Why you should always be nice

Today I kept my head above water, but I often still feel like I’m drowning.

Physically I’m still struggling a bit so that makes it a little harder.

Dinner tonight was Little Caesar’s deep dish.

I ordered it for 5 pm so the teenager could come with me to pick it up, but she had a kitten pinning her down and we all know how hard it can be to escape kittens. 

I arrive early since I didn’t stop home. The person staffing Little Caesar’s front desk is super apologetic that my pie isn’t ready. I said it was fine, and told her that my daughter being held hostage by kittens.

She gave the only response she could, “Awe…. you have kittens?! Like little kittens?”

And as she drank her Mountain Dew I told her the story of trapping the kittens and how I don’t have the heart to separate the remaining siblings.

Next she asked, how old is your daughter?”

“Almost 16,” I replied.

“You don’t look old enough to have a daughter who’s 16.”

“I’m going to be 45 in a couple months,” I told her.

“You look damn good for 45,” the woman said as she handed me my pizza.

I thanked her. And then she told me to wait and she gave me big bag of cookies, for my daughter, even though my daughter was too old for cookies, she said, but everyone likes cookies.

It made me think of all the times I used to give out things like popcorn.

But who knew Little Caesar’s had cookies?

Anyway, those cookies felt like winning the lottery.

In closing, enjoy this photo of the teenager exploring the cookies and Nala, the cockatoo, and I, eating pizza.

Hope and light come in unexpected places

I chose my current employer based on the flexibility I wanted for school, travel and motherhood. And for the most part, I like my job. Sometimes, people frustrate me but many of my regulars can uplift my spirits. Especially the children.

I’m a good old reliable person. I tend to get assigned duties that the average peon might not do, and I don’t mind, it keeps my mind engaged. I like my immediate team and my supervisor is incredibly down-to-earth and full of common sense.

The last few weeks have been challenging. We’ve increased our production, changed routines, and even experienced equipment difficulties. But our team weathers it well.

Today, I took a turn cashiering, not my usual gig, but I don’t mind doing what needs to be done. For a while, as I covered breaks for the regular cashiers, the lines got pretty intense as I was the sole person ringing.

In the middle of one of those lines, a truly beautiful woman approached. She seemed a couple years older than me, in a white dress with a subtle pink pattern. I believe it was a classy princess seamed dress. She had short dark hair. She brought a several pieces of jewelry to the counter with her other purchases.

She was full of so much positive energy.

“May I ask your opinion?” she asked.

“Sure,” I replied.

She showed me item #1. A friendship necklace. “I am buying this for a friend.”

She showed me item #2. A necklace with family charms. “I have another friend who is really close, and I consider her family. Is that cheesy?”

“No,” I said. “I think it shows the depth of your feeling. I would do the same thing and I would be touched if I were your friend.”

“I’ll do it,” she said.

We continued to chit chat as I rang up her purchases and at the end I heard her say something about offering me a bracelet.

“Excuse me?” I said.

“May I give you a breast cancer awareness bracelet?”

She pulled this big bag of pink bracelets from her bag.

“Sure,” I said. “I know some survivors and some people fighting.”

“I’m fighting as hard as I can,” she said.

Then I realized. She had short hair. She was very thin. She had a band-aid over what was probably her medication port. We chatted some more and I wished her luck. I told her I would be thinking of her often and if she ever needed support I normally worked in the cafe and she should come see me.

“I might take you up on that,” she said.

“Please do,” I said.

She brought light into my life and made me humble. Good luck to you, wherever you are.