Ok. So, Friday I’m pissed and generally surly throughout the day. I wake up Saturday with a chip the size of Texas on my shoulder and trudge out to Wal-Mart, i.e. Purgatory.
Big mistake. I needed toilet paper and paper towels and, let’s face it, Wal-Mart has the best prices. Of course, I’m in uber-saver mode because of the sad state of our economy (see previous post) so I have no other choice but to enter the gates of hell, that is Wal-Mart.
I trudge the store for other items such as wine (I’m on a Gallo Cabernet-Sauvingnon kick) where I can save $2.00 a bottle, egg rolls (there are no good egg rolls at the Winn Dixie near me), and the new People magazine with The Obamas on the cover. Naturally, I get in line at the check-out (three deep) and just as it’s my turn, realize that I didn’t get Beef Broth. I need Beef Broth. It’s one of the things I went to the store for. I’m making Pot Roast in the Crock Pot, so I’ve got to have Beef Broth. Crap!
I impatiently turn my cart out of the line, knowing I’d lose my turn in line and have to wait another 20 minutes when I returned. Feeling utterly defeated, I sulked all the way to Aisle 5 and back to the check out. I waited (again) for my turn to check out and I must say that the checker lady was very cordial and nice, chatty even. I manage a polite conversation because, after all, she’s just trying to make a living, right?
Then, I get to my car, unload my loot into the backseat, and go to pull out. The guy who gathers up all of the loose carts had left a 50 ft. line of carts IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AISLE, causing gridlock among the Saturday errand-runners. There were raised voices, horns honking and fingers flying, but finally he got his electric mover working and the steel dragon out of the way.
As I pulled out and exited the parking lot, I found myself murmering to myself about stupidity, laziness and inconsiderateness. To say I was in a bad mood would be the understatement of the year. I got home, where I was alone as Mr. D was playing golf and Mini-DD was at a friend’s house. I hauled all of the bags into the house and put it all away and then looked at the war-torn kitchen in disgust.
“When does it all end?!? Can’t I get a break?!? What about ME?!? What ABOUT me?!?” My mind raced with these thoughts as I walked to the front porch to get the mail. A bunch of junk, but then I saw two hand-written envelopes. My heart always races with handwritten envelopes because it’s generally personal correspondence and someone sending something special to ME.
As I opened the envelope addressed to “Dee Dee & Gramps”, I felt like the Grinch when his heart grew three times to normal size. For when I opened the card thanking us for the recent gifts, here’s what greeted me:
Suddenly, I was gobsmacked. These wonderful images, provided by my wonderful and talented daughter-in-law, brought everything into sharp focus. I became starkly aware that, in fact, it is NOT “all about me”, but rather about what I do for others…my family, my friends, total strangers. I will feel better about me and my situation if I DO for others.
So, today is a brighter day. Today, I will put ME aside and look outward rather than inward. The above images will serve as a standard under which I will serve. I will take my talents and multiply them. For those of you so inclined to hear a “word” on this, listen to this message from Joyce Meyer:
Joyce has a way of putting practical life situations and challenges into faith messages. I love her directness and self-depriciating humor.
For those of you not so inclined, here’s a wonderful ditty from Kevin So, who I had the pleasure of seeing this past year at the Saenger Theatre, here in Mobile. Hopefully, it’ll make you feel bettah…
Brighter Day, Kevin So
Perhaps Obama should make THIS his theme song.