We all have them. Yes, even me. Confident, carefree and happy me. Bad days happen.
Even the strongest among us need, from time to time, to retreat to a quiet and safe place, have good cry and release some of the steam from the pressure cooker of life. Let’s face it, even being positive can be exhausting.
Over the years I have been fortunate enough to learn not to ‘sweat the small stuff’ and those who know me will attest to my belief that most of the things we worry about almost never happen. When it comes to life I try and focus on what comes next, focus on the positives of life, focus on the future but occasionally, just occasionally that can be hard to do.
Yesterday was one of those days.
Fortunately I managed to get everything done that needed to be done so I remained a ‘functioning adult’ but that’s about all I could admit to achieving. Finally it was bed time, time for healing sleep, time to reboot the brain cells and look forward to a new day. Today. Tuesday.
Despite the somewhat puffy eyes I bounced out of bed (well OK, maybe not bounced exactly) and made my way to the kettle, the shower and the car (I even managed to get dressed in between times I might add). So the day was begun.
After an early morning appointment in town I decided to drive through (or ‘drive thru’ depending on which side of the pond you hail from), to grab myself a coffee and a granola to help my productivity. In my usual jolly voice I ordered my usual single shot Americano with hot milk (I succumbed to the ridiculous coffee name game some time ago after being made to feel stupid when just asking for ‘a coffee’), and I gave the webcam my usual smiley grin in an attempt to connect with the ‘real person’ that I knew lurked beyond.
A slightly longer wait than usual allowed me time to check my emails and text messages before driving along to the window to pay and collect my purchases. There was clearly some ‘altercation’ or ‘problem’ taking place ahead but I was in no rush. Today was a good day remember.
Finally, and still sporting my winning smile I approached the window armed with money and a jolly ‘Hello’, only to be greeted by a rather troubled and somewhat concerned looking barista who, with the gravity and weight of someone delivering bad news said ‘The lady in front of you has paid for your order’. If you’ve ever seen my shocked face, it was that face I was sporting at that point.
‘I’m sorry?’ I replied.
‘The lady in front of you in the queue has just paid for your order. She said she was having a rubbish day and wanted to do something nice for someone else to make her feel better’. She shrugged.
‘Does she know me?’, I asked.
‘No, she just wanted to pay for your order’.
I was stunned. My inane grin was soon replaced by a look of confused delight. What a truly wonderful thing to have done. What a constructive way to counter a bad day. What a shame I couldn’t thank her in person.
So, what could I do to use this gesture positively? What this complete stranger did was a gift. More than a single shot Americano and a granola bar. More than a surprise act of kindness. More than a reason to smile. What she gave me was a boot up the backside and reason to reflect on what I might have done differently yesterday to use my own negativity in a similarly positive way.
Yesterday is past and can’t be revisited but something can be done to pay forward this kindness. This seemingly small and simple gesture could spread so much further than the driver’s seat of a black VW Beetle in Starbucks, Oswestry. It has wheels. In fact it has legs.
So how can you help?
The Five Pound Note pictured is earmarked for a random act of kindness and you, dear reader, have the opportunity to decide how it should be used.
OK, so £5.00 isn’t going to change someone’s world forever but, as has been proven today, £5.00 does have the power to change someone’s frame of mind and that does have the potential to last forever.
Please use the comments box to suggest how you would use £5.00 to achieve a similar outcome for someone and I pledge to live out the best suggestion. Let’s keep it clean and kind and realistic but please don’t let the realms of possibility constrain your suggestions.
Have a great day!