So I’m in a funk. Not a serious worrisome funk, but a funk nonetheless. I know it’s the stress of transitioning jobs (even though it’s a great transition, there is still stress involved), the holidays, remodeling our bathroom, and the sadness I feel about the little girls spending this Christmas with their other family. All of that combined has put me in a place in which I am spending far too much time thinking about my frustrations with people and/or situations over which I have no control. A wise use of time and thought, yes?
I’m thinking about how frustrating things can be. And how frustrating it is that those involved don’t realize how frustrating (and ridiculous, and unreasonable, and crazy) they are. And about how unfair that is. And about how Christmas Eve won’t be the same without our little girls. The first Christmas Eve I’ve spent without them since they entered my lives. It makes me sad. And frustrated.
Usually, I can take a step back and think ‘okay…it all happens for a reason…someday it will come back.’ I know it’s true. And I also know that in very few instances will I be witness to that happening but that it will in fact happen. My girlfriend Ess often says “everyone gets their just deserts.” And she’s right.
This past weekend we were ripping the old floor out of our bathroom. I happened to look out the window to see a car spin-out into the snow across the street from our house. My husband is the kind of guy who snow blows the driveways of the houses around us. The kind of guy who will pull over at any sign of trouble with another car. The guy who saw a kid fall off his bike and u-turned to grab him and his bike and drive him home. So I immediately called out to him “look at the car across the street! You have to go help!”
Umm…notice how I didn’t jump to help myself…
Ahem…he looked out the window and said “yeah, except that’s the kid that stole our signs.” I peered out and realized he was right. And I almost couldn’t contain myself.
“GO!!! GO!!! GO!!!” I nearly pushed him out the door. I watched as he walked down our long driveway, Sullivan prancing at his heels, to go help the teenager with whom I was at war during political season. As he shoveled out the kid’s spinning tires I kept saying to myself “this is so awesome!!! This is SO AWESOME!!! THIS IS SO AWESOME!!!” He easily freed the kid’s Mazda and he was on his way.
Later that day, we were on our way to Home Depot (again), and we passed the kid and his buddies. And guess what they did? They waved at us. And I smiled and waved back. And it was AWESOME.
These boys. These boys had the misfortune to get stuck in front of the house that they had no respect for earlier this Fall. For the neighbors they lied to when confronted. And to their surprise, we were kind. What a great lesson for them to learn. And what a great reminder for me that under no circumstances can I let the frustration get to me or alter my behavior towards others. Because it’s just not my job to show people how ridiculous and frustrating they are. It will happen without my help.
And yet…I wasn’t so enlightened that my frustration ceased. Or that I stopped thinking over and over about how mad I am.
But…but…earlier this week, I saw it again. This time it was someone who’d been incredibly disrespectful to a friend. Lots of unkind words behind backs and snarky behavior. They realized something was wrong with the relationship with my friend when phone calls stopped. I saw them come to my friend’s place of business, tail between their legs, with a large holiday basket. They tried to sound upbeat, like nothing had happened, but it was clear that they realized they’d been caught. That their unkind actions had repercussions.
I know that these two rare opportunities to see people get their “just deserts” were put in my path to help me let my frustrations go. To remember how grateful I am for my life, my family, my friends, and to be me. So much so that the frustration I feel towards others or particular situations pale in comparison to the joy I have in my life.
Life lesson learned. Check!
TODAY: What if I keep my faith in the certainty that people do get their just deserts when they behave badly? What if instead of obsessing about the things that frustrate me I revel in the joy and happiness and peace that surround me?
PS – For the record, I was originally spelling this incorrectly until I Googled it. Who knew? It’s “just deserts”…as in something one deserves. I have a terrible fear of bad gramar…which is why I’m ridiculous enough to post this PS. I’ll stop now…as my husband rolls his eyes and shakes his head. Ahem.