‘Hi Patti’ (How simple is that?)

FullSizeRenderA quick update on our daughter, Anne, whom many of you prayed for in relation to what the doctor called “situational depression” over losing a job. She is doing much better and has a new job in Hawaii. Though we dislike that she is so far away, she loves where she lives, the people who live around her, and is adjusting to the new job. One piece of Anne that still remains with us is her dog, Malle (pronounced Mallay); the one she rescued as a puppy from a dumpster in Puerto Rico. Malle is a medical term for “ankle” which was how big she was when Anne found her — no taller than Anne’s ankle. Now she is more like thigh-high; I feel like we should call her Femur.

Because of strict rabies quarantine laws in Hawaii, we have Malle through most of October when we will ship her over to Anne. Malle is currently on rabies probation.

She’s a handful, believe me, because she is sort of like a large puppy with a puppy’s attitude and a puppy’s energy. She wants to play all the time and requires at least two walks a day and some extended time going nuts off her leash.

So, now that I have joined the dog-walkers, I have been meeting more people; at least I have the opportunity to. Whether I take the opportunity or not will be a factor of whether I choose to come out of myself or remain isolated. There’s that word. You knew I’d get around to it sooner or later.

There’s one house about five doors down where a woman often comes out front to have a cigarette. On one pass, I stopped long enough to introduce myself and learn her name was Patti. Just the other day I passed by her and could have said, “Hi Patti,” but I didn’t. I didn’t know if she would have remembered my name and I didn’t want to put her on the spot. That may sound good but it’s only about 20% true. The real reason was because I knew if used her name that would indicate an opportunity to talk and I didn’t think I had the time. Now that’s ridiculous. I certainly have the time to say “Hi Patti”; I just didn’t want to stick my neck out. Here I had gone the first step in getting her name, but I didn’t take the second step of using it. I didn’t complete the job.

“Hi Patti,” opens us up to the possibility of a conversation. That may seem small and insignificant, but it says a lot about isolation. How many potential contacts like this happen to us each and every day? How do we treat them? Do we stay isolated or do we come out? Do we even notice? At least give yourself the opportunity to come out. I took the first step; I got her name. Now what? Well, since I’ve brought it up to you, I will have to follow through next time or I’m making myself out to be a liar to all of you. Poor Patti, she’s got the whole Catch after her now! I’ll let you know how this goes.

In the meantime, be conscious today of choosing isolation or choosing to engage. I bet you’ll be surprised how many opportunities there are. Since you contain the life of Christ, don’t you think that’s enough reason right there to engage?

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11 Responses to ‘Hi Patti’ (How simple is that?)

  1. greg krejci says:

    Thank you for your honesty, John. It is refreshing. As Nike says, “Just do It”.

  2. Heather says:

    Happy Birthday to Chandler. And some heartfelt prayers for peace for your daughter, Anne. Thank you again (and again), John, for your honesty and sharing. God’s peace be a strength to you, too.

  3. arlaz says:

    Hi John, I went to the local political caucus yesterday. I sat by myself in the middle of a long row, with no one around me. I started to do some Sudoku, but remembered my desire to please God by not isolating. So I put my phone away and looked around. Eventually someone sat in my row. I said hi, and we exchanged a couple of sentences. Then I decided to move one seat closer. I initiated a conversation, and he and his wife introduced themselves. We talked about a group she was part of. I had to remind myself I wasn’t there to judge anyone, just to be a human among humans. With God’s help, I reached past my isolation into being a part of the community. Thanks for giving me the chance to share a mini-success that started with trusting God!

  4. KaT H. says:

    Happy Birthday, dear Chandler 🙂 As someone who has 15 years of sobriety and recovery, I say “Welcome!” Hope you find lots of young people’s meetings–I attended the one at the Laguna Beach Canyon Club–Thurs. at 8PM!

  5. Lois Taylor says:

    I always choose to engage. My other used to embarrass me when she engaged everybody. Now I do the same. You never know what will happen. Happy birthday, Chandler.

  6. kevinm1957 says:

    How often do I catch myself saying Hi to a passerby and then being annoyed when they actually turn the “Hi” into a conversation. Don’t they know I was just being polite and have other things to do! Well, this is actually an improvement and I don’t always react that way at least. I used to not say anything, then I starting making eye contact and at least nodding at them. Now I actually speak and maybe 50% of the time get into a conversation without being annoyed about it. Small steps, but going in the right direction at least.

  7. Grace says:

    Welcome to the dogwalkers club!!
    I’m very familiar with this amAzing way to connect with others. I have my agnostic friend Lori who without my dogs I would have never befriended. Our dogs bonded and so have we. What do you know?!? The there’s my gay alcoholic HIV pos friend that i met thru another friend who had a dog. He now walks my dogs on my busy days and cleans my kitchen. LoL love this!
    God is so cool how he brings people to us through a means that he created for us to care for ;))

  8. Grace says:

    Happy Birthday to You Chandler Brave One

  9. Lisa in Sunland says:

    I can so identify with this. I weigh and measure each “Hi”… Will I be interrupting his/her train of thought? Will I be bothering that person? Yet I’ve never been bothered by someone else saying Hi nor the conversations that may follow. I’m seeing more how silly I’m being. Thank you,

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