The other day I was having a really rough day.
The kind of day where nothing was going right and several things were weighing very heavy on my heart.
The kind of day that makes you want to crawl back under the covers and try again another day.
But as days like that go, stuff still needed to be done and I am the stuff doer.
So I set out on my day, feeling less than stellar, and looking even worse.
No make-up, puffy eyes, t-shirt, capris and a hat were all I could manage before racing out the door.
I told myself it didn’t matter how I looked and I didn’t feel like getting all gussied up… figuring that I was of course asking fate to make me run into someone that knew me. But given the day I had had, I just didn’t care. Ironically I wouldn’t meet anyone I knew, but instead the very people who I needed to that day.
What unfolded over the next 30 minutes may seem so trivial and simple to some but truth be told, it has stuck with me in a profound way.
Feeling worse than I have felt in a really long time, I set out to do my usual routine that I have done a thousand times.
I would soon meet three strangers that I will likely never meet again but have remained with me ever since.
I ran into a building to take care of my first errand and there stood a woman mopping the floor. As I was leaving, she stopped mid-mop to look me straight in the eye and greet me. She made sure that I knew she not only saw me, but that she cared. I think I was taken aback because in this day of constant distraction, for a moment this stranger made it clear to me that– for whatever reason– talking to me at that moment was all that mattered and freely gave me the gift of being present.
As I walked to the car, my steps a bit lighter than before, I thought to myself what odd encounter but shrugged it off to rush off to the next thing on my list.
I park my car at the next location and hop out into a busy parking lot. As I approach the building an older gentleman and I start to cross each other and out of no where the man looks me straight in the eye, greets me and smiles. He tells me I look nice today and then goes on his way. Inside, as I looked at my tear-stained face in the bathroom, I realize the gentleman freely gave me the gift of kindness.
As lunch time approaches I head to my regular spot and a waitress I have never seen there before greets me– again, looking me straight in the eye– with a gentle smile. She takes my order and stops to ask me how I was in a very genuine way. The waitress freely gave me the gift of time in the heat of the lunch hour rush.
Emotionally spent, I had little to offer the three strangers that day, yet each went out of their way to give me something precious and rare.
As I think of their gifts I wonder how freely I give them to those I love, let alone complete strangers.
Presence. Kindness. Time.
As a stuff-doer my multi-tasking often leaves little time for presence, little patience for kindness and little time for anything.
Am I so busy trying to make an impact –be it in my work, my daughter’s life or heck the kitchen sink full of dishes –that I have missed the boat?
Tonight I am thankful for the lessons the trio of strangers taught me in 30 minutes of what I thought was a bad day.
As it turns out a woman with a mop, a gentleman in a parking lot , a waitress with a gentle smile and a God who knew what I needed made sure that my “bad” day held more for me than I ever imagined.
I am the mama behind GOODEness Gracious and the owner of Cris Goode Solutions. Here at GOODEness Gracious, we like to keep it light and fun as we cook up family meals, share our super mommy secrets and chat it up about the GOODe life:) So come on in and sit a spell.