I love it when a simple event turns into more than one might expect.
In this case it was a flat tire.
As they pulled our truck onto the lift I walked out the service bay door. An elderly woman was standing on the sidewalk. I noticed her bright and beautiful eyes immediately. We struck up a conversation that flowed like we had known each other all of our lives. It did not take long for her to tell me that she was 87 years old.
Mrs. Reed and her husband owned the service station. 50-something years ago she pumped the gas, and she also included an oil level check, tire pressure check, and windshield washer fluid top-off with gasoline fill-up’s. Do you also remember those days?
Our conversation led me to think about small business, and how relationships with our clients, our customers, and our business comrades are all so important. We want to provide service to the best of our ability, in a friendly human manner, just like the full-service stations did many years ago. Our conversation also led me to think about life in general. How it isn’t about our every-day grind, nor a “me, me, me” world, it really is all about our relationships with people.
Mrs. Reed went on to tell me about her 35 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and the various remarkable professions and lives that they live.
All of this time I kept thinking, “How does she do it?” She is so full of life. So bright, seemingly without a care in the world.
I never had to ask her that question, she volunteered a simple answer, “You never stop.”
You never stop. You do not listen to the voice that says you cannot do it. You do it. You make it happen. When you stop you accept defeat, both physically and mentally.
Our conversation was lengthy, the details are not included here (for your sake), but I must say, as we parted ways I told her, “You have inspired me!” She held those tiny beautiful wrinkled hands behind her head, wriggled her fingers, as if to say, “Phooey!” But the grin and eyes told me differently, they were encouraging.
We can learn a lot from our elders.
I will always remember those words, “You never stop.” You rest momentarily. Then you get back up and make your world what you intend it to be.
I guess I am not so nuts when I tell my husband, and other people, that I intend to be milking goats, actively, when I am 80 years old. When someone says to me (they already do), “I do not know how you do it,” I say, “I just do it. All of it. It is what I want to do!”