Monday, August 19, 2013

Inspiration Mondays: Turn Down the Rude

Someone said something incredibly rude to me today. I sat and fumed about it for a while, let it roll around in my head and my stomach, and then thought to myself, "Well, some things never change." I'd like to say it was said out of malice, but it was really just said out of thoughtlessness that is part of his normal repertoire.

But for the rest of the day, I decided to turn the volume down on rudeness. I decided to think about all of the kindness that has been shown to me recently...

Like the evening our landlords invited us over for drinks and snacks on their deck. I brought some blackberry tarts I made that day. They gave us margaritas (well, that's what I had. Hubby had a beer), and lots of fun conversation. I think I might have been drafted to join their dragon boat team, but I think I better check that with a little less margarita on the brain...

The day before our wedding anniversary, I came home and the hubby said, "I got you a present," and pointed into the kitchen. There I found this bunch of spinach:

And, while I was mustering up a polite "thank you," he gave me these instead:

I know that we're supposed to be kind to each other on our wedding anniversary, but I've learned that many people don't get even that, so I think it's worth mentioning.

Today, at work, I was helping a co-worker figure out a problem at the photocopier, and she saw my wedding rings on my middle finger and asked about them. I told her, "Yeah, those are my wedding and engagement rings, but I wear them on my middle finger because they don't fit on my ring finger right now."

"Why?" she asked. "Did you lose some weight?"

"Yeah," I said.

"Like, a lot of weight?" she asked.

"Yeah, I lost eighty pounds last year," I said.

And then, this woman I've only known for a few weeks put her arm around my shoulders and gave me a hug.

I'm so grateful for the kindness I've felt recently. I don't know if it's just that I'm around kind people. Maybe I'm just more in tune with it... that I'm open to receiving it. And maybe I'm learning to be a bit more kind to myself.

I read George Saunders' Commencement Speech to graduates a Syracuse University this year, and his advice to "err on the side of kindness" seems to have trickled into my life. I am grateful. I know I said that already, but I am so very grateful. I really can't believe my good luck.

I think I'm going to show myself a bit of kindness and get to bed early. G'night, all.


YarnKettle said...

That is some good looking spinach! Not as pretty as the flowers but it tastes better. Has my hubby been talking to your hubby? I think they're starting to share the same jokes.

I am looking forward to hearing what a dragon boat team is.

And just in case you have not heard it yet today, You're Awesome!

Unknown said...

Thank you Adriene, this was exactly what I needed to read today. Miss you! :)

AdrieneJ said...

Aww, sweet. And you'll have to wait to hear about my dragon boat adventures, as I think the season is done for this year. We'll see how it goes.