Last month I wrote about how we can get stuck in life with the same ol’ routines. The same foods, the same drive to work, the same debate with a spouse, the same TV shows, the same thought patterns. To boost us out of a rut, I introduced you to Wendy, the seventeen-year-old student from Vietnam who works on the weekends with her aunt in a local nail salon.
This past weekend, my neighbor, Edie, and I returned to the salon for a freshening of our tootsies. This time I called ahead and asked specifically for Wendy to give me one of her relax ‘n chat pedicures. Our time together did not disappoint! I so wish you could meet Wendy in person and learn from her youthful wisdom.
What Will Your Summer Hold?
With her junior year wrapped up this week, Wendy is looking forward to flying back to Vietnam for two months to be with her family. In late July, Wendy’s younger sister will be returning with Wendy and their mom so the girls can both attend the local Colorado Springs school together. The girls’ parents also received visas to fly back and forth this coming year and attend Wendy’s high school graduation next May. Yay!
Besides drinking plenty of boba tea this summer back home, Wendy will be finishing her summer reading for her literature class this fall. Her choices? Lord of the Flies, Brave New World, and Treasure Island. I shared a brief synopsis of all three literary classics, but hey, this girl is smart enough to make her own decisions on what American books interest her. Frankly, she says she’d rather be reading psychology books.
“Why psychology, Wendy?” I curiously asked. “You’re going to be a business major. Are you thinking of a minor in psychology?”
Wendy looked up quickly from adding a soft violet polish to my feet. “Well, I just want to understand people better,” she shared. “I want to have a better connection with others. I want to have good habits in communicating.”
Wendy’s Solutions Just for You
Ding, ding, ding, ding. Wendy, you just solved how to get out of a rut AND play nice with others AND turn our confused, angry, and hurting world around. We could all use a dose of understanding and connecting better with others. Forget Dr. Phil and Dr. Laura, Wendy H gets relationship dynamics at the core: Seek to put yourself in the other people’s shoes. Learn to listen more and judge less. Apologize when you are wrong. Humbly serve others, and like Wendy, even be willing to joyfully scrub, snip, and polish their toenails.
You in a rut? No worries. I know a teenager born 8,000 miles away who will lift you out of the pit, the monotony, the going-nowhere pattern. Maybe you can read Lord of the Flies together or a psychology book, but even better, just ask Wendy a question or two about her life and her aspirations and sit back and enjoy the ride. There’s no rut deep enough to hold this teen or you down. Wendy is spunky. Determined. Brave. And a student of others.
So say so long to your ruts and join me in a couple of months when Wendy returns to the States has even more invaluable life lessons to share. What time should I make our pedicure appointment?
Great article about an inspirational young woman. I love our visits and pedis with Wendy. She is adorable!
Edie, it is sooo fun to go to the salon and chat together with Wendy. She truly is an inspiration. We’ll have to schedule another pedi later in the summer and catch up on Wendy’s break back in Vietnam.
I loved hearing about Wendy. Thank you so much, Beth. I am encouraged to keep moving toward better connections and sweet relationships.
Oh, Wendy, how great to hear about your moving toward greater connections and relationships. I’m continually amazing by the long-time people I know and even the new acquaintances I meet.
Have fun in your connection adventures!
I have done the toe nail thing for those in need at a couple of the long-term care facilities where volunteered. The lack of foot care in very busy facilities is evident. Sure pulls a different mindset for always taking care of your own feet and how much one can overcome a type of depression from one to another!
Cindy, thank you for helping people with their foot care at the care facilities. I know how hard it is to clip aging toenails. Just by being there you helped these individuals feel less isolated and alone and then to help with a practical need you definitely gave them a gift of caring and compassion. Bless you.
Beth, as a small business owner, I have found that time spent listening to customer’s stories develops relationships. Even though I like to hear their stories, I have found that it improves my business overall. Life is about our interaction with others. The more positive our interactions, the better our life is.
So true, Christy. Listening and engaging with others sure brings many benefits and blessings. I’m so glad you can do that with your customers!
Love all your articles and you are such an inspiration to all who read.
Oh, thank you so much, Nancy. I truly appreciate your kind words and your support of my writing. Bless you!
I love how you really notice and engage the people around you, Beth. So glad I’m one!
Nancy, thank you! I am honored that YOU engage and go deeper in my life. My life is richer because you notice the little things and remember to ask, serve and pray.
Wendy is such a refreshing change from the norm. What a delight to read this and learn from your writing. We need these reminders and it fun to learn from the younger generation! Thank you for noticing her and taking the time to get to hear her story. Beth, your open heart really makes a difference in people’s lives.
Terry, thank you. You have shown me over the years how to notice and engage with others, even complete strangers. Bless you for your kind words of encouragement and for inspiring me to learn from the youngsters amongst us.:)
Another inspiring message to think more about others and less about ourself and connect not correct those we share life with.
Thank you, Angie. I like your connecting vs. correcting. Great reminder in how we share life with others. Thank you for modeling how to connect with all those God puts in our everyday lives.