On a Collision Course

After being on a tight schedule for over two weeks, it was a pleasure to greet the morning without an alarm or wake-up call. I stretched, turned and snuggled deeply beneath the soft and fluffy comforter. It felt good to breathe.

My senses and thoughts slowly awakened. I noticed the scent of my perfume on the pillow. I became aware of the filtered light that entered the room. I knew by the dimness it still was early and I had time to linger. It was a luxury to enjoy the feelings of dozing, lounging and taking in the breeze that blew off the ocean and through my balcony door.

I was alone. No one was looking for me. Nothing was pressing. The hustle and bustle around the hotel were not my concern. And so, my mind wandered….

Four of my “worlds” — very different versions of me and parts of my life — collided over these last two weeks, but I had no time to process or sort out what was happening….or what the hidden messages might be. So, let me do it now.

Collision Number One. It started with a trip to the Harvard Business School for my husband’s thirtieth reunion. The class stayed at the Westin Hotel in Copley Place. Being back in Boston — at Harvard and at Copley (where I worked for IBM) — was surreal. Could it be that I was last in these two places when I was a young, naive twenty-seven-year old? I was a supportive, but un-engaged and slightly insecure spouse in those days. I now know for sure I no longer am the girl I was then.

Collision Number Two. From there, I flew to Israel. I came here to accompany the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Rockland County on a weeklong journey that focused on developing and leaving a legacy. My family moved to Rockland almost forty-five years ago. Back then, I was a young and insecure teenager. Ten years later, I moved away after my college graduation and wedding. I never looked back. And yet, here I am — in a professional capacity — working and traveling with people from my hometown. I now know for sure I no longer am the girl I was then.

Collision Number Three. My brother, a rabbi, still lives and works in Rockland County. I live in Atlanta. He was a participant on the journey I just mentioned above, so we traveled and roomed together for the week. Being brother and sister, as well as colleagues, brought their own share of interesting insights and interactions. I now know for sure we are no longer kids. We are so fortunate to have each other in our adult lives.

Collision Number Four. During this week’s convention, the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, I found myself introducing my former CEO of the Atlanta Federation to my new CEO at Kenes Tours. It was amusing, albeit out-of-the-norm, to chit chat with them both. I left the Federation two years ago and I now know for sure I no longer am the girl I was then.

I don’t know why my past sought me out. I don’t know why these encounters all happened this month. I rarely stop to “see” myself as I was then versus as I am now. But this unique opportunity — this divine intervention — has given me a glimpse into the future by examining my past. I have the potential to learn, grow, and change. True to Rockland’s objective, the sum of me — the experiences I’ve had and the lessons I’ve learned in Israel, Rockland, Boston and Atlanta — will serve as the basis of the legacy I hope to leave my children and grandchildren.

I really must sleep in more often…