Monday, December 20, 2010

New Year's Resolution, take one.

Be kind and love
the people who surround you 
and in turn
 you will be surrounded by people
who are kind and love you.

I decided to make this my (early) New Years' resolution after reflecting on the lives of two very special men last week:  my dad and Uncle Bill. My husband thought I was crazy, saying that I was already nice.  But I knew in my heart that that was not altogether true.  I constantly have these negative, judgemental thoughts in my head about people (thoughts that sometimes emerged out of my mouth), whether its silently cursing the old man taking a million years to pull out when I'm waiting for his parking spot or audibly sighing when in a loooong line at a store and the customer is using up why I am judging as more than his/her allotted time with the cashier.  I have even gone so far as blurt out, "IT'S A PERSIMMON!" after a particularly lengthly debate over produce at the grocery store (are you impressed that I knew it was a persimmon?)

I decided to turn a new leaf.  I decided that I would just be kind to everyone and was confident that the universe would deliver kind right back to me.  And Saturday would be Day One.  As I pulled off the highway, there was the homeless guy there whose always there, with as sign that says anything helps  on one side and smile on the other.  I smiled and looked around my car for anything.  I waved him over and gave him that smile, along with a couple bucks and a package of Christmas chocolate.  He smiled back and said, "why are the nice ones always so pretty?"  This on a no makeup, sweatpants, and feeling yucky day.

So far so good.
My next opportunity for kindness was when was returning some books to a store.  Now, usually they give me a hard time, examining the books making sure they were not read, asking why I returned them, etc...all the while I would be getting more and more frustrated and snippy and in return, they would be less likely to want to help me, right?  So instead, today I approached the cashier with a big smile and said, "Hi Nate!"  (his nametag said Nate) and he smiled and said, "Hi!"  right back.  I was firm but still kind about what I wanted and in return, he processed my return in record time without question.  And when I asked him to add my store credit to a $10 gift card from a student, I was pleasantly surprised to learn it was really a $20 gift card!

So far even better.

A third opportunity for kindness came when I next found myself in line at the same bookstore, purchasing the New York times cookbook (my new favourite cookbook).  The line up was huge (as the last Saturday before Christmas usually is) so I turned around to give the woman behind me the new Cayla's kind smile but instead of smiling back, she took a long sip of her bubble tea and returned with, "What are you looking at, whore?"

I turned back around, with the smile still frozen on my face (but now joined by fear in my eyes), paid for my purchases and swiftly and silently made my way home.

Rome wasn't built in a day.

Afterword:  I know that this post has nothing to do with running, reading, or recipes (well, actually, I guess buying a cookbook technically is reading and recipes), but as people do, this blog is changing.  The 3 r's were my focus because they were 3 things that made me happy and proud of myself.  But now I realize that there are a lot more things that make me happy and that I am proud of.  And I may want to talk about those things too.  So deal with it.  

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