My day started today at almost nine a.m., something that would have been inconceivable only a few years ago. Three days of grandkids and one of Disneyland left me pleasurably exhausted and last night I went to bed early (for me) and slept as well as I’ve slept in months. At ten o’clock, I had a conference call with three associates to decide whether or not to bid a job that’s similar to some other work we’ve done. We have been making these bid-no bid decisions together for so long that the process is familiar if exhausting. Usually one of us is most positive about the prospect of bidding, and he puts forth his notion of what the proposal might look like. It is important to ask Why Us? … what parts of the job fit our expertise and why would the customer want to choose us? This job was what I would call a reach … we have some expertise in the area, but no experience. As the call went on, our positions shifted. We took turns offering new approaches to the proposal or arguing against them. After an hour, the conference line went silent … it was a place we’d reached many times. With no one as a proponent for bidding, we decided, no bid. I always feel a mix of relief and disappointment when we no-bid a job … writing proposals has always been one of my strengths, but even when they go well, they are draining.
With the decision made, Muri and I went to the local Corner Bakery for lunch, taking separate cars because I was in the mood to work out among the peeps for the day while she’s off to the park. I’m nestled in a corner table at the moment, one with an outlet so I can plug in my laptop. I’ve spun my wheels for over an hour on a serious post about closet prejudice but it’s not going to happen, at least today. Hence, this ramble. By now, most of the lunch peeps are gone. There’s one middle-aged fellow having a late lunch, two high school girls nearby chattering away as they text, a few Moms with kids here for an after school snack, and three souls like me, hunched over their laptops. The jazz playing on my headphones masks any annoyances. A few minutes ago, a nicely dressed man came in, about my age but more wrinkled and stoop-shouldered. He stopped at the newspaper rack and took several sections, then moved on to the still uncleared table next to me. He checked the potato chip bags to see if they were empty, then ate a few scraps off the abandoned tray. Before I could say anything, he was out the door and gone. Contrasts like that are consistent reminders to be grateful. I am.