I talked to my father on the phone yesterday for nearly an hour. Our relationship runs hot and cold, but yesterday the temperature was just right.
I cried a bit over unemployment rates and frustrations with our lack of health care benefits... I whined about how I'm tired of struggling financially.
He let me whine and complain.
He said things like, "Money is just a temporary object... You either have it or you don't."
"Good things happen to good people... Stay positive and positive things will happen for you."
"This is a temporary situation, things will get better, you have to believe that."
Despite his flaws, my father is one of the most generous people I have ever known.
When I was younger and would come to him for spending money, he would make a deal with me. He would say, "I will split whatever it is that I have in my pocket with you."
Sometimes it would be $10.00, sometimes $100.00 or more.
He would give you the shirt off of his back and make you feel like it's no big loss because he will just get another one. It's only a shirt after all, you know?
To put my own financial situation into perspective, listen to this.
My father is a Vietnam Veteran who lives off of his Social Security check, which doesn't even cover his mortgage.
He has lived in the same home for nearly twenty years and he is loosing it...
His home that is.
He can't afford to live there any longer.
Despite the obvious negativity that surrounds his situation,
He stays positive and accepts his life for what it is.
Hopeful once again.
This made me think about something that I had read awhile back...
" Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
How true is that?
This afternoon when I was headed to pick Sebastian up from school, I decided to treat myself to a little afternoon pick me up via the Starbucks drive- thru...
When I looked into my rear view mirror, I saw a woman sitting alone in her car, and I had an idea.
I have heard of many other people "paying it forward", and creating unexpected optimism and positivity in their lives and in the lives of complete strangers.
When I pulled forward to pay for my drink, I asked the barista if I could also please pay for the drink that the woman behind me had ordered.
She smiled and said, "She is actually purchasing a gift card."
Me: "Oh, what denomination?"
Me: (Biting my lip and trying to remember the balance in my checking account...)
Barista: "O.K. what? You want to buy her gift card?"
Me: "Yes, please."
Barista: "Wow, that is really nice of you."
Me: "It's my pleasure."
Driving away I thought about the surprise that the woman must have felt when the barista told her what had happened. I wonder if it made her day... I wonder if it made her feel even for a moment that life; though sometimes turbulent and mundane, in a split second can become wonderful and exciting again. I wonder if she talked about it over dinner and I wonder if she will do the same for someone else sometime.
I hope so.
I'm keeping this reciept as a reminder that a good attitude and good fortune are simply a state of mind.
Is there really even a choice?
I have a million different things to be grateful for. No amount of money could replace the beauty and the love that I have been shown.
And once again, I am focused on the beauty of everyday life...
Everything is going to work out to be just fine.
Everything happens for a reason.
This, I know for sure.