Today was a great day because I got to have lunch with my friend Heidi. I got to know Heidi in the 1990s, when I got the chance to work with NEMAA as they began to grow and got the Arts District established. Over the years, she's become a true friend — someone who knows me very deeply, and who (still, or in spite of that) always has my back. I adore spending time with her, and her family.
Heidi was talking about things she is working on and things she is passionate about. She discussed Chowgirls new landlords at the Solar Arts Building, and how much they give back to the community. She glowed when she told me about several community groups that she is working with, and the impact they have. I love this about Heidi, her never-ending work to make the world she lives in a better place.
At one point, she said she was "lucky" to have the life she has, and I responded with one of my favorite quotes, by Thomas Jefferson — "I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." She kind of laughed, and then mused that maybe it was worth it, that all the blood sweat and tears of NEMAA, and all the long hours establishing Chowgirls (not to mention everything else she gets involved with), might be bearing fruit now to lead to the kind of life and community that she strongly values.
I couldn't agree more. Truth be told, a lot of my great and enduring friendships stem from the NEMAA phase of my life (you know who you are). Its impact resonates still today.
Maybe I ought to head to Art-A-Whirl this year.