#30 Days Trying to Find Joy Challenge – Day 5

Sunday, March 9, 2020 9:07pm  – Traffic Cop, Ralphs, and Kindness

After working with one of my clients today I went to the grocery store and the parking lot of jam-packed with cars. As I sat there about to watch a fight break out because no one would let the other pass, I just jumped out my car and played traffic cop!  To my surprise everyone paid attention and followed my direction.  As cars passed me by, almost every car thanked me for taking charge and moving everyone along. 

For me, this was an amazingly joyful moment.  Not while it was happening, I didn’t even realize it really till I got in my own car and was able to get on my way – but it was joyful to realize we can all DO SOMETHING if we just take a breath during a stressful moment and think about what we can do to fix it instead of adding to the turmoil. 

We’re in stressful times.  I believe more than normal. Our country is divided politically. We have a government that feels dysfunctional. We’re all dealing with our own personal dramas on top of having to cope with the outbreak of the coronavirus. 

I know, I know, this will sound so hokey – but please just try and be kind. If you can swing it, try and be helpful.  And if you can really muster it – say thank you to those that do, you know, jump out of their cars and start playing traffic cop to help move us all along! 

Okay – yeah, I just patted myself on the back. But you know, today was a good day! I deserve it! 

Happy evening my friends.

Carmen

PS. If you’re on TikTok, please let me know. I’d love to follow each other (You can find me under my handle – @carmenlezeth). I’m just starting out and have no followers so, we’d be learning it together! Below is today’s post:

Some advice for those of you working from home during this virus issue.

I Prayed In My Car

Yesterday, it rained.

This wouldn’t seem like a big deal to most, but I live in Los Angeles were “rain” is at a premium. 

Anyone who knows me, gets that I hate to drive to begin with, but hate it even more in mist, rain, darkness, anything but perfect sunny weather at this point. If I won the lottery today, one of the first things on my list would be to hire a permanent driver. I wish I was kidding, but I’m not. I’ve been saying this since I got my license as a teenager.  I’ve just never been a fan of driving and I don’t care about cars at all.  But, I do drive and yes, I drive well – just like everyone else thinks they do – it’s just not my thing. But, I had an appointment to meet with a client and since I’m a stickler for keeping my commitments, I went anyways even though when I started to leave, the rain was really coming down hard.  I can’t lie, I thought about cancelling for a second — okay, maybe more than a few seconds – Yaaasss, because it was raining!  I would have come up with another reason of course, like I was “sick” or something, but I truly considered ditching the meeting because of the rain.  Hee! 

Well, I went to my appointment.  And in case you missed it, I hate driving. I hate rain while driving even more. 

I prayed in my car. I did. Honestly, I realized yesterday that I do that pretty regularly. I’m not religious at all, but prayer (wishes, hopes, whatever you want to call it) is a part of who I am. People don’t know this about me – well, maybe one person does, the one who taught me this when I was a little girl, but every time I go by an accident, or see someone in distress, or just have a fear or need, I do a small cross at the top of my forehead with my thumb. Yes, I know, how very Catholic of me, but I’m not. I was “raised” Catholic, but I consider myself a recovering Catholic and actually, truth be told, I can honestly say, I hate the Church and most religion any day of the week.  But my faith in something “bigger” and “after this life” is on point and strong.  I also believe that whatever keeps me hopeful, empathetic, considerate and in joy, is a good thing.  Yeah, I pray most every day, maybe sometimes twice a day.   

I prayed in my car that my journey on the 405 & 10 freeways would be easy, that people would be kind, that other drivers would use their directionals (we call them blinkers – or blinkahs – in Boston). I prayed that my journey would be safe and that my car would not slip or slide and that my tires would hold out (the guy who changed my oil this year told me I needed new tires because they were worn out and then proceeded to show me the worn tread to make his point. This is in my head every time I get in my car. Thank you, mechanic guy.) – So, I did my little cross on my forehead with my thumb and went on my merry way. 

It was a lovely drive. I swear to God, or whatever you believe in, it was incredible! I mean EVERYONE used their “blinkahs” and even though there was one little mishap –  where a car tried to get into the next lane during a slow in the downpour while the opposing car was trying to do the same, they both noticed each other and one let the other by kindly. No horn honking, no middle fingers or exasperated looks – actually, there was a “It’s all good” wave by the person in the first car to the other car.  Seriously. In Los Angeles!  Amazing!

Now, do I think my prayer made that happen? Of course not.  I do not believe that’s how it works.  The God I believe in, isn’t messing with my head that way.  If that were the case, my “prayer” for a few million dollars would have already come true a long ass time ago!  Hahahahaha!  No, that’s not what prayer is for or about for me… 

When I pray, when I do my little cross on my forehead when going past an accident or seeing someone struggle, that pray is a reminder of my compassion. Prayer for me is about hope.  A wish that I be better than I used to be, no matter what happens. Prayer is what made me notice the best in people when a slight mishap occurred between two cars in front of me, in the rain, on the freeway, instead of being angry and frustrated that it ever happened at all.

Yeah, yesterday was a great day.

The Little Things. . .

It’s the little things.

On my run up a slight hill this morning, a woman moved out of the way with her dog and gave me a little shout out  “you’re almost there, don’t give up!”

Later that morning, I walked into the post office and a man held the door for me. . .

A client stopped me as I walked into her office and said, “I love your outfit today.  Those shoes!”

On my way home, a really nice driver, let me cut in-front of her even though I had made the mistake of trying to get through the light and just didn’t quite make it.  She laughed  and then motioned for me to go on right ahead.

The cashier at the grocery store ran after me all the way across the parking lot when I forgot my credit card at the register.

I sat in my car and went through the sweet day I had. So many kind and wonderful moments and it dawned on me:  What did I do today to help someone, to make someone smile, to make someone feel good? I couldn’t remember a thing.

But I’m gonna do much better tomorrow.

It really is the little things.