In my first job out of grad school, I had a colleague Mark. Mark was married to June and I became friends with them both. At a point where I had a roommate moving out, they suggested that their friend Phyllis needed a roommate while she finished her final semester of law school. Phyllis and I met and agreed to share my apartment for the duration of her schooling.
I really liked Phyllis and for a time, even after she graduated, moved back to her Colorado roots and married her longtime boyfriend Tom, we kept touch. Mark and June had moved away and it seems like the last contact I’d had with Phyllis, she told me Mark and June had divorced. Over time I lost contact with these friends I had so enjoyed.
In this day and age of social media and multiple ways to track down lost connections, I had an impulse last week to do a search for Phyllis on FB. What popped up was her familiar face and a promotion for her book, Quantum Lite Simplified: How to Calm the Chaos . If anything, I might have expected she was serving as a judge somewhere. The book and its intriguing title were a surprise
Of course, I had to get the book, a very credible and readable effort, which flows so naturally it seems effortless. Phyllis begins “with a brief history and explanation of how I got into quantum. Parts 1-3 give you an understanding of energy, systems and chaos theory from a quantum perspective.” The last half, parts 3-5, “offers a way to ‘be’ in chaos without ‘being in chaos’.”
Her book reveals much of her own evolution from lawyer to author. I thought of other friends whose lives developed in such different directions from their starting point. My friend Mary, for example, was a psychologist, later a Physicians Assistant, and now a creator of beautiful quilts and a teacher of quilt-making. My life is testament as well, as I now pastor after years as a therapist. And I really don’t think I’m finished. I have wondered if there is another book lurking somewhere in my brain and heart. It is now five years since Dream In Progress was published. It was so much work but so much pleasure.
My father was a newspaper printer from the time he apprenticed at 17 to the time he retired at 70. He told me that, coming up in the depression, he was encouraged that whenever he got a job, he should always hang onto it. And he did. He shared with me once when I was a teen, that he had in mind a story that he really thought about writing. Years later I reminded him of that and told him if he would tell it to me, I would write it. He said, with some resignation, that he didn’t remember it.
Thankfully, there is more freedom now to pursue multiple avenues over the course of a lifetime. May we have the courage of those like Phyllis, and avoid the regrets like those of my dear father, who surely had a worthy tale to tell.
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate
Hope’s Café Bonus: “Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart