Yesterday was one of those high drama days in which I experienced a range of emotions.
The morning was spent following-up on some networking I had done Tuesday. I got great responses and some good leads that will help build my business. I had met some very interesting people and it was a wonderful morning of talking to people and getting to know them better. I was feeling pretty good about life.
Then I had to go somewhere in the heat(no ac in our van, yet) and boy did that drain me. It was like when the plane loses altitude in mid-air. A sinking fast feeling.
I decided to lay down for a nap in the cool of the apartment which helped.
I did my first live to tape television production gig last night at the local community tv station. I was in charge (she said laughingly) of the teleprompter. I was nervous as hell and I'm not sure I did that good of a job even with my very limited part. The director I worked with is great and was quite patient with me. My brother worked the camera and was floor director last night -- he did a great job as well. That made things a bit easier. I like new experiences, but I think I wish they could happen at a better time of the day for me.
I left feeling a bit down about not rising to the occasion (btw, this is my own personal perfectionism -- everyone was wonderful and I don't really think anyone evaluated my performance harshly). Still, we are beginning to develop systems of exchange with other producers and the net result is that our skills are getting better and we have a group of other people we can count on to help with our projects. Our work is paying off slowly but surely.
On the way home from the studio, we ran into a traffic jam near our home which was weird at 10:15p. We knew it was something bad when we saw that the police were not letting traffic pass a section of the road. Usually when they close off all the lanes it means someone has died and they are investigating.
A few minutes after we got home, one of our neighbors came home while we were walking the cat, and said they had been near the incident. Turned out that a homeless guy had been struck and killed by a hit and run driver. As several neighbors discussed things, we realized that the guy who was killed was probably the friend of one of our neighbors.
In fact if it was this guy (we just know that the homeless guy that was killed had the same name as my neighbor's friend, a strong coincidence but not definitive proof), then I believe I've met the man.
Her friend would sit on the stairway waiting for her. We walk our cat on a leash and had brought her down a couple of time when he was sitting on the stairs. She rarely lets people pet her, especially on her way to and from her "business" on her walks, but she was friendly with this man. He obviously liked animals. He called her "puppy" because of the leash.
The exchanges with him on the steps were just one of those little rituals that develop between people who pass each other in daily life without much thought. They can be joyful in their comforting. I had no idea that he was homeless. I knew he was a friend of my neighbor and that sat on the steps and had a cigarette when he visited her. I knew he liked cats better than dogs because he said so. I knew Anawim (my cat) liked him which was remarkable because she is quite picky.
This morning I realized that my ideas about networking were changed a bit because of last night. I've spent a lot of time during the past four months building a business that requires me to meet a lot of people in order to find people to serve who will pay me money to serve them. I have done a lot of formal and informal networking designed to meet those people I can serve. I like doing business this way. It is social. It is natural. It is useful. It is the micromarket at its best. It is fun.
But my social networks include nameless familiar people who are neighbors and coffee shop baristas and wait staff and store clerks and poker players and other patrons at the places I frequent, and, yes, guys sitting on the stairway enjoying a smoke and an encounter with my kitty cat. Networking is more than an exchange of business cards. I need to remember that.
There is a cliche that "you can't see the forest for the trees." I think the opposite might be true at times. So much of life that happens at the micro-level is precious and rich. We get caught up in wars, rumors of wars, politics, movie stars and global news in this postmodern age of telecommunications and instant global information.
So this morning I'm a bit weepy. Someone who touched my life lightly might be gone. I hope he knows that he made my day a bit brighter. I wish I had told him so. If he wasn't the guy who died last night, then I plan to tell him what he means to me and my kitty the next time I see him.
What I can do is make sure I appreciate all those people who make my life easier. There are plenty of people who make it harder. They are takers. I sometimes spend too much time dealing with takers.
Things like last night make me appreciate the givers all the more.