Crazy Busy

Note to Self

This has been a long day. I left home at 7 am and drove to a town to the north to attend a full day of training, then traveled over an hour to get back to church for a meeting, then drove the 45 minutes home, arriving around 9:30 pm.

The day started poorly, with some shuffling around of various children and adults, a missed bus, rain, several calls home to check on The Princess, traffic and a general feeling that I would never get out of town. I needed to get to the event early because I was bringing the snacks to go with our coffee.  Thoroughly cranky and wondering if I could possibly squeeze in the bank as well, I pulled into the Dunkin’ Donuts near Snowman’s school. I went inside but soon found myself wondering how I would juggle my coffee, my breakfast, my purse and two boxes of Munchkins. The man behind me struck up a conversation as he saw me puzzling and moving from the counter to the pick-up window and back.

"I’m wondering if I should go ahead and put these in the car," I said randomly. I have a tendency to chat up people in lines. It embarrasses my children, but it’s just a thing I do. I’ve only known a couple of people more likely to do so.

"I’m not sure I’ll be able to manage everything."

The nice man said, "I only have a cup of coffee, and I’ll be glad to help you."

He asked if the Munchkins were for a work-related event and then asked what I did for a living? After I told him he began to tell me a story, interrupted by his coffee’s arrival. While he was sorting out his money and paying, my items appeared, and I got them all in hand, but he smiled again and said, "You confused me," in reference to having given the wrong money to the cashier.

At that moment, I really could have scooted, gotten on my way to the bank and the turnpike, but I said, "What was the story?"

The story was a corny one about a policeman who attended a conference of mostly social workers, and someone putting a note in the suggestion signed with the policeman’s name, suggesting longer breaks and more donuts…

He opened the door for me, and we walked out to our cars together.

I felt oddly better. Or perhaps I mean, oddly, I felt better. A friendly face in line for coffee reminded me how much power I have over my own day, even when events seem out of control. I have power over my own response to life’s little troubles. I know the things that make me feel better and how to find them. I managed to fit in the trip to the bank, instead of telling myself I was too late and worrying about it all day. And I put on a new CD in the car, a beautiful spirit-lifting choice for a rainy morning.

Last night, after I posted, I went outside before the church dinner, to wait for Pure Luck and Molly. I stood with pleasant people on a lovely evening and enjoyed the spring air and the blossoming trees. That made me feel better, too.

After a day of boundary training and self-care inventories, I need to write a note to myself.

Note to self: Keep talking to people. Get out of the office more and breathe fresh air. Play music instead of news in the car. Sing along, lustily and with good cheer.You *will* feel better.

13 thoughts on “Note to Self”

  1. That’s a very good “note to self.” Isn’t it remarkable how the simplest things can brighten up a day?

  2. It makes all the difference, doesn’t it.
    I have a day off with nothing planned, and could far too easily spend it all footling around on line. But you’ve inspired me to get out and do something, possibly involving shoes, definitely involving dogs and people in some combination or other.
    And lots of good music.
    Thank you my friend – and I’m glad it helped xxx

  3. I often have to remind myself that how I react is totally within my control. Once I do that, I can take things so much more lightly. Glad that gentle stranger getting a cup of coffee was there for you, and I’d be the other one in the line chatting people up by the way. ;c)

  4. 🙂 to all your comments!
    Mary Beth, I think all lay leaders should get the chance to do boundary training. I first did it as a Committee on Ministry member (lay) in the mid-90’s, and it opened my eyes to the way people, including myself, isolate clergy by raising them onto a pedestal, to the harm of all concerned. A healthy realization that the way people see us can unconsciously affect our choices and a reminder that the buck stops with the clergyperson, always, in holding an appropriate line, is necessary and helpful. It also served as a reminder that self care is in one’s own hands, both educating the church as to time and resources needed, and making the time for it to happen.

  5. I’m usually pretty good at keeping crankiness and bad moods from taking a hold on me (there’s always an exception now and then!). I guess I don’t like giving other people the power to ruin my day. Then again, I’m a big time Pollyanna.
    I only wish there were a way to get the Negative Nellies to look on the bright side of life now and then.

  6. I love it that you talk to people in line!
    It no longer embarrasses my children when I do it. In fact, as they pass 18, every one of my children (so far, anyway) has become an in-line chatter.

Leave a Reply