About 5 weeks ago, I started a new training plan. It’s been specially crafted by experts* for women of a middle sort of age, such as myself. The plan is an intentional rehab of my happy default exercise mode (medium / hard cardio everyday). It’s a lot of strength / weight training, intervals, and really really slow long runs or bikes from time to time. Really slow. “Embarrassingly slow” like I want to carry a sign explaining that I’m doing this on purpose.
I’ve just started listening to podcasts and enjoy picking an old episodes from a variety of shows. Yesterday, Tim Ferris and Cheryl Strayed kept me company, May 2017. As a person aspiring to write again. I heard so many really encouraging thoughts and feelings about the writing process which I know will help me on my own journey. From a craft perspective it was really useful and inspiring, but the gift of the episode, for me was elsewhere.
As the episode closed, Cheryl was asked to share something absurd that she loves doing. The first possibility she offered was that she was a little obsessive… she sorts her kids m&ms or skittles into color groups because she knows that it would be unreasonable to eat the colors out of order. Yes! Cheryl Strayed knows! But even greater, she understands and is committed to the importance of proper sandwich making – every bite should be consistent, the same as the previous bite. You can’t have a lump of jelly on one side resulting in a bite of just bread and peanut butter. That’s terrible. Lettuce, tomato, hummus, avocado, etc. must be rationed evenly throughout the sandwich. When you order out and someone else makes your sandwich, you of course reconstruct it to ensure uniformity. Of course. And yes, our husbands are both jealous and unable to fully comprehend our superior sandwich experience.
Five minutes of sharing these two humble details and I felt my earthly family had expanded and we were connected. (I’m sure Cheryl felt the magic, too, despite the interview being 4 years ago.)
I felt a warm rush of “me too!” and laughed at myself as I was cooling down. Feeling special that I shared an absurd quirk (amazing gift) with someone like Cheryl Strayed, I could also feel why sharing our humble details with others creates warm connections. And how wired we are to receive and connect to each other.