Here at work today the CEO thought it would be fun to walk across the street to the park and teach juggling to anyone who wanted to come. Call it team building, or morale boosting, or whatever you like, but I think it was a great gesture.
The invitation actually went out a week ago. Everyone knew it was today. I was looking forward to going.
I would like to learn to juggle, but at the very last second I decided I would not attend today. I have a litany (like that word) of excuses: my allergies, I want to leave early, I have work to do, etc.
But when a coworker rushed back into the office to get something she had forgotten she saw me and asked:
"Are you coming to juggle?"
"Not today," I said, adding a thick layer of regret to my words.
She blinked, turned away and said, "Maybe tomorrow..."
It was a wistful and knowing "maybe tomorrow" -- she wasn't saying there would be a chance to spend an hour with the CEO learning to juggle tomorrow. There most likely won't. Instead, I think she was saying that there was NO lesson tomorrow. Why wait? Why pass up a one time opportunity? And with a lame explanation of "not today..."
It's too late to go now. But it's not too late to try to learn from this. I've spent my life spewing out Not Today's. That might even be my catch phrase. I'm incredibly shy and often I'll want to do something, but shyness will overtake me at the last minute.
What if I had said "not today" the day I asked my wife out on our first date?
Am I teaching this to my kids?
I need to do better. I want to do better.