Human Highlights is a Sunday tradition at Commode To Joy. It’s a friendly reminder to forgive your human moments, celebrate the highlights, and enjoy life’s little lovelies in the interim.
Human Moment: I was in a mood last night. Big. Big big. Not from any one particular thing. Just…blah. Just blah with flared up tension spots. While driving to Paco’s to pick up food I thought, If anyone asks me how I’m doing, I can’t say “good”. It wouldn’t be true. I mean yes, it’s true that my health is good and my life is good, but my mood is most definitely not good.
I parked in back, and as I neared the entrance, a familiar waitress stepped outside for a quick smoke break.
“How are you, Jamie?” she asked.
Truth time. “I’m a bit of a raging bitch. How are you?”
“Oh my gosh, me to!” she said relieved. “I just waited on 18 prom kids and they left me a $9 tip!”
We commiserated briefly before I went inside. I stood at the bar awaiting the food and felt…better. Despite being in a bad mood (and actually, because of the bad mood), I had an honest exchange with someone.
Had I put on a smile and responded, “Good,” I’m guessing she would’ve done the same. It’s the normal response in our nicety society. “Hello great grand fine swell well good thanks, you?”
Instead, I chose to be authentic, and she returned it. We went from two individuals consumed by our human agitations to two people sharing a look of relief – the kind of relief that comes from learning that it’s not just you.
The next time you catch yourself being a raging bitch (because it can’t just be me and my waitress friend), maybe it will help to know you aren’t alone. Maybe it will help to know that when someone asks how you’re doing, you don’t have to respond with “I’m well.”
But you know what you should do well? Tip. Even if you’re in a horrid mood.
And if you haven’t already taught your children who are old enough to drive and go to prom how to tip? Do. Not sure how? Whatever the total of the tab is, move the decimal point over one spot to the left, then multiply by two.
Ex: If the chit is $21.40 – move the decimal over so it’s $2.1, x2 = a $4.20 tip. Comes out to approximately 20% every time.
Highlight & Life’s Little Lovelies: Normally these are two individual categories, but I can’t separate the two this week. Was flying a kite at the park with Miller my highlight of the week? Or was it one of those interim moments that you soak up and enjoy? My highlight could’ve been watching Miller play with sidewalk chalk next to arrows and his name that my Grandma Phyllis drew on the drive… Or was it me being especially tuned in to the moment?
The kite and the chalk, they’re both both. Highlights and Lovelies all rolled into one.
Every week for nearly five months now I’ve taken mental note of potential highlights and little lovelies as they happen, because I know come Sunday I’ll be writing about them. This is the first time since starting Human Highlights that the two have been indistinguishable. It’s one of the products of focusing on the good – focus on it long enough, and you see it more and more, oftentimes in places that are simple, easy, innocent even.
Because of these moments, it’s become a bit easier for me to shrug off my human moments (raging ones included). Maybe it’s because for every one human moment I’m coming up with two lovely/highlights to focus on.
That reminds me, last night, when I was at the restaurant, I saw a family friend dining alone at the other side of the bar. I asked the waitress to put his drink on my tab. That was my first moment of relief from the bitchy rage. Then, because of that little moment of relief, I thought of the waitress and how much I appreciated our exchange. More relief.
One kind gesture and one honest exchange started to alleviate my tension. Two to one. Maybe there’s something there – for each thing that pisses you off think of two that you appreciate. Sure, I can try that. I have a lot more weeks to play with it, to test it out and see.
In the meantime, what are your Human Highlights from the week?