Sometimes we just need a reset. A do over. A mulligan. Another try.
And not just us, but other people too. And we need to give them one. Handed on a plate and freely exchanged.
We were in Chicago this year, visiting the aquarium. After wandering through the wet and watery exhibits and seeing everything from sea horses to dolphins to clown fish, we were getting hungry. Off to the cafeteria we headed.
We perused the choices. Funny how none of us were hungry for fish. I guess seeing lots of different varieties of fish does not make one hungry for fish. No, we were eyeing the pizza, soup, salad, and sandwiches.
The place you order hot food is an inverted hexagon. Three windows, all set at angles to one another, make up the ordering and serving area. Each window is two feet, maybe three, from the next window.
Now each of these windows had ordering lines set up with some rope and waist high poles, but as we were the only people in the food area, my hubby and son walked up to the middle window that served pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs.
After a short wait, a lady emerged and asked them for their order.
“Pizza,” my son said.
“Speak up,” she said.
The lady muttered something about kids needing to speak up and slapped a piece of cheese pizza on a plate.
She looked frazzled. Sounded frazzled. Like her day had not gone as planned. Maybe she was supposed to be on break, and here she was serving the very occasional customer who was wandering in long after lunch time.
Whatever the reason or backstory, she was not in a good mood. Nor would she have won the happy award.
After handing our son his pizza, she nodded at hubby.
“Soup, please. Chicken Noodle,” he said.
She gave him the stink eye. “This window is for hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza. Soup is that window,” she said, pointing to the window on her left. The next window two feet away.
‘Well, I just thought,” hubby started to say.
“You just thought,” she said, “but you did not read. All the windows are clearly marked.”
I knew what hubby was thinking. One lady working all three windows which just open into one large kitchen area, no need to move to the next window. No one behind, in front, or anywhere in the vicinity. Couldn’t he order soup without navigating back through the rope lines and re-entering the roped off area for the first window. The soup window.
My hubby stood there a moment trying to figure out why she couldn’t move two feet to her right and just scoop some soup into a bowl. The soup pot on the counter was already practically in reaching distance of her.
“All soup orders are taken and filled there,” she huffed to hubby and pointed at the soup window.
“Over there,” son pointed.
“Okay,” hubby said.
They exited line 2 and entered line 1. The soup line.
They stood a moment. Clearly, she had gone somewhere else.
Shortly she appeared at the window. And this time she had a smile on her face.
“Now what can I get you?” she asked, looking at hubby.
“Chicken Noodle Soup. A bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup,” he said.
“Coming right up,” she said, grabbing a bowl and ladling it full. “How has your visit been?” she asked, making small talk.
“Fine. Good.” he said.
She handed him the bowl and smiled at son and father. “Enjoy the rest of your visit.”
Now what happened between her few steps between window 2 and window 1, I don’t know, but her attitude had been reset. Grouchy became pleasant. Impatient became sweet.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am grouchy and impatient like that lady. Snapping at those around me and insisting things get done my way. Which is of course the one and only correct way (or so I sometimes think). And sometimes I need a re-set. A do-over. A new turn. Another chance. Or maybe a turn around.
Hubby and son regaled me with the story of their ordeal of ordering lunch when they met me at the table. We laughed about them having to change lines to get some soup. But hubby ended the story about how she was so pleasant at window one and so helpful.
Who knows what had just happened before she came out to serve the pizza?
I know when that happens to me, I want the benefit of doubt. I don’t want to be remembered as the grouch and grump that I was, I want to be remembered as the pleasant and nice person I change into.
Because when it comes down to it, I need lots of re-dos, turn arounds, and detours in my day.
And the good thing is, these detours and changes are always available when I need one. Every moment is a new moment. Grace and forgiveness are only a breath away. A smile is ready to spring to my lips when I tell myself the truth and look for the positive. A harsh voice can be softened with a moment of putting myself in the other person’s shoes. The holy spirit is ever ready to help me and renew me into a new creature.
No need to beat myself up and bemoan my state of awfulness and pitifulness and grumpiness. Grace awaits for my taking. Grace awaits for my wrong turns.
It’s up to me. I can take a re-do anytime I want.
And each time I do, I am learning and growing. I am resetting my awareness. I am triumphing and changing. One re-step at a time. One 90 degree turn at a time. One two-feet slide at a time.
I am also pleasantly amazing those who live with me. And those who see me reappear at window one as Miss Pleasant.
Let them wonder where Miss Grouchy and Miss Bossy Unpleasant went to.
They say a little mystery makes life more interesting.
Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important and have a lovely day.
Join the Discussion: What helps (or what do you do) when you need a re-set?