Okay. Everything is okay now, I was just reliving that horrible sleep deprived moment when it finally registered that I wasn’t going to have my morning cup-a-joe. I’ve been sleeping very restlessly as of late and I think it’s starting to show. Either I go to bed early because I’m extremely exhausted only to wake up a few hours later, or I go to bed late only to wake up just before the alarm clock makes that despicable noise. I’m averaging around 2-3 hours total per night so delirium can’t be that far off.
Needless to say when I left my home to drop the boys off at preschool I wasn’t too concerned about my appearance. Good thing my fantastic sunglasses really do an amazing job of hiding the dark circles under my eyes. I could have thought a little more on my attire, but I wasn’t getting out of the car since they have a very helpful valet service to assist me. Now what I hadn’t thought through was the part of going into the convenience store because I still need my coffee before the day can officially begin.
Had I’ve been of sound mind and body I would have driven a little further to the Starbucks drive through but I digress. The now inconvenient convenience store was just going to have to except me in all my sleep deprived glory because with every passing minute I’m becoming more like Gullom from Lord of the Rings obsessing over ‘my precious’ coffee.
So this of course is where it would be rather obvious that I had thrown my winter jacket on top of my pajamas (yoga pants mind you) and run out of the house wearing my favorite pom-pom slippers instead of my more appropriate boots. Hobbling into the store around the corner from my home and the preschool…well let’s face it we live in a small tight knit community and what was I thinking…I try to shake my self consciousness as I tuck my wild hair into some type of ponytail. I did in all the hustle and bustle remember to bring my trusty leak proof travel coffee mug so at least I had that going for me. I was doing pretty good until I had to take off my sunglasses. The sunglasses that cover up the dark circles and no makeup face. Now I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.
I found the coffee dispenser that said ‘extra caffeinated’ because it was definitely turning out to be one of those days. I filled my 20 oz travel mug as high as I could and grabbed some splenda for the road since I wasn’t going to hang around to fix it to my liking and headed straight to the checkout. As luck would have it there was no line for this crazy lady with her naked face and slippers to wait in. When I’m uncomfortable I always feel like a thousand eyes are gawking at me when really I’m the smallest blip on anyone’s radar. Wallet, keys, and gargantuan travel coffee mug in hand I stepped up to the cashier and she asked,
“Will that be all?” I said in a very groggy voice, “Yes, thank you.” She replied back, “Okay, thank you. Have a wonderful day!”
Wait a second, did she just say what I think she said? I am rather sleepy and I don’t want to misunderstand and take the coffee without paying. That would be horrible to steal coffee by mistake! If she called the police who would they believe? More than likely they would believe an employee of the store over a woman that looks like she hasn’t slept in days and could certifiably be a mental case. Note to self: never leave the house in this condition again!
I asked her again more awake now and very surprised, “For the coffee?” She responded with a very genuine smile on her face, “Yes, for the coffee. Have a great day.”
I returned the smile and thanked her a few times before leaving the store.
Driving home I kept thinking about how nice it was of her to give me ‘my precious’ coffee for free. It was such a simple gesture. Such a simple act of kindness. It wasn’t about saving me the expense it was about reaching out to another person and doing a little something to brighten up their day. The cashier saw someone who looked like they were having a rough morning and giving free coffee with a sweet smile was a little something she could do to make it go in a better direction. It’s that easy.
It’s not only in giving things that this simple act of kindness can be achieved. Gifting, buying, and giving of things is all very nice but it’s the more expensive way to go about doing something generous. This monetary kindness is generally reserved for someone you know on a personal level. A simple act of kindness for a stranger makes a significant impact!
- Smile at everyone and always be courteous even in difficult situations. Sound like your Mother? Well, I’m sure she’d be proud! A lot of times things are not always in our control and getting frustrated at the person who is helping you is not to anyone’s benefit.
- Wave someone over when you’re driving and be sure to wave a thank you if you get waved in. Easy enough.
- Make an effort to compliment people around you but be genuine! From looks, clothing, service, homes, or their children’s behavior it is always nice to receive a compliment but only if it comes from the heart.
- Use the art of small talk when applicable. If it feels right make a little comment. For example, at the checkout counter about all the great items you found at the sale, at the grocery store, when getting your hair done, your waiter/waitress…they’re people worth talking to and most of the time get ignored or people don’t even make eye contact with them, they deserve some respect too.
- If the person behind you in the grocery line only has one item and you have a full cart let them go ahead of you.
- Be involved in other peoples lives outside of your inner circle. Not overly involved but listen when they tell you about what’s going on in their lives. Periodically ask them questions about whatever they mentioned the last time you spoke to show that you genuinely care.
- Hold the door for someone who needs assistance.
- Be a kind soul, because you would want someone to be kind to you.
Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You
It doesn’t hurt, there is no expense, and it takes very little time to be kind to one another. When you are the person taking part in this simple act of kindness you feel rewarded in doing something nice for another person. If you can’t do it out of the goodness of your heart then do it for that reason alone. These are all things we have been taught at some point or playground rules if you will. We get caught up in the commotion of our everyday lives and forget about the people around us. It’s more than being a good wife/mother or husband/father. More than being a good brother/sister or son/daughter. It’s about being a good person towards everyone you encounter.
Be bold with your kindness and make it contagious…let it spread like wildfire!