The last four months of last year I was working two part-time jobs. Added up to about fifty or sixty hours a week. They were physically demanding, on my feet for much of it. A lot of lifting and carrying involved. The exhaustion was formidable. After all, I’m not a spring chicken, as my dad used to say. There were days when simply getting out of bed seemed like a major accomplishment.
One of the jobs, in particular, was the sort of position that can make a person feel invisible and maybe even small. There are a few jobs out there like that. I’ve had a few of them over the years.
There are advantages to that invisibility. Being disappeared allowed me to observe with unabashed curiosity and clarity. I watched all sorts of interactions between people that I filed away for future inclusion in a short story or a scene in a novel.
Most of the time I didn’t mind not being noticed. I was doing my job, which, if I didn’t would be noticed and create some big problems. Maybe that’s the way most jobs are.
Occasionally, a tough day would rear its ugly head and getting through the first job of the day was discouraging and weightier than normal. Moods can do that to me. On just such a day, nearing the holidays, I was the recipient of a gift.
I’m sure that the gift giver didn’t realize how significant her gift was. I’m sure she didn’t even consider it a gift. She’d be shocked if she knew I thought of that gift a year later, that I still have the package the gift came in.
Here’s what it looked like:
Suddenly I wasn’t a disappeared person. I was me, a fellow human being, like her, just trying to get through the day. The invisibility cloak slipped off my head and fell to the floor around me. I felt cared about.
Somewhere in the universe, some cog clicked into place that settled some ache in my heart that day. I felt lighter. I felt lifted. I felt love.
Her gift to me was more than hot chocolate. It was acknowledgment, personhood, a hand of kindness, recognition, friendliness, caring.
Reminds me of this quote:
“I can do no great things, only small things with great love.“ – Mother Teresa
Here’s wishing you a month filled with small things, received and given.
Have you had anything like this happen to you? What was the gift? How did it help you? I’d love to hear about it.
I think you might also enjoy reading one of these related articles.
- A Monday Prayer of Mother Teresa (writingsistersblog.wordpress.com)
- give: shop less, give more this holiday season (thejolynproject.com)
- December Challenge: Give a Hot Chocolate Away (Give Yourself Away) (thewritelife2.wordpress.com)
- How Will You Show Kindness on World Kindness Day? (colormehappykids.wordpress.com)
- The Smile (akissofbliss.wordpress.com)
- 10 Ways to Be Great Today (tinybuddha.com)