, promised to read it, agreed to take some “me” time and start thinking about what her future will look like. We agreed to meet again in August to discuss the book, any insights gained, and the impact of her knowing my story might have on how she moves forward. We closed the evening exchanging thank you texts where she said “I think its awesome folks like you are willing to put it all out there for others, you really seem happy with it all.”

I can’t wait for our August dinner. This time she was brave enough to share her story, by August she will know mine. Friendship is inevitable because neither one of us will be judging each other anymore by our covers. Our stories will have been shared by then and the spirit of the challenges we have faced and conquered will forever change how we look at each other, and at life. Enjoy your “me time” my friend it is well deserved!

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