i was lusting after this new sharpie pen that a friend had. after a couple unlucky attempts at the usual stores, i even looked it up online but didn’t want to wait for delivery. i noticed that it could also be purchased at walmart. ugh. not one of my choices for shopping because of their female discrimination policies, yet my impatience was getting the better of me. (don’t even get me started on my two downfalls, stationery/art stores and hardware stores! i can lose myself in these two!)
i worked diligently for a few days and the reward i kept promising myself was to pop in when i was in the area and see if they had any in stock to satisfy my desires. time came and i rushed in, i was a bit behind in my day yet determined to at least check. back wall of the store, tucked in two small rows engulfed by electronics (!) were the office supplies. a big-ish sharpie section. scanning scanning… nothing. on to the regular pens, colors, styles, barrel choices. and on the bottom row of pegs, yes! four of them, i only needed one, i grabbed it and was on my way.
standing in the shortest express line i could see, i was behind a large man with just two items, a pair of sporty athletic shorts and matching shirt. as the transaction dragged on, i had time to notice that he was talking a lot, a bit indistinctly, even though the checker appeared not to pay attention. he and i exchanged a look and a smile, i noticed that he used a hearing aid and had other health challenges. he was surprised at the total and asked the cashier for a breakdown. he decided he didn’t have enough. the gentleman was telling his story about how his son was playing a big high school volleyball game and had asked him to wear something appropriate to the game, not street clothes. it was easy to hear the disappointment dad was feeling.
the cashier seemed a bit robotic and more annoyed than anything, she needed a supervisor to complete the return. i’m guessing she’d had a long day already, or, who knows what else was going on in her life… others in line behind me were champing at the bit, sighing and moving around to other registers (generally my modus as well, admittedly). the supervisor arrived and as the two employees concentrated on the transaction the man kept repeating his apology and bits of his story with very little attention paid.
with the return completed, the cashier scanned my pen, and i pointed to the shorts and shirt, ‘please add those to my order’ i asked. she looked at me quizzically as i confirmed, paid and bagged everything up. the gentleman was still trying to get his card back into his wallet and make his way out and i caught up with him to hand him his outfit. ‘Please, wear these in good health, and i hope your son has a great game!’ this big bear-like guy got all soft and just hugged me. i hugged back, repeated my wish and was on my way.
getting back to the car i found myself crying tears of gratitude. just one year ago i was that guy, cash-poor, with health challenges and feeling invisible. i’m not there anymore. i had days of such deep sadness last year that to simply meditate, write my gratitudes and take jax for a walk constituted a day where *I* was enough. it is where i was. today I still don’t have a car, or a place to live on my own. i do have health insurance, good clients, work i love, friends who care deeply and mom’s house where jax and i live and are well loved. i have rich brown coffee beans to grind, i get fresh green organic and farmer grown vegetables for my green drinks each day, i have sunrises to marvel at and sweetness in each day. I am so damn grateful. blessed. privileged. AND, i am still enough, precisely where i am. i desire more (the sharpie pens of the world!), i now have bigger dreams and better tools to fulfill them. I am on a very good path to fulfill my purpose. i am ever thankful.
my challenge to you today is, what might you look around to see that you can change? can you shift yourself into gratitude? can you help lift someone up, even if only by holding a door open or giving a genuine compliment? can you take a few minutes out of your day to notice someone and somehow tell them that they matter?
kindness goes *such* a long way, maybe you’ll join me in spreading a little more kindness today. and tomorrow. and the day after that.
pass it forward, and namasté.