My Gramma loved details. She loved to imagine us (her very large family of 60+ people) doing things and living our lives. So, with unlimited minutes on my first Sprint plan in 1998, I started a habit of calling my Gramma and sharing a little part of my day with her.
I’d call when I was making dinner, waiting at the airport or driving home from work. I’d tell her about a meal I’d had, a project I was working on, or about what my family was up to. She was interested in where I was going, what I was looking at in that moment, what would we eat, and what I would do that weekend. She loved to hear a good story, and the details of it always seemed to delight her. (And as you may have noticed, the Allaire family really enjoys food talk.)
She’d respond with polite “Oh…that’s so nice…” and wait for more.
I got good at describing my surroundings, intentions and experiences because of our conversations, and her curiosity. I was becoming a storyteller.
In January of 2013, I went to Erie, Pennsylvania to visit her. While I didn’t know it at the time, it was our last visit before she became sick and passed away just a few months later. I told her about the business I was building and what I had planned: the writing, community and speaking. I shared what it means to coach people who want to make big changes in their lives. I told her about how I want to do all of it while my little family thrives in every way. How we have created our home-away-from-home, and what new adventures are available to us because of it. On a sunny winter day, without even intending to, I told my Gramma my vision for my life.
I seemed to be daring myself with what I was telling her. It was the first time I had said any of it out loud. And, it was all true. I laid out my vision to someone who had nothing but delight in hearing about it. Every word.
When I finally took a breath, she gave me her sly smile and her kind eyes flickered. She tilted her head and said, “I had a feeling you would tell me something like that. I just thought maybe you were going to be starting up something, and you would tell me all about it.”
She had a feeling. That feeling probably originated in the countless other details I had shared with her along my life’s journey.
My vision isn’t about knowing how it will happen, or already having the answers. It isn’t about what I should, or could do. It isn’t about DOING anything in particular. My vision is about HOW I want to BE IN MY LIFE. Period. Professional life, personal life, family life….all of it. LIFE.
When we have an open space to think, talk, create, write…whatever your preference, we have the power to tap into the details of our vision that can make all the difference in our world.
“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”