Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Double White Tulips
I read blogs this morning and found many of them touching. Stories of the kindness of strangers, and the way we touch each other. Anyedge told of something that happened with this neighbor, go over and read it - it is beautiful.
Maybe it is the mood I am in. My job is ganging up on me again. I am feeling old and feeble and slow. I worked for 10 hours straight yesterday and still ended up with a product I am not proud of. I wrote my boss a pitiful e-mail last night about how I know it isn't a finished product, but it was what I had at the deadline. I had my performance review yesterday and she told me I am doing a good job and she told me that my agonizing over every little imperfection is not productive - I told her I knew that - it is my character defect. But she said what I suspected - I come up high in a final score because of my interpersonal skills and the relationships I have already built with the people I have to work with. AA did not teach me how to analyze data (I paid $50,000 for an education to teach me that) - but it did teach me how to have relationships.
So, here is how I go out from here into the world this morning. Knowing that I impact people. I have a choice on whether that is going to be a positive thing or a negative thing. I read about a stranger giving Lou a sweater so that she could visit her son. The source of the clothing might have been a bit dubious - but a stranger stopped minding her own business and made a difference to Lou - she is still talking about it years later.
Anyedge made a difference in his neighbor's life. Just minding his own business. Not even aware that he was anything but alone in his own house, playing his piano.
I recall the conversation my daughter and I had in the supermarket bathroom, unaware that anyone was listening. Talking about waiting in stopped traffic for over an hour. I told her we ought to be praying for the person who was in the accident instead of bitching about our "misfortune" in being stuck in traffic on a hot day. She agreed. When I stepped out of the stall, there was a 13 year old girl whose mother's suicide leap off an overpass had caused the interstate to be closed. I know someone who knows her and she still talks about us. We made a tiny difference in a horrible day that changed the life of a little girl.
And then I always recall another supermarket encounter. I get extremely grouchy at the store, I want to be in and out. I know where everything is. I have a list. But there was an old man in front of me everywhere I went. I decided to smile instead of frown at him. He was at the laundry detergent, right in front of where I needed to be. I asked him if I could help him with something. He said his wife didn't tell him exactly what brand to get, but he described the kind of detergent she used. I pointed him to what I thought she might want. He was in front of me at the checkout. And then in front of me when I was trying to get to my car. He was parked next to me. He came over and thanked me for helping him. He said he had to learn how to shop for groceries since his wife was just diagnosed with some hideous form of cancer and was not expected to live long. All I could say when I drove away was "Thank you God" for the fact that I did not behave like myself - a hurried frazzled lunatic woman - but behaved like a human being who cares more about her fellows than her own very important schedule.
This morning I will head out of here not worried about my job performance or my elderly feebleness and will instead look at putting a smile on my face and a kind note in my voice. I will shoo the irritation right out of my life and instead will look at ways to be of service to God and my fellows.
Because you never know.