Choices

This morning, before settling in for the day’s adventures, I was scrolling through my Facebook page. One of the posters I follow had this image up.

My first thought was “to my mailbox” – and I smiled. I’m lucky enough to live in paradise. My mailbox is ¼ of a mile away through some of the most beautiful countryside I’ve had the pleasure of seeing. And while I do love to travel, I’m always happy right here.

As I read through the responses of other people, I kind of got depressed. There were things like:

I can’t afford to go anywhere!
Raise minimum wage!
I’m lucky to get to the gas station!

But then one woman posted, “My house, my dining room is Mexico, my kitchen is France, my den is Italy and my bedroom is a cozy cottage in the country somewhere.” What a great sentiment.

Last night my friend Meg texted me a photo of some YUMMY looking apple pie cinnamon rolls and turtle cinnamon rolls that she had just made. WOW did they look good. I asked her what the occasion was since it was a Wednesday night. She made them to take to the fire station in her town in appreciation for their work. Nope, no big fire lately. No crisis they averted. Just someone saying thank you to the people who are in the trenches every day, making sure there is a place to go home to each night. She does it once a month – shelters, fire stations, police, somewhere new each month just to say “thanks – Someone notices. Someone cares.”

It is easy to draw into ourselves. I am so busy with work! I’ve got to fix dinner for the family, work the farm, take that business trip, do this homework, write this report.

It is easy to let our financial burdens get in the way. I really cannot afford to donate to that charity that Office Depot or Walmart or McDonalds is pushing today. Plenty of others are donating to Houston or Florida or Puerto Rico, my money isn’t going to matter.

It is easy to be distracted, to forget to say thank you, or to ask someone how they are.

I get these reminders from time to time. My friend Meg was a great one. Facebook was another.

I went to school with a guy – Stoney. He and I knew each other, which is to say we were in class all day every day together, but we were not what you would call friends. One day, my father pulled our car into a driveway where Stoney was on his bike. He looked up at me and I smiled at him. The smile he returned glowed. I remember it to this day, though I have not spoken to him in years. It did not change our relationship. We didn’t become fast friends. But his smile touched me, brightened my day – and it has stayed with me for more than 20 years.

Every day we have the opportunity to be happy or disgruntled. To smile or to frown. To say thank you, or get caught up in the minutiae. Life is going to be there, it is going to happen the way it happens. Nothing to be done about that. How we choose to deal with it is all down to us.