I was excited when I got picked for the travel team. Unlike the time in college when I was chosen to go to a bowling tournament in Iowa City to be a body with a hand that could hold a ball, this time I was welcomed warmly.
Three of my friends were inspired to substitute the forecast of snow with the sound of the ocean and the sight of spring. We’ve known one another since our children were in Montessori school more than thirty years ago. I was happy at the prospect of a week to write and be with women I love.
We have seen each other through deaths, divorces, weddings, and grandchildren. We have vetted one another’s lovers, said to one another what no one else would, and shared our dreams of growing old well.
As the week went by, I savored the gifts that each brought to our troupe. Gretchen sang along to soundtracks and started a spontaneous dance party in the midst of our Big Chill movie night. Karla both navigated and educated us through the city for the garden tour of azaleas, dogwoods, and magnolias. Melinda solved would-be problems before they arose, rounding up big beach towels and knowing the perfect pizza for the night that ended the day we never got out of our pajamas. I was happy making our avocado toast and eggs for breakfast.
For any big journey, we want a support team. I appreciate these players:
Big Seers. When someone sees you as greater than you see yourself, they help you rise to and step into your true self. There’s no substitute for someone who recognizes the real you.
Dream Holders. Sharing your hopes and dreams aloud can be powerful. Be sure to share only with those who will hold them tenderly.
Knowers and Doers. The person who can get the remote to work with Netflix when no one else can is priceless. So is the person who’s willing to go buy extra toilet paper.
Challengers. There is no substitute for the person who’s willing to ask the tough questions. They are more interested in your success than in avoiding their own discomfort.
Cheerleaders. Whether it’s when you’ve stumbled on your path or you’re crossing the finish line, you need the smiles and celebration.
When we find the right people to be on our team, they not only help us get to any destination, but they make it easier and more fun getting there. If you’re as lucky as me, you’ll want them for a lifetime.
Do you have a team for your next big destination?
Is there someone who is no longer a fit for your team?
Are you willing to invite someone new to help you on your path forward?