mental health

Sincerity

It was a stupid week. Too much going on to even think about, much less write about. Everything was coming at me faster than I could understand. Get up, go to the gym, get dressed, try to accomplish as much as possible at work, errands and events after work, home, reset, repeat. It was a blur.

Finally, Friday. Dragging as I made it to work. The bell rings, another day begins. Hundreds of kids rolling in on the big yellow buses. All the drivers waiting for me to open the front door to the school. The seconds tick. Tasks are unfinished. Everyone looking for me to get it all going. I’m 30 seconds late. Just keep moving. Execute, execute, execute.

The whoosh of the cold hits me and I brace. Before I even get the doors propped open kids are flooding by, behind my back, at a full sprint. I feel like a jammed object in the middle of a flood. Getting in the way of progress as everything rushes by. I wish I could just let go and float along with them all.

But, instead I have to account for all the buses that have arrived and get everyone heading on their way to their next destination. Walk, look, check off, walk, look, check off. Not really in one of my bright, bubbly “good morning!” moods.

I get to the front bus, the daycare bus, and make a point to stop and say hello to Hector. An older man. He is always first in line. He is kind and affable. He made it a point to ask me my name about a month into school. He greets me by name every morning and asks me how I am. This day, on the Friday before Valentine’s, I wave and say “Hello, Hector!” before I’m turning to pivot and head back down the long row of buses. He calls to me by name and I walk back, sort of impatient. He’s standing at his bus door with a box of chocolates.

“Take two of your favorites,” he says, handing me a variety pack of Lindor truffles.

Um, what??!?!?

The productivity part of me says, I don’t have time for this right now. I’m holding up bus drivers who have schedules. Routes. Execute, execute, execute. But then he just talks to me about how much he likes seeing me every morning. How he enjoys our little chats. He wanted me to have something sweet for Valentine’s Day. He was in no rush, despite the masses of kids and tasks that were waiting on him. He looked me in the eyes, genuine. Sincere. I stopped and let those precious seconds sink in. I chose a red wrapper and a blue wrapper (IYKYK) and smiled, handing him back the box. Then he waved, put on his seat belt, and rolled out.

In my life’s flood of fakery and rushing to the next thing, Hector stopped time with this simple gesture. He reminded me how it is possible to just be present and sincere, and how much that means. In my rush to get things done, I miss so much. People don’t need 18 roses or a fireworks display. A simple gesture complete with sincerity can change someone’s whole day. What can you do to stop time and sincerely connect with someone else today?

nature

Snowy Sunday

All we heard all week on the tv, online, at work, and on the radio: the upcoming cold front that would include snow and ice or a mix of whatever would arrive and cripple the roadways. Be prepared for Snowmageddon because we rarely get snow. The grocery store was out of most good items by Thursday. No hamburger or chicken. Milk and eggs were scarce, too. As folks prepared to buckle down, life still went on for me and my crew.

It was about 10pm on Saturday night as our evening wore down. At the same time the crisp air began to get a little extra chilly. We hunkered down for the night. The wind was the first thing to wake me early early Sunday morning. The trees were swaying with wind gusts up to 60mph according to news reports. I sat and ate my breakfast by the window just watching with a hot cup of tea. The homemade version of medicine ball tea from Starbucks. A few branches broke. A tall but thin pine leaned over but was caught by another. The limbs were looking so heavy yet the sight was beautiful.

The snow accumulated as the day passed. Some sleet hit. Back to fluffy snow again. The dogs had their coats on and had some play time. I opted for no snowman this year. It’s not often we see snow therefore it was a fun play date for the dogs and equally fun to watch. The power flickered. We lost power for a short time but it was daylight so all was good. 

A few movies were played and the internet was blazing until we heard a boom. About 4:49 the loud sound hit. With the boom came a flicker. After the flicker the power was gone. I’m sure a transformer was blown. As the dark settles in for night, we hunker down with blankets and extra layers for a new storm experience. A candle is burning in each room for light. The pups are napping as is my crew.

While all is quiet I wrote away on my phone. The light shining while I still have battery juice to entertain me. A few texts here and there. A check on the power website for updates. A cookie to snack on. Oh how the silence can be golden but how you hear different sounds you may miss on a day with sounds galore. I’m also enjoying the scents of my candles as they float through each room. Another level of calm as the chill sets in the house air.

The road is idle due to weather leaving no sounds there. The kids that once played outside are now tucked inside, hopefully still dry and warm. I do hear a mouth breather napping and I also hear a snore here and there. A few creatures lick their chops now and again or let out a big stretch.

Maybe it’s time to crank up the generator or have an impromptu night in the camper. My snowy Sunday is a powerless one or has been for a few hours now. Off to put my hat on (inside) and prep for dinner which seems like it will require me to go outside to use the grill to cook. Baby it’s cold outside.

challenges

PSA #42

I’m not a doormat.

I don’t appreciate being taken advantage of.

Your lack of planning doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part.

I have a schedule. 

I have feelings.

I have a to do list like most people.

If you ask I’m willing to help anyone.

If you demand I help, see where it gets you.

Are you a giver in life?

Have you felt like a doormat before?

Did you let others know how you felt?

I did.

They didn’t like it.

Will they change?

Who knows. It’s really up to them to look in the mirror and decide for themselves.

Did I change? Yes I did. I’m less trusting. I’m guarded. I’m bitchier. I’m proud of myself.

Today I gave to many. Unfortunately many close to me took advantage of me. My time. My mental energy. My talents. My pride. My joy. My rest. My smile. It was replaced with anger, frustration and grief. Did anyone even notice?

Overnight I have to glue myself back together. Dust off my crown and smile big tomorrow. For I have people relying on me in many facets of my professional life. I do all this over and over again. Sadly the people closest don’t see how their own selfishness impacts me in many ways. 

Part of me thinks they just don’t care. Other parts of me think they just expect me to do, do, do because I always have.

Did I put a sign on me that said I’m a doormat go ahead and wipe your feet? I don’t recall doing something so absurd. Not sure where this happened but it did.

I’m tired of entitlement.

As I ring in 2021. I am hitting the pause button on being nice. I’m shifting to me, me, me. I’m really the only one I can count on.  

I guess I’m thankful for 2020 and all its fuckery so I could clearly see what’s been in front of me for years. With the slowdown of life I just had more time to see it happening. In slow motion. Truly sad but true.