A few years ago, I unearthed a travel journal from a month-long trip to Europe that I took in 2006. As I reviewed its pages, I was struck by just how many details of the trip I had completely forgotten. And if the memories of a once-in-a lifetime trip that was so impactful to me could fade away – how much of my day-to-day life is lost? Sensations, emotions, achievements, losses, experiences from the mundane to the exceptional, all transforming from that specific moment in time to become that day, that week, that year, that life…

As I get older and gain a better understanding of how fragile, how brief, and how precious life really is, it's become even more important to me to me experience it to its fullest and to try to retain all of those little moments that might otherwise get lost. It's with this idea that I started the process of recording these moments – a travel journal, of sorts.

A travel journal for life.

Friday, October 26, 2012

SOMETIMES PEOPLE ARE NICE


Sometimes I think that the majority of people in this world are assholes and I spend a lot of time being angry at them.  The thing is though, if I really think about this critically, these asshole people aren’t actually in my life or even really people that I ever encounter at all.  They are mostly people in the media (Except for you Soledad, I heart you.), people on the interwebs (I should just never EVER read comment sections on blogs and/or news pieces.), politicians (can this election just PLEASE be over so I can stop being so angry all the time?), and a few randoms on Facebook (I regularly get all belligerent and delete-y on there).

But the people close to me in life on a regular basis are really quite delightful.  They are kind, they go out of their way to be helpful, they are creative and bright, they do fun things and say smart stuff, they make me laugh, and they help me feel grounded, connected, and not alone.  They are nice.

Most times, even random strangers are nice. 

There is an elementary school at the bottom of my hill which employs a crossing guard.  She’s an older lady with a beaming smile.  Every morning when I pass the school on my walk to work, even though we are both busy and have never spoken, she waves and smiles at me like I’m a long-lost friend and hurries over to help me cross the intersection, just as though I was one of the students.  She’s nice.

Monday there was a girl who was new to the gym who was trying to find her way to the Spinning studio.  I was headed there too, so I offered to show her the way.  On the way, we struck up a conversation about health food and she started telling me about a new salad recipe that she had recently found, tried, and loved.  I told her that I thought it sounded fantastic and then we both went about our workout.  The exchange was completely forgotten for me until Wednesday when she showed up with the recipe printed out for me.  “I thought you might like to try it” she said.  She’s nice

Yesterday was a perfect 78 degree fall day.  My friend and I decided to make use of the outdoor courts one last time before the anticipated cold and rain drives us inside for the winter.  When we arrived, the courts were thick with leaves.  Being the troopers that we are, we forged ahead and played – though very cautiously since the leaves were slippery under foot.  About 15 minutes in, a voice shouted to us from the row of houses across the street…  “Can you guys hold play for just a few minutes?”  We shouted back that we could and he promptly appeared with a leaf blower and cleared off our entire court.  He’s nice.

So here’s my point.  I need to stop feeling so angry and clenched. So I’m going to make a concentrated effort to focus AT LEAST as much of my energy on the nice people that make me happy as I do on the mean ones that make me mad.

Because really, people aren’t ALL bad.

Because sometimes, people ARE nice.

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