Jun 20, 2014

When You Are In A Hurry, Just BE...

                    Back Fence by David Rickert 2011

I was in a hurry. The goal was to get back home as quickly as possible.

It was going to be another day of painting, let's call it day number sixteen.. Not sixteen in a row, but sixteen days I've held a paintbrush in my hand.
Yes, I paint. I love color and then I don't love color. I love color and then...
I've been fired from painting by my husband and friends. I rehire myself, often.

One weekend when living in Champaign, I was finishing up a new color in our master bedroom. It was similar to Pepto Bismol, but not as nice.
The phone rang. It was our neighbor, our literal next door neighbor. He was upstairs in his bedroom looking down into our room and was calling to ask if I was going to make Roberto sleep in that room?
Yes, we were close. 
In fairness to him, the drapes were down, windows wide open and about 800 watts of light flooding into that sweet love nest.

The hubs, ever accommodating said it was fine. A year later it was a soft butter yellow... with possibly a tinge of pepto underneath.
None of this having anything to do with the brush in hand today or these weeks that seem to stretch into an eternal, whirling Spirograph of paint. I dream of paint at night. 
This job is a picket fence, painted a gloss black.
Yes, it's a beauty and seems to loom larger each morning. It's gone from an urban lot to the back forty.

So... I planned on leaving the house before the sun became a blazing ball of fire. Yes, I know it is a blazing ball of fire, but it doesn't always feel like one.
Unless you live in the south, which means its 93 degrees by 8:15am. The dogs are picking up their paws on the deck. Hot, hot, hot... it's like dancing puppies. I should YouTube them... I know, mean. 

I made my way to purchase paint can number six and seven. I know I should have bought the industrial size. I don't live in the past. My eyes only look forward. Each day is a new day to screw up.. that's my motto.

I bought my paint.
I was in a rush. My kids and hubs will tell you I am always in a rush when shopping.
I dislike the process of shopping. The driving to and back. The picking out, purchasing. It's wasted hours of my life...
I could be painting something.

I decided to stop at Kroger. Not Ghetto Kroger but kind of ghetto Kroger.
We have both in our neighborhood.
The first time I shopped at ghetto Kroger I stole a case of beer. No lie. Flat out stole it... but not on purpose, so it wasn't really flat out.
I just like the sound of it.
I paid for everything else, but the beer was under the cart.. forgotten. Some would say hidden.
When I got outside and realized it I started laughing, a lot.
I took it home and told the kids mom had street cred and don't mess with her. 

This trip, no thieving hopefully.
I needed a few things. Fruit, veggies, chicken. Hubs is coming in tomorrow night and we'll be grilling.

I was in the bread area. I love to look at bread. I love to smell bread. I love to touch bread. I love crusty breads, rye breads, hearty breads.
It's easy not to buy bread at Kroger because of these facts, but I still look.

As I walked over to the stand of bread I heard a voice, singing. A soft, pretty voice. I smiled. It immediately made me happy and I forgot I was in a hurry.
I followed the voice around the corner and saw a small, blonde haired girl singing as she dusted the shelving.
She stopped when she saw me, embarrassed.
I said, "Don't stop. Your voice is beautiful." She smiled big and said, "I love to sing gospel music."
She continued to dust and began singing a little louder, her smile a bit wider.

I forgot about my hurry, my painting plans and remembered my prayer each morning.
"Lord, let me encourage those you bring my way today."

Maybe I encouraged her, she certainly brightened my day.
She reminded me of the lies we believe. Whoever accomplishes the most, makes the most money, climbs the highest ladder, runs the fastest, the farthest, has the most friends, likes, whatever, wins.
Wins what?!
Nothing that truly matters.

This young woman will never graduate college or climb the ladder of success.
Her genetic make up has decided that...
she has already achieved success. She loves gospel music and her smile makes others smile.
She wins.
We mostly lose.

I pride myself in the truth of what really matters, people and relationships. The daily dance of encouraging and loving others wherever I find myself. Yet, the idea that I pride myself in it, is proof of my failure.

I'm still mostly in a hurry, annoyed at other drivers (the south is so annoying). Just drive people, like you have somewhere to be.
I miss the mark most days, missing opportunity to just be.

Be available.
Be supportive.
Be quiet.
Be hospitable.
Be kind.
Be loyal.
Be generous.
Be loving.
Be joyful.
Be there.

I'll be looking for my new friend the next time I'm in Kroger. I think I could learn a lot from her in the art of being there and being joyful.
Thank you sweet blonde headed girl.
You are beautiful.

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