I stood in the long check-out line of Bottom Dollar (one of our local grocery stores).
My cart was literally overflowing. In front of me were two ladies - a middle-aged daughter taking her elderly mom to the grocery - both carrying a small armload of goods. In front of them was a third lady - older than the other two - pushing a cart containinging a few items. I observed the three ladies strike up a conversation and the lady with the cart offered to have the other two cut in front of her in line. As the ladies shifted their positions, I made eye contact with the leader of this line dance.
"Me, too?" I asked with a smile waving my arms across the top of my full cart.
She broke into a high pitched giggle, "Now that may be considered taking advantage of a little old lady!"
The entire checkout line joined in her laughter.
For the next 30 minutes I enjoyed an amazing conversation with this 86 year-old stranger while we went through the checkout line, boxed up my groceries (She grabbed a box and started organizing my groceries before I could stop her!), and walked to our cars which just so happened to be parked side by side. We talked about cooking, raising children, God, health and TV comedies.
As I was driving home I realized that I was sitting there with the most ridiculous grin on my face. Then I started to laugh. How weird was this? I never saw this lady before in my life, our paths cross for 30 minutes and now I'm sitting here with a crazy grin on my face. I just felt so happy! This complete stranger left me with such a sense of joy. What was it about her?
She was CONSIDERATE - after all, not too many people let others cut in front of them in the checkout line or help a complete stranger box up her groceries. She was a great CONVERSATIONALIST. I am a social worker, so you know I love a good conversation filled with active listening and lots of questions. She had a CONTAGIOUS positive attitude that left me with this sense of joy. That was it. Her attitude. It was contagious!
I started to think about myself. Do I leave people with a sense of joy? Lately I have been struggling with my attitude. I have always considered myself to be a very positive person, but I have felt as if I've been letting life's stresses leave a lingering dark haze over me. I'm quicker to point out the bad in the situation. It's harder to get myself out of bed in the morning rather than anticipating a good day. I catch myself complaining more. This isn't me . . . at least it's not the me I want to be! I want to exude happiness and positivity and JOY! I want to be CONTAGIOUS!
Living a healthy life involves all aspects of health - physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and attitudinal. Am I living my life with a healthy attitude? I have to admit that I don't think I am right now. That's something I know I need to work on.
As this stranger (We didn't even exchange names!) and I parted ways she shared this with me, "As I was having my time with God this morning He impressed upon my heart that I would touch someone's life today - give them a smile and some happiness. I've been sitting in my house all day expecting someone to stop over, but as the day got later I thought maybe I'm supposed to go find that person so I decided to come to the grocery store."
At the time I told her that I was pretty sure she had found her person. She sure had made me smile and brightened my day! The more I reflect on our interaction, I'd say she gave me a lot more than a smile!
HUMOROUS SIDE NOTE: God did a great job of pointing her out to me. She was hard to miss! My stranger was dressed from head to toe in bright purple with purple eye shadow, purple bangle bracelets, a large purple flower ring and purple nail polish. I LOVE purple! That will SO be me when I'm 86!