Monday, December 7, 2015

Another GOOD Little Thing

  
      I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community today. It's always good to read what everyone shares.  Thank you Stacey, Tara, Anna, Betsy, Dana, Kathleen, Beth, and Deb









           I went to the post office today, had two packages to mail and knew I would have a big wait. And wait I did. I was number twenty-four when I entered the line, and there was one counter open. I was there for an hour and a half. So, first I checked all the possible e-mails I could read, then Facebook, then my post today for comments, then read a few posts from others. It's not easy commenting on the phone, so that didn't take much time. People were shuffling, sighing, looking a little grumpy. I nearly posted on FB, but thought "I will not gripe. Others in the world stand for hours for necessary things, like food and water and blankets and medicine. I will not gripe." 
           Instead of an inner whine, I decided to try something I read about once to see if I could change my own feelings and maybe a few others. I started smiling at whomever I could make eye contact with. I chose those a little closer to me so if they smiled back I could say something nice about the weather. (It's unusually warm again, sweater weather.) It didn't take very long, maybe about ten minutes when I felt the mood shift, and then I began talking with the two men I was in between. One said he liked being out and about, did not work on Monday so that was his errand day, and he enjoyed the movement because his work kept him at a desk all day. The other man and I were about the same 



age. We traded grandchildren stories and ages. One of his grandchildren is the same age as my grandson, and attends the high school where my children went. He said he had a hard time standing because of a construction accident a long time ago, fell off a scaffold. Then we talked about the dangerous job that roofers do, and wow, he had the stories. But then, he told me that since he couldn't work construction anymore he completely changed jobs and became a pastor. We also talked about the lunch we were missing! I realize this is 'chit-chat' or 'small talk', call it what you will. But others in line began chatting, too, and I do think it's because I smiled. That hour and a half went much more happily than I originally imagined. I enjoyed getting to know something of these line "partners". 
          One more thing: when it was finally my turn, the first thing I did was smile and ask how the clerk's day was going. She gave me a big smile, and answered, "really fine. I just take it a person at a time." I could see her relax and BE fine.  Try it next time you're stuck at the PO. 


SMILIN' AT YA!

40 comments:

  1. I love it! This is such a powerful strategy. Works in all kinds of places and feels like you are giving the world a gift! Thanks Linda!

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    1. It turned out to be better than I even imagined. Thanks, Julieanne.

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  2. Love this slice and especially at this time of the year when life is busy. It's all about the choices we make. My favorite part is when you paused and asked the clerk about her day!. Thanks for reminding us to choose kind.

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    1. Thanks, Maria. I was pleasantly surprised that it worked so well.

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  3. I'm going to try that approach asap!!!!
    Thanks friend :)
    Digital Bonnie

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    1. You're welcome, Bonnie. Hope you share too!

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  4. Chatting with others is a great way to pass the time. PLUS, you choose kind, which is always awesome!

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    1. Thanks, Stacey, it felt right to me to try.

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  5. Fabulous post. I am reading Rubin's Happiness Project and that's exactly what her research has shown. I love this line too: Others in the world stand for hours for necessary things, like food and water and blankets and medicine. I've been thinking about that a lot lately--like when I cut off my kid's crusts or throw away half a dinner plate of food. We are lucky in so many ways.

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    1. We are so lucky, I agree, Kimberley, and I look for ways to make change whenever I can. Thanks.

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  6. It is so easy to get grumpy and so much fun to get happy. It doesn't surprise me that you chose happy.

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    1. Yep, I do most of the time. It helps me, too, and hopefully others. Thanks, Bernadette.

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  7. I have found that people love to talk and tell their stories. All it takes is a smile to get them started. After all, who doesn't have a story to tell?

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    1. Agreed, and this time I found several who did want to talk and share. I was glad. Thanks!

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  8. Fantastic! What a great story and a great reminder that we have the power to turn a negative into a positive. I bet they all went home and told the story. You created some lovely ripples today!

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    1. Thanks, Adrienne. It was a pleasure to see what could happen.

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  9. It is amazing what a smile and a shift in attitude does for me and then for all of those around me. Thank you for that beautiful reminder!

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    1. Indeed! Thanks, Deb. Spreading kindness means a lot to me, makes me hopeful!

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  10. A smile can cure a lot of things. :) Thanks for inspiring me today!

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    1. You're welcome, Jane. Have a great day smiling!

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  11. Choose your attitude, and you did! What a lift to a long wait! Wonder if others in line will adopt some of this as they continue through this season. Be happy and kind always wins in my book too.

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    1. What a great 'wonder', Elsie. I'd love to think they will. Thanks!

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  12. This slice is so YOU, my friend. I can just imagine your lovely smile, and its soothing effect on all around you. Bravo...I'm heading to the PO after work on Friday (that's the plan, at any rate) and I'll take the spirit of your slice with me.

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    1. Oh, hope it works for you, too, Tara. Thanks!

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  13. Love this post SO much, Linda! "I will not gripe." - words to live by. *smiling back-atcha*

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    1. Thank you, Bridget, nice to have another smile today.

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  14. Yes!
    You are the postal queen of the month, Linda.
    Appreciations for your smiles to our hardworking postal clerks & the tired peeps in line.

    Also handy are small poetry books, small plays that fit into big pockets or small bags. I read in line & I'm on your side, with the smiles in line.

    Smiles to you!

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    1. I have several poetry books on my phone, too, Jan, but I don't much like reading on it. I might tuck a little book in my pocket for next time, though. Nice idea! Thank you.

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  15. Oh, I love this Slice, Linda! I would totally be one of those grumpy faced people in line and - prior to reading this Slice - I may not have smiled back at you! Next time, I will smile. I promise.

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    1. Great to hear, Dana. Thanks for thinking about it!

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  16. I have tried this and it works miracles. Not only does it make you happier, it cheers up the others around you. We should teach this to our children. During the holidays, I especially try feeling less stressed in the car. A deep breath and a good holiday song!

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    1. I love that you do this, too, Margaret. It seemed kind of magical. I am rarely grumpy anywhere, but this time I was really smiling, offering talk, etc. Worked!

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  17. I have to add to Margaret's prescription "a deep breath, a good holiday song," and a wedge of chocolate. My new favorite: Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Caramel Wedges. The tin was empty today, but I enjoyed lifting the lid and savoring that dark chocolate smell. Linda, I love this slice. It's amazing that we can change the atmosphere around us with a smile. Such fun stories from your line mates!

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    1. Thanks, Ramona. By the time we really got talking, it was our turn. I almost hated to see them go. Thanks for the Trader Joe's recommendation. I have one near me, will check them out!

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  18. Perfect solution on a long line-use the time productively/don't complain/be positive. Since I am impatient and long lines annoy me, I need to remember what you wrote to avoid the holiday craziness.

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    1. Best wishes for remembering, Carol, perhaps it will help your impatience. Thanks for considering!

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  19. Great to hear this, Linda! Love that kind of story. I think it works the opposite way too (when one person starts complaining out loud, other people join in).

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    1. Yes, following along, although the low grumblings this time didn't seem o take on any power. Thanks, Tabatha.

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  20. This is wonderful, Linda, and such good advice! I can see your smiling spreading good cheer throughout your fellow line partners. I'll remember this the next time I'm in line at the deli counter!

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    1. Thanks, Catherine. I hope you'll share what happens when you are in line.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!