Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – April 16, 2004
I’m Not Alone
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – April 16, 2004 – I had an extremely busy day with client showings, errands, banking, some grocery shopping and a trip to my favourite gift haunt – “Felicia’s on the Danforth. She carries scarves, sweaters, handbags, sunglasses and a healthy supply of my number one weakness – sterling silver jewellery. She carries different jewellery lines , but is also a skilled artisan. She makes a lot of her own one-of-a-kind pieces.
I had two gifts to shop for. My friend Chris – aka – Big, turns 49 on Sunday (I can’t wait for next year when she turns 50) and my sister-in-law Dorothy celebrates her birthday at the end of May. I had a purpose. There was a reason for this end of day detour. I have such an incredible collection of silver that if I didn’t acquire another piece, I could wear something different every day for the next year. However, this is a weakness that I enjoy indulging, whether I’m shopping for a friend or looking for myself.
Felicia was out, so I chatted with her son Daniel for an hour or so until she came back. I always have a great laugh at the store. Felicia and Daniel are easy-going shop keepers and I’ve been going there for a number of years. Inevitably while I’m there other customers come in and try things on. I’m often asked for an opinion and sometimes I give one, requested or not. It’s usually pretty easy to tell which people are up for a bit of good natured banter and which ones are “really” serious.
I leave the humourless sisters to shop on their own. A couple of women came in while I was trying to sort through my stockpile of potential goodies and we were chatting about how nice it was to finally have a warm, sunny day, One of the gals said that she was so depressed during February and March that she wanted to kill her mother-in-law for giving birth to her husband. She said that her husband is a great guy but that she couldn’t stand anyone this winter. Her friend also reported a sluggish disposition and thoughts of doom and gloom.
What with all the whining I’ve been doing lately, I could really identify with these women. Felicia also mentioned that she’d been missing the sunshine and was really glad that spring was finally here. I found these casual revelations most heartening, especially in light of my own mirthless mood. I sometimes forget that everyone tends to react to the events in their lives and that I’m not alone in feeling the stresses of everyday life. I have a tendency to think that a time will come when I’m always “up”. Buddhist thought is helpful in debunking this notion. It’s not written anywhere that there will be no down times. Who said that life is easy? (Whoever it was – an idiot).
In life – there no free rides, no real pollyannas, no yellow brick roads, no ends to the rainbow, no ships that come in and no pots of gold. Life in itself is the gift and it’s up to us to script it to our liking. A blank canvas where we can create a masterpiece if we’ve a mind to. What we don’t like – we can change, if we’ve made a bad choice -we can make a different one. A changed attitude can alter a day, a week or a life. Today, in the simple act of gift shopping – I got a real boost from a couple of total strangers.
I came home feeling better than I have in a couple of weeks, and surprisingly far less alone. It’s a given that I need to lighten up a little and take a good long look at all the positives in my life. They far outweigh the negatives. So front and centre tomorrow. Little miracles happen all around me and opportunities exist everywhere. If I weren’t so inward focussed – I’d notice what’s going on in the world a lot more readily. The sun is shining again – time to re-group!