Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 2

Day two of my quest, and I already had to break my 'Avalon morning/Blubber Blog' evening thing. Darn teenager, darn old router. Aurora had a HUGE journalism project to finish, and she bogarted the internet signal until long after this old broad had to go to sleep. Remember that road of 'good intentions'? Yeah...it's another layer thick. Poop.

Here is the blessing for Day 2: "A man leaves all kinds of footprints when he walks through life. Some you can see... Others are invisible, like the prints he leaves across other people's lives. " - Margaret Lee Runbeck

I started this morning by re-reading my entry on Avalon's site about the blessing. Wow...what a pompous twit I can be! OK, the whole bead chain thing is 100% true. Our family has invested a ridiculous amount of money in the beads, hoping that they will someday be a legacy for Avalon. I really do have a long mental list of 'heart' people and 'square' people. All of that is honestly what I try to share with people when I speak publicly.

But, cripes all mighty, I really didn't mean to come off as a pious preach-a-lot when I talked about myself. I honestly DO try very hard to be friendly with everyone I meet. That's the truth. But it's also very, very true that I'm an opinionated, control-freaky Wench-o-matic sometimes. I am NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, a highly evolved uber-calm ocean of tranquility. No, no-no, nooooooo----oh. Huh uh, nope, no-friggin' way.

I really don't want anyone to get the wrong impression here. I honestly, whole-heartedly DO believe in being kind to people. I really do committ acts of kindness and do things like stop store managers to tell them their cashier or stock clerk went out of their way to be helpful. BUT...there is a flip side to that. I'm also the one who will pitch a whoppin' fit if someone is a turd to me. I see it like this, if I do my best to be courteous, and go the extra mile to report kindness, then dag-nabbit I've earned the right to gripe when someone oozes fecal matter my direction. So there.

I do my best not to yell or swear. I do...my...best. That, however, is not always good enough. As my kids would happily rat me out on, I DO often lose my cool and yell. I try not to...but my word, I think Gandhi himself would yell at my kids sometimes. You know those sappy my-house-is-a-place-of-peace people? Liars, one and all. Every parent on the planet loses it sometimes, it's a fact. I know, it's a sad fact. After all, our kids' hearts are the place we tread the heaviest...

I guess what I'm trying ever-so-awkwardly to say is...a) I'm not perfect - don't ever think for 1/2 a second that I am, b) we ALL make mistakes, and c) we should probably think long and hard about how to deal with our lapses in judgement. After all, we do leave footprints on the hearts of our fellow man.

Doubt the impact you have on other people? Google 'rude people' and see how many zillion sites come up! Stand in the 10 and under line at the grocery, behind someone with 28 things...and see how you feel. Wait patiently for a parking spot, and watch some guy swoop in before you can make the turn. Have a cashier ring up your order without ever speaking to you - and scowl at you when you hand her coupons. C'mon...you've all experienced these moments and a million other ones. How did it make you feel? How did it affect your day?

That's right, one rude twit can ruin your whole day. How many of you have logged onto Facebook to see a friend's status update about some hateful booger who recently wronged them? How many times have you had your feelings hurt and spent the next several days replaying, re-replaying, and re-re-re-playing every detail of the events in your head? We're all human, and somehow we manage to glob onto the negative stuff with much more fervor than we do positive things. I don't know why, maybe it's some collective genetic flaw. No matter the 'why', the fact is we're all 'globbers'. It logically follows that when we send negative out into the world, there will definitely be some poor schmo just waiting to grab onto it and have a bad day.

So, why not try to send less ugly into the world to give people less to velcro onto? Why not make a concerted effort each day to toss a positive pebble into the Big Pond - sending ripples of good into the world? Why not? Because it's hard! That's why not. It is difficult some days, but it's oh-so-worth it.

Believe me, there are days I hate the world. Do you think there was anything positive in my Universe a few weeks ago as I writhed in pain in an ambulance? No. My world was crashing, my heart breaking... But, the medic didn't cause my pain, he was there to try to help me. The nurses in the OR didn't kill my child, they were trying to help me live to care for my other children.

I had every right to be nasty and beligerant. But what would that have done? It would have expanded my circle of awful to include people that didn't deserve to be there. That's not fair. Besides, by trying my best to be civil, most of the people that helped me that night did their best to ease my pain as much as they could. Were they all kind? Um...no. But the ones that were, did such a great job...they made up for the ones that weren't. The footprints of kindness overroad those of indifference. Kindness CAN make a difference.

Again, I want to make sure I'm clear. I can be as much of a flaming female dog as anyone else. (ask my husband, he's got the bite marks to prove it) But I'm trying. I'm a work in progress, and that's all I'm asking of you.

As you head out your door to work, school, an appointment, shopping...stop and think. 'What kind of day can I have?' You can rush off irritated at the amount of work/responsibilities you have, or you can be grateful so many people need so much of you. You can ignore the fact that your cashier is human, and blather on the phone while she checks you out...or you can get OFF the phone, and smile and chat warmly with her. Odds are, you'll improve her day immensely with the second option. And who knows? The pebble you toss by being friendly, may bring a huge wave of kindness to someone you love as it spreads out.

We do all leave footprints on each other's hearts. How about we try to make them as peaceful and loving as we can?

And finally, I have to share something my wise friend, Angie wrote on Facebook. She wanted to add a bit to today's blessing. Angie's addition is in itallics: A man leaves all kinds of footprints when he walks through life. Some you can seelll Others are invisible, like the prints he leaves across other people's lives. And sometimes, even though the prints are only there for a little while and only go so far, the tread sinks far into the heart and changes the path of every footstep thereafter.

Angie's words immediately brought to mind all the cancer kids she and I have loved and lost. Every footstep on their hearts was magnified exponentially by the brevity of their lives. Every footstep on their parents' fragile hearts, will forever be tinged by the pain they've endured. And most significant, every footstep those children placed...will forever change those of us who loved them.

Be mindful as you step today...you cannot imagine the importantance of your actions.

Peace out!

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