If you want a change of scenery, sometimes you need to take a different path. You’ve heard the saying right…insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Admitting I was completely insane was the first step in a new and different direction. I was overcome with so many feelings . I was falling, drowning in my own routine wondering why not a single bit of happiness was in sight. Then I answered my calling to go back to yoga. It felt strange to be back on my mat. Actually my mat was like an old familiar friend but the room and people were different from what I expected. I took yoga kinda seriously and it took some repeating the mantra, do not judge to overcome the oddity of the girl singing a long with the music on the mat beside me. The class was slower paced that I was used to. Do not judge I reminded myself. Afterwards I was feeling more like my old self than I had in a while. I was overcome by the kindness as each person in the class came over to meet me. This was more than just a yoga class. This was a yoga tribe that has been desperately missing from my everyday life. I am so grateful for the experience and I am looking forward to going back again on Friday. If you think a small gesture of kindness can’t make a difference, I am here to remind you that it absolutely can. Go out and spread your light. Someone has been in the dark too long. Show them how to shine.
It started off innocently enough. I walk 5 miles a day and today I just wanted to change it up so I decided to go to the mall for a change of scenery. There was a young girl working a kiosk and she called me over to sample a facial cream. What do you do she asked? When I told her I was a stay at home mom she asked how old my kids were. When I mentioned my youngest was 15, she replied “Oh, you’re lazy.”
For years I’ve felt myself cringe after that simple question. What do you do? As if the job I hold gives any indication of who I am. People don’t seem to care about that these days. They don’t care what kind of heart you have or the amount of you you’ve willingly sacrificed to have some semblance of a good marriage and family. I don’t judge other people or how they live their lives and I would appreciate it if people would keep their opinions to themselves. What kind of world have we turned into that we feel it’s okay to not only insult and judge a total stranger, but one we are trying to get to buy our product? It makes me sad to be around people. I have a kind heart and the best of intentions but there are some mean spirited people out there that think their behavior is acceptable while they stand there and size me up and judge me by what I do for an occupation. I feel like printing a a t-shirt that reads,
I do nothing.
I am nothing.
Then we can skip the conversation and get on with getting on. The truth is I never ask that question because I just don’t care. Where you work is where you work period. I don’t think any one person has more value than another because of what job they choose. What I do is my business and to that clueless girl selling lotion in the mall, my job is to do me and I will have the respect and humility to let you do you. I am really feeling discouraged today but I will bounce back. Even when I mind my own business and keep to myself, I feel accosted by the mean-spiritedness of others. I’ve finally had enough. We live in a world of mean, opinionated bullies who will never learn the art of shutting their mouths because they feel it is their right to bulldoze anyone and everyone. I’m out. I’m done. Not my game, not my kind of people. I will not allow people like this into my life. Not on a daily basis, not on social media, no place where I am ever again. I will not stay silent to be peaceful anymore. Sometimes people need to be put in their place and unfortunately, they are the same people that never are.
Just be kind and if you can’t manage that, do us all a favor and just be quiet.
I flew back home today after a wonderful visit with family. It was a hectic ride to the airport. What seemed like leaving in plenty of time turned into a panic of whether we would make our flight at all. It was pouring, rush hour, accidents and bumper to bumper traffic every way we turned. We arrived at the airport at 9:05 and boarding started at 9:25. I was frazzled and frustrated and didn’t even say goodbye to my mom as I ran from the car.
Every now and then I am fortunate to run into just the right person at just the right time. One of the curbside workers saw my craziness and immediately grabbed my bags and took me to a closed check in station. He grabbed my license and credit card and before I knew it, I was feeling much calmer as he handed me our tickets and pointed me in the right direction. Newark airport can be a real challenge, especially when it comes to getting through long lines of security. Fortunately for me, this was not the case today. We were standing at our gate at 9:20 with five minutes to spare. Sure I paid that man who helped me out today but I can’t help but wonder if he realized how positively he impacted my day. I am so grateful to him and happy to be home in my warm bed.
Be kind to everyone you meet. More than ever, people need your kindness. Be aware of the major difference you can make in one precious life. I hope that man knows how much his help and kindness meant to me today.
