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.