Some of the most life-changing things occur so suddenly – out of the blue there is a drastic turn of events and things are instantly not what they were before. The separation is created: what was before, and what came after. These life altering events are not planned. Rather, they come on an otherwise subdued Tuesday evening.
As we drive, houses pop up along the country roadside. The sun beams down.
We are headed somewhere fun today.
“Family dayyyyyyyy!” was declared loudly as we packed up our belongings prior to departure.
I got a promotion today. It was not given to me, it was hard-earned. Two interviews and two time-crunched projects later, and I am at the start of a new position in operations management.
If I am being honest, I am excited and slightly terrified.
For the past several weekends I have been helping a loved one clean their house. You might think, “Oh that is nice of you!”. But I must confess. It has been exhausting. And I hate it.
Most of us have had the experience of working for a bad boss or alongside the WORST group of co-workers.
For various reasons, you may find yourself surrounded with people who feel threatened by others’ success, folks who get drunk on power, or leadership that gets so wrapped up in details that they forget to plan for the bigger picture. Lack of developing staff, lack of support, lack of resources. Lack of talent, lack of communication, lack of growth. Bad, bad, bad situations.
Been there, got the t-shirt.
Exercise. Ugh. Such a love hate relationship we have developed over my life thus far.
When depressed, it is the last thing I want to do. And the thing I most need. It can be so hard to break the cycle of feeling blah by doing something that is not always fun and exhausting in the short-term, even if it produces energizing results in the long term.
I have a threenager and a seven year old, both boys. They fight – A LOT. They’re also sweet and loving at times, they share toys most days, and they protect each other. Did I mention they fight a lot, though?
Today while at an extremely busy store I witnessed something while waiting in line and wanted to share the warmth. A petite, older female cashier was checking out an elderly gentleman who was probably in his late 80’s. He had one item, his total was $1.08, and he was meticulously counting out his change (pennies and dimes) with shaking fingers. She was patient and warm, reassuring him and helping him to count.
He apologized several times for the delay, and customers behind us appeared less than amused. The store was packed with last minute Christmas shoppers, and I’m sure we were all eager to get on with our days. Towards the end of the transaction, she thanked the veteran for his service to our country after recognizing his hat. He seemed surprised, but then she went even further above and beyond. She leaned in and quietly asked him, “Have you had a hug recently?” He cocked his head to the side and smiled politely, slightly embarrassed and responded with “No ma’am, I can’t say that I have. It’s been…quite awhile.”
The woman asked, “Would it be ok if I gave you a hug before you leave?” He nodded and I distinctly saw the man’s lower lip quiver slightly. The small woman walked confidently around the counter towards the old man and gave him a big, warm hug – oblivious to the waiting customers. She told him to have a nice rest of his day and he told her to do the same. That man slowly shuffled out of the store with the brightest smile I have seen on someone who wasn’t a child on Christmas morning. It was beautiful, compassionate, and profound in its simplicity.
After we checked out the woman handed me my receipt, providing the same warmth and service she had given the old man before me. I leaned in, “You made that man’s day today, and it made mine to see it. Thank you for your kindness.” She patted my hand, winked, and said, “Oh, thank you honey. You never know who really needs a hug. I try to give one when I feel it is needed. Pay that forward whenever you can, and Merry Christmas.”
And that is how you acquire life lessons from a ray of sunshine at the dollar store. Hope it warms you up during this cold transition from 2018 into 2019.
P.S. In the new year, when YOU have the option to either sit back and observe, do nothing, or engage with those around you… I hope you choose kindness and spread your warmth to others. You will never regret those actions, but will definitely regret not doing more when you had the chance.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Today while driving home from the store, we passed down our familiar country roads. That’s when I saw it. One baby cow, outside of her broken fence, grazing along the side of the road.
I may lose some of you with this rant, but I really don’t care.
I read tonight that there are over 70 million stray animals living in the US alone. Let that sink into your mind for a minute. 70 million. Not thousand, million.