So early today morning my alarm rang, I snoozed. The alarm rang again, I snoozed again (What normal human being wakes up at the first ring of the alarm anyway?). Now on a regular day this ring-snooze-sleep cycle would continue unabated for anywhere between 30 to 50 minutes. On a regular day I would eventually wake up with enough time to spare. But today was not a regular day.
The late nighter we pulled courtesy of Ramadan meant that my body simply refused to cooperate and acknowledge daylight… And so I overslept. The ensuing hour turned out to be a flurry of frantic activity. Ever heard of Murphy’s law? Well Murphy could have been my middle name today.
But as is often the case with a seemingly bad day, the powers that be were out to teach me a very valuable lesson.
When I first woke up today morning, a tiny voice in my head had whispered ‘Be Grateful‘.
The phrase ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ has been a focal point of my life over the past couple of years. I truly believe that blessings have poured into my life in the phases where I am most thankful. This does not mean that nothing bad has happened to me. In fact I have been through one of the toughest times of my life this year. But bad things don’t necessarily negate the good things, do they? But I digress. As I was saying, I woke up to this tiny voice saying ‘Be Grateful’. I obediently mumbled a quick prayer of thanks and then proceeded to crash around the house in my frenzy to get ready for work.
I did not stop to think, to feel, to just BE. I did not stop to be grateful for waking up hale and hearty. I did not stop to thank my DH who got breakfast ready for me and who took the car out to get refueled. I showed no appreciation for a wardrobe full of clothes and for makeup that brightens even the most dull, sleep deprived skin. I did not appreciate the bright summer morning or the phone call from my mother who I abruptly hung up on because duh! I was LATE!
After much panic and hastily pulling myself together for a particularly intense workday