The other day I was standing behind a mom in Target. Her child was sitting in the front of the cart whining and complaining that he wanted his cheetos NOW. He was kicking his feet and making those screechy whiny sounds that are equivalent to hearing nails on a chalkboard. The mom leaned down and in her sweetest voice quietly explained to her three year old boy that if he didn’t stop acting this way, he would not get the Cheetos and then she reluctantly gave them to him. In that instant, the little boy won.
What was I to do, glare at her for giving into the child? Should I have stared the little boy down and shake my head in disapproval and disgust? I didn’t do any of those things. I gave the mom that knowing look and said, it sure is hard being a mom sometimes. We had a conversation and as she left she smiled and told me our conversation was the bright part of her day. She was so grateful for the support and that someone didn’t look down on her but simply sent the message, I understand.
Sometimes, especially as moms, we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations. We parent the best we can and still our children do things to humiliate and embarrass us. We don’t need to be stared at, berated or looked down upon. We need encouragement, support and compassion to help us keep going, keep giving, and not have a complete mental breakdown because we feel we have failed and our best will never be good enough.
Be kind to people in tough situations. Help make someone’s life easier today with some words of kindness or a simple gesture. Those little things can be so big to the person on the receiving end. Give it a try and watch how someone will react to your effort.
Today everyone seems unusually friendly. In stores, people are smiling and making friendly conversation. One man in particular got a pretty good chu kle out of me. He was probably in his 70’s, a tall man, balding with glasses and a light brown overcoat. He looked at me and as I smiled at him he smiled back and told me wearing his new plaid scarf made him feel like a character from a Charles Dickens novel. We stood there giggling and I told him how crazy my parents are with frequenting casinos. I told him how much I look forward to the free gifts they get and how Im looking forward to wearing my silly heated scarf. As my coffee was placed on the counter and my name was called, I smiled one last time at that old man and we exchanged happy new year. Then I smiled one last time when I remembered my coffee was free thanks to a gift card handout. I was really starting to feel grateful for those silly casinos. I enjoyed every sip of that wonderful coffee, and just for today it was okay to get the whip cream on top. Thats how days should feel, happy and friendly with whip cream on top. Here’s wishing you one of those days.
I spent the day wrapping up my shopping today. I was really taken back in a great way by what I experienced. People were relaxed and friendly and unusually kind. One of the things I love most about the holidays is they bring out the best in us. People make eye contact and smile and chat just a little bit longer. I found kindness and compassion and friendliness in total strangers and it really lifted my spirits. There is so much good out there. There are people who display hope in their actions and their words and I am grateful my path crossed with so many of them throughout my day. What is Christmas about anyway? It’s so much more than the store bought gifts we bring on Christmas Day. It is about being grateful for the gifts we have and for the the many blessings we see in the people around us. It is recognizing that we are all love and if we see through our hearts, we will really experience how we are all connected. That gentleness is there in each and every one of us. Look for it, celebrate it and be grateful for how much you really have. Be love to everyone who crosses your path. Be light to everyone who is struggling in the dark. Be that person that a total stranger was grateful to run into on this and every day. One kind word, one smile and one considerate gesture goes such a long way.
Why is it that when we talk to a stranger we put a smile on our face and talk in a pleasant tone but when it comes to our family not the case? I’ve pondered about this a lot lately. I’ve even considered playing a little game with myself that I pretend my family members are strangers. Then, surely I would speak to them in a different manner. Imagine if we got easily angered by strangers and treated them aggressively. What would their thoughts say about us? I sure know what mine would say and I assure you, they wouldn’t be pleasant.
I have even imagined reacting to my own families needs as if they were a stranger in need. See the difference? It’s hard to remember that my family does not understand that the world does NOT actually revolve around them, but then again, how could they understand this when my whole life it actually has. It’s crazy, I know, and probably a bit random but I thought it was worth giving some thought. Let me know what you think. Do you treat your strangers/acquaintances better than you treat your own family members or do you treat them the same respect, kindness, and patience. Be honest.