As most of you know I’ve been struggling to venture out of my place just to do routine things. Things that are usually routine for most others can at times be very daunting for me. Today I needed kitchen garbage bags, not just any garbage bags but the specific make and model for my specific stainless type of trash can. Anything else looks ugly & just doesn’t function properly. This is not a perfectionist thing, this is a functional need. The box comes with 50 bags & I only need to buy them once per year.
So I showered & got ready to begin my trip to South Bay Shopping Center. I sat on my bed for a moment & almost started talking myself out of leaving but then another voice kicked in & said. “If you don’t get up now you won’t leave at all.” I went through my usual routine, made sure my iPhone was charged, checked that at least 3 times. Looked up the type of bags on the stores website, 3 times. Triple checked my wallet, dollar bills in my pocket for the bus, made sure my Starbucks card was loaded so I could buy a latte’ on the way. Ok, check, check & triple check. I was ready to leave…whoops…almost forgot the sunglasses. Yes, sunglasses even in winter day light…it allows me to look cool on the outside while I get lost in my own thoughts & keep fighting the urge to turn around & go home.
The bus stop is on the corner of one of my favorite Gift shops in my neighborhood. In facet the name is “Gifted” & Marie the owner & I always enjoy chatting with one another when I’m in shopping for something. She’s a complete sweetheart, sparkling blue eyes & such a friendly warm & gracious person. She was exiting the store where I was waiting for the bus & it was like running in to an old friend. We exchanged warm Christmas greetings, got caught up briefly & wished each other a Merry Christmas.
As I stood there I began to remember that good things happen when you’re out among people. It’s not all crabbiness & mean spiritedness, there is that out there for sure but that’s not all there is. That simple exchange with Marie reminded me that I have two types of “Built-in-forgetter’s”.
In A.A. I learned about the first built in forgetter, the one that erases the memory of all the bad situations your found yourself in. All the scary places that that type of life can take you. All the negative things when you live that life that you allow to be taken away from you. As long as that built in forgetter is there & you do nothing to over come it you’re doomed to repeat the same devastating behavior time & time again.
The second built In borgetter, which I didn’t realize I really had one. Is the one where you forget the good things of when your life is firing on all the right cylinders, when biology doesn’t have you in its grips, when life is better when you fight hard enough to not let it keep you down. Sure, there will always be those times too but now the real work is to keep reminding myself when things get tough, “…remember when it was good Robert, you went out of your comfort zone & it worked.”
Either version of the “forgetter” is certainly a detriment, I guess the challenge is being aware of them & digging deep down even when you don’t want to & pull out everything you have. You can never forget that you went to those scary places & you certainly can’t forget the good things you have now either.
Marie’s holiday cheer upped my mood and holiday spirit & that was enough for me to take a chance on spreading it further on the bus trip back. The bus was crowded, people were loaded with packages & the aisles were difficult to navigate. There was a young mother on the bus with a young baby in a stroller. Clearly she didn’t have many options to stand with a stroller. Everyone around her was giving her grief even a perfectly able bodied man with a few sacks of groceries.
I had my own share of bags but happily piled them up on my lap & pleaded with her to sit next to me. She finally did which got her carriage out of the aisle a little more & she said muchos gracias. I replied de nada & she smiled. (That’s about the extent of my spanish…)
By the time she got off the bus someone else helped lift her stroller for her. She said Merry Christmas to both of us. The next stop the lady behind me said Merry Christmas to me and smiled. When I got off the bus the driver said Thank you for helping & also wished me a Merry Christmas.
Today a simple foray for kitchen garbage bags led to some of the most genuine holiday cheer & people interactions ever.
Just kind people being kind to one another as it should be…