During finals week – April 1998 — Elizabeth and I should have been studying. Instead, we were watching "Dirty Dancing." Over the course of the semester we'd memorized pretty much every bit of the movie's dialogue. When the final dance scene came on, we acted out the moves in our apartment kitchen. We slid across the linoleum in our socked feet. Beth's feet came out from under her and she fell into a heap of giggles. I laughed so hard I peed my pants.
Man, those were some good times and Beth was the best roommate a girl could ask for. Until this summer, I hadn't seen Beth since 2005. Such a bummer. Especially since there were a number of times I was just a couple of miles away from her house, but I "thought" I was too busy to stop.
Up until recently I had a strict personal policy: if I was traveling for business I'd take the last possible flight that would get me to my destination in just enough time to make my first meeting or training session. Then, on the end of the trip, I'd take the very first flight home as soon as I was done with work. I felt so much guilt being away from home and my family, so I wouldn't let myself enjoy the places or people I'd visited.
This summer – when I was coming back from Idaho (the kids and I went up to see Papa and Mama Shelley) – I decided to take my time getting home and drop by to see one of my college roommates. Beth (and April) are the very best parts of my college years. They are the kindest and warmest ladies in the world. I was so blessed to randomly land in an apartment with them my first semester at BYU. Post college, we've kept tabs on each other thanks to social media, but I haven't seen either one of them for YEARS. I pass by the town Beth lives whenever I go to Idaho, but I'm always in a rush. That's sort of the story of my life — rush here, rush there ... rush everywhere. And as I rush, I miss out on so much. But not anymore. I'm saying yes to taking detours — detours to see more and to connect more.
While we sat in Beth's living room and chatted about life, our kids ran around the house playing and laughing together. Our girls went on a mini-adventure around Beth's neighborhood. Even though I hadn't seen Beth since Shelby was one, it was like no time had passed. And I was struck by one thing: this is what matters. Reaching out to the people who hold space in our hearts. What matters in connecting with the people who make us laugh, who make us feel at home, who make us feel loved ... who make us feel whole.
I will say yes to taking detours to connect with kindreds ... it's so worth the time and effort.
One of my goals is to say no more and be extra thoughtful about when I say yes. "Say Yes" is a series featuring the things or experiences I'm saying yes to and why.