One more trip to one more grocery store.
And one more errand on one more jam-packed day.
I was already far behind where I “should” be on today’s to-do list (which was rapidly becoming the “What-I-have-not-done-yet-today” list. You know the feeling, I expect).
So I hurried into the store, hoping to be in and out in three quick minutes, more or less.
A tall, thin man, perhaps about 90, a great big cowboy hat propped on the very top of his head, nearly blocked the first aisle I’d planned to sweep quickly through.
I stepped aside gently to let him safely pass.
As he rolled ever-so-slowly toward me and then continued to roll past, he said, energetically, “How ‘ya doing, Darlin’!?”
Startled, yet awakened to the moment, I burst out in a laugh.
Despite having my earphones in as I listened to a training podcast, I had to answer his “I’m HAPPY to be alive! How about you?” inquiry.
“FINE, thank you! And YOU?!” I replied, now with a big smile on my face.
“GREAT!” he called back as he rolled ever-so-slowly on.
A bit later when I was queued up at the checkout counter, a few shoppers behind him, the clerk dropped his change into Happy-to-be-Alive Guy’s outstretched hand.
“I think you for your service. And I REALLY mean it!” he said.
And just before he left, he turned to the man behind him and wished him a good day in an “And I REALLY mean it!” way.
We believed him, and carried on, a little more awake to our lives (at least for the moment), having crossed his path.
In some ways – except for the “Darlin!'” line – he reminded me a lot of my dad.
Dad, too, could make random people feel happy to be alive during a random trip to the grocery store.
It’s a skill.
To the people around them, it’s a gift.
Give yourself the gift of a Happy-to-Be-Alive moment sometime today, as well.
Notice something right there, right then, that makes you appreciate that you did.
Enjoy that moment.
And then, when it’s time, begin again to move ahead, a bit more awake, a bit more refreshed.