Yes, I know that Jimmy Johns sometimes gives away day old bread. I was lucky enough to be the recipient today.
However, as great as it was to get free bread, what was even better was the conversation I had with the kid working the drive-through window.
As I was waiting for our sandwiches, he suddenly said, "How was your day?"
Now, I know he was just passing the time before my order was completed and it was a polite gesture. He made a point to ask a question and then listened to the response. I asked in turn, and he told me it was payday so it was a good day. We talked about how payday is always a great day even when we still have to go to work.
I think what he did is what is missing from our society today, the human connection. We all think we are so busy that we don't have time for a chat. Either that or we ignore others around us by burying our nose into our phones to check statuses, news, emails, etc.
What this kid did today was refreshing and rare, but it shouldn't be. What he did is something we should all do everyday. We should challenge ourselves to have conversations with others, whether we know them or not.
We all have feelings and sometimes we just want someone to care enough to ask, "How was your day?"
I shared a Facebook post yesterday that went something like this: "Instead of saying, 'Have a nice day!' I'm going to start saying, 'Have the day you deserve!', and let karma sort that 'stuff' out."
I admit I giggled...a lot!
And then I started thinking about it, and it reminded me of a guest speaker at one of my schools many years ago.
It was basically about the power of positive thinking. The speaker said that as you start to get out of bed in the morning, sit up and swing your legs over the side of your bed, clap your hands three times, and say to yourself, "Today is going to be a great day!"
It might sound a little odd, but this is setting yourself up for the day you deserve by telling yourself it's going to be great from the moment you wake up.
I definitely believe in the power of positive thinking. If you start the day with a positive attitude, the big things don't seem as big and the little things are non-existent.
It can also change the way you view sports.
Case in point: During game 6 in the first round of the NHL playoffs of the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues match-up, my husband got down on his Blues and they got blasted. I told him it was because of his attitude. He lost hope, got down on his team, and they folded. I challenged him to have a positive attitude for game 7, and he did. Guess what? The Blues won the decisive game, 3-2.
Now, do I really think that his positive attitude made a difference in the game? Of course not, but it did change the way in which he watched the game. Because his attitude was different, it changed the way he thought about the potential outcome of the game. Lo and behold, it happened and the Blues won.
I understand that there are things in life with which seem out of our control, but our attitude is not one of them. That is something very much in our control, and we have the power daily to set into motion the kind of day we're going to have, karma or not!
So, I challenge you. Tomorrow morning swing your legs over the side of your bed, clap three times, and tell yourself it's going to be a great day.
And, if you're really up for it, let me know how your day goes. I dare you!
Some people love thunderstorms.
They love the rumble of thunder, and the rain pelting against the windows. They enjoy the flashes of lightning streaking across the sky. They find a certain peace in a good old-fashioned rainstorm.
I am not one of those people.
I have pretty much been on high alert all afternoon.
Watching the weather alerts and updates? Check.
Periodically looking out the window to see what's happening? Check.
Informing my husband what's going on minute by minute, much like he regales me with shot by shot of his golf round? Check.
And I have no rhyme or reason as to why I'm so freakish when it comes to thunderstorms. I've never been in a tragic storm, never have had first-hand experience with a tornado, or have never endured flooding.
Yet whenever a storm brews, I'm practically transported to being a little girl over 40 years ago. That same girl would get a pit in her stomach, stay glued to the TV to watch the weather, or go outside to see what was going on. (You would think I would be hiding out in the basement, right?)
There is no logical reason for the way I feel, and yet it's something that has stayed with me all through my life. I choose not to analyze but rather accept that this is one of my idiosyncrasies. It's just the way I am.
We all have our "thunderstorms," and that's okay.
I'm attached to my phone, usually.
This morning I met one of my clients at Scooters for our weekly meeting. We discussed her progress and went through a writing exercise on what she wants to accomplish.
Late I met with Kelly, one of my former students, for lunch. We dined at Panera, and the constant buzz of the busy restaurant had no effect on us. We spent the time catching up and talked about our respective year at our schools.
What do these two encounters have in common?
If you noticed that my phone seemed to be conspicuously missing, you are absolutely correct.
While I readily admit that my phone is my virtual assistant, when it comes to actual interactions, my assistant disappears.
I didn't miss it one bit. In fact, it was as if I didn't own a phone. I connected with the person I was with, and my focus was on each individual. I didn't wonder if someone was texting me, I didn't think about social media, and when my phone was buzzing with a call I declined it with a touch on my Apple watch.
I was unplugged.
And I loved it.
I enjoyed being in the moment. I was present. I was engaged.
It was as it should be.
Various actors, rock icons, and other celebrities have died, and I'm like, "Well, that's a bummer," and then I move on.
When my friend Julie stopped by my office this morning and let me know that Prince died, I didn't really say much. Sometimes death comes as a shock, and I think I was in a state of shock. I went through the rest of my day doing what I do as a counselor working with little ones.
After school it seemed to hit me all at once. My high school crush died. Yep, I had a big time crush on Prince. I still remember the night a group of girlfriends watched the movie, "Purple Rain" together and we swooned over him.
He was mysterious and different. He marched to the beat of his own drum and didn't care. He was kind of a bad boy that you wanted to protect and take care of. That's how Prince came across to me.
And now he's dead.
So finite and so real.
I'm still struggling to put my thoughts together, because this is a strange feeling. It's weird, you know. It feels like the grief one experiences when death comes to a loved one.
And, maybe, Prince was a loved one in a way. He was part of my high school experience. Sure, there are parts that I wouldn't mind forgetting about, but overall, it was pretty amazing.
Maybe it's like getting out the completed puzzle of your youth to put together again. Only this time, there's a piece missing. You look all over the place for it, but you can't find it. It's gone. Even if you grabbed an identical puzzle, found the exact piece, and put it in the missing spot, it wouldn't be the same.
Just as death does, it shows us that life won't ever be the same again. Nostalgia is a funny thing. It makes us a little whimsical, a little sad. And, that's okay.
Now I have a better idea of how others have felt at the loss of an actor, actress, musician, artist, etc. who had an impact on them in some way, shape, or form. I can never say I know exactly how they felt, because we can never truly walk in someone's shoes. Our experiences are our own, but we can give each other a pat on the back, a soulful smile, and say, "It's going to be okay." Because, it will.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.