Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Friendly Side of Karma

Karma is a bitch.  We've all heard it.  And in my experience it's pretty much true.  But there's also a nice side to karma.  Every now and again I get a reminder from the Universe to pay more attention to that kinder side.

My day started out shitty.  My facebook status was going to say something like "If I don't drop dead from a stroke, this will be a successful day."  Then I started to hear my mother's voice in my head.  When we lived in Ocean City, NJ, she was on a positive thinking kick.  She would get a thought in her head and say it over and over - I suppose much in the way I do with my girls about making a positive impact on others' lives.  Only my mom's mantra was "Thoughts are things" and "Your attitude is your life".  I HATED hearing those phrases.  Yet, something must have sunk in.  Because about 30 years later, I'm still hearing them.

I fought with my daughters this morning.  I yelled.  I felt bad and it was a crappy way to start our day.  That didn't make me happy. It made my blood pressure shoot up and put me in full-on bitch mode.

Then I realized I didn't want to feel bitchy all day.  I wanted to start over.  Easier said than done.  But I would make an effort and see what happened.

I got to my job and waited until we found that it had been cancelled last week and we weren't notified.  I wasn't UNhappy.  I needed to be in that area anyway so it was okay.  But still.....

I went to the gas station and some dude in a tanker truck yelled at me.  Something along the lines of "why are you behind me?? You're blocking me!!"   Instead of giving him attitude and a finger, I rolled down my window and said in my nice voice "Do you need me to move?"  He asked if I was getting gas.  I did not called him stupid and say WTF??  Why else would I be at a gas station.  I just said yes.  His response?  He smiled and told me he'd wait.  That was good.

Then I went in the Russian grocery to get something my bf's mother introduced me to the other week. I wasn't sure of the name but I remembered I had taken a picture of it.  I asked the woman (who spoke to me in Russian) and she responded (in English) that they didn't have those things today.  Oh.  I must have looked sad because she went in the back, came out and asked if I could wait 5 minutes.  Of course!  And five minutes later I had them.  My attitude adjustment was becoming genuine.

I went to a craft store that has several online reviews about the snotty staff.  I needed to ask a question and wasn't looking forward to getting an attitude. I asked my question and instead of attitude I got a friendly sales person to help me.  The woman at the counter told me to download the app for the store so I'd get a discount.  She waited while I did it - and there was a line behind me.  Not too many people do that.

I'm not 100% sold on the "thoughts are things" spiel.  I do think "Your attitude is your life" might have some merit.  Clearly when I smile at folks and give them the benefit of the doubt, my interactions with them are more positive.  As my girls and I try to do additional deeds of goodwill to folks in memory of the children who died in Connecticut last week (they can no longer do it for themselves so we will do it for them), I need to remember that people have bad days or at least bad moments but that doesn't always (usually) merit me yelling or shooting the finger.

I will continue going through my day looking for the good things that happen when I don't yell at people.  It sounds like of odd but it works.  My daughter (A) points this out to me regularly.  I need to notice it more.

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