Friday, August 16, 2013

A Love Story for the Procrastinator

Never Say "Tomorrow"

Even now, after six long years, the thought of Mary Ellen overwhelms me.  As I reminisce on what a lovely woman she was, I am simultaneously reminded of her death and how negligence and procrastination hindered me from keeping my word.  

Mary Ellen was the first and only boss I ever really loved and respected.  She was a tall, blond-haired woman in her mid-fifties who possessed the vitality and enthusiasm of a teenage girl.  Her personality was so warm and inviting that it always left me wanting to be in her presence just a little while longer. When she smiled, I could feel her sincerity.  In fact, it is that same smile that's visible in a photo taken at my wedding.

I can vividly recall the day that I became the receptionist at her court-reporting firm.  I was apprehensive about meeting her after hearing that she was not only the "head person in charge" but the owner of the firm as well.  In my mind, this translated into ONE thing: a superiority complex.

Every administrative job I'd ever had left me with tainted images of my "Superiors."  My bosses repeatedly turned out to be condescending individuals who reveled in creating an atmosphere of supposed class distinction between management and administration. I had experienced, firsthand, what it was like to be reprimanded over a PA system while the clients and I stood mortified in the lobby.  I knew how awkward it felt to have to ask that the assignments for the day be placed ON my desk and not tossed onto the floor!

Yes, quickly I discovered that Mary Ellen was not a replica of any of these early experiences but a welcomed breath of fresh air.  Unlike her peers, it was natural for her to speak to me and inquire about my life outside of work, as opposed to just stopping by my desk to pick up messages.  At her request, I was included in the monthly office meetings and birthday celebrations; this caused quite a stir! Because of Mary Ellen's recommendation, the arduous task of finding someone to relieve me for bathroom breaks was eliminated.  Yet and still, one of her most significant impacts on my life, from which I am still reaping its fruit, was her offering ME the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the business, which eventually led to a promotion.  Mary Ellen's integrity reminded me of things big and small that should never be tolerated—things which I had once desired to challenge but, over time, lost my passion to do so.

For these reasons, upon so many others, my heart feels heavy at the thought of her.  So the question is: "why didn't I keep my promise concerning her?!" I had said over and over in my mind that even though I'd found another job that I would ALWAYS stay in touch.  I can hear myself saying, "I've got to call Mary Ellen and tell her how well everything's going at my new job!...tell her how much fun I'm having being married!!...tell her how beautiful it is to bring a child into the world with someone you love!!!...tell her how much I enjoy being a mom and how I look forward to her seeing the beautiful son God gave us!!!! Finally, I wanted to share how much I learned from her, particularly how you can be an astute businesswoman, with authority, and yet behave as if you have none.  This amazing woman, of such impeccable character, knew how to stand up for what she believed in, EVEN if it created some waves; the difference was, she did it with a smile.

So again, the question returns to me, weighing heavily on my heart: "Why didn't you just go visit  like you said you would?!?!"  And then...reverbating softly in my ears, the answer comes back: "because I thought I would always have 'TOMORROW.'

1 comment:

  1. That was touching! I too am guilty of this..expecting to see tomorrow and to always have more time! Procrastination is a habit for me that has become so natural! In my daily prayers it never occurred to me to ask God to help me remove this spirit of procrastination until today! Thank you!