Always 11

It’s almost the witching hour…11:11 on 11-11-11. Of course we already had a minute of this time today…this morning, but I was at work, so for me that didn’t count. I’m marking my significant moment as the evening one.

You have to admit it’s a great number. Like wonderful alliteration with words, 11-11-11 is memorable, for oh so many reasons. Easy to remember, primary, and perfect numeric poetry, symbolism and magic, all wrapped up in one. Any way you express it, all wrapped up in 1.

Years ago when our kids were early elementary school ages, Rob played a math quiz game with them at dinner. He’d give different combinations of numbers using addition and subtraction, and they would do the math to give the answer. And the answer was always 11. That became a family slogan (I think the phrase is from a movie too, but I’m sure we had it first!) and we’ve been surprised at how often 11 has been a significant number in our lives. Not that we’re superstitious or anything. I mean, we’re not picking lottery numbers with 11; 11 is not my password. But it turns up often enough that I notice – and wonder.

Today is also Veterans Day, and as the mother of a veteran, a veteran looking for a job, it holds greater significance to me than in the past. I appreciate all veterans, but viewing my son in that role brings the day and the reason for the day into sharp focus. I wonder, do I only value things that touch me somehow? And the answer comes, reassuringly, no, but like anything in life, a personal connection increases awareness and insight. So I see veterans with new gratitude, new appreciation for sacrifices. I see differently because I see through my son.

So, an important day on the calendar: a date that will be easily remembered for the births and marriages that occurred this day…easily remembered for whatever happened. Hope you made a great memory, celebrated, jumped for joy over something in your life.

As for me? I was given a great gift today. Something I thought was arranged for future work fell through. I was disappointed, deflated, dejected. And then I realized: this loss will push me more toward the kind of work I really want to do. The opportunity that evaporated was a safety net, a little bit of a sure thing (so I thought) for my finances as I step away from a “regular” job. But the reality is that I need the push to be out there, to make my own way. So, though it wasn’t what I expected when I got up this morning, 11-11-11 delivered. And it will be memorable for me. The best part? A husband who has my back, who took me to dinner, and toasted with me to our connection, and to 11-11-11.


  • November 11, 2011, 11:05 pm  Reply

    Beautifully said…in all regards! And especially your expression of ‘the gift.’ It is that underlying feeling of self-confidence and determination that seems most missing in the country today. So much easier to point fingers, and wring one’s hands, than to become self-responsible and make things happen. Good show!

    • December 4, 2011, 3:59 pm

      Thank you! You are wonderfully encouraging! I appreciate your thoughtful comments, and I apologize for being so slow to reply. Doing a bit of catch up while I’m out of town and have a quiet Sunday afternoon.

      Happy December! ~ Sheila

  • November 12, 2011, 7:11 am  Reply

    It is a testament to your positive nature that you focused on the gift rather than the loss. I loved this post!

    And I do think that, as empathetic as we are, we do relate more to an experience once we’ve had it – i.e. veterans day and you being the mother of a veteran now. It’s not that you didn’t care before, you did, but you “get it” even more now. And that’s quite OK to say, I think.

    Cheers for your day!

    • December 4, 2011, 3:57 pm

      Thank you MJ! Yes, I’m going back and catching up on some comments I missed replying to at the time they came through. Sooner or later I’ll get ahead of the game!

      I was taken aback for a bit, but in the end, you face reality and make lemonade! And in the end, I think good will come out of the loss I experienced that day…new work is on the horizon, and a better option than the one that fell through. Keeping my fingers crossed! ~ Sheila

  • November 12, 2011, 10:26 am  Reply

    Oh shoot – I missed the 11:11 on 11-11-11 moment. I meant to toast it or send up a firecracker or something. Thinking back, I suppose I was feeding the horses – remember all of the sweet bell peppers? I took some with the apple slices and to my surprise, they loved them.

    But as I read through your thoughts and the way you summed it up, I decided you toasted it well with a glass half-full instead of half-empty and saw the gift where many would see the lack. Well done!

    • December 4, 2011, 3:51 pm

      Hey, I’m woefully behind on responding to some comments…don’t even know if this will be seen, but I wanted to reply…

      Thank you for your words….took me a while to work around to seeing the gift, but less time than it once would have required. I’m learning!

      Good for you that your horses shared the moment with you. Animals have a huge place in life and our hearts…sometimes they are just the right companion for the moment.

      Your horses are lucky…hand feeding with love! ~ Sheila

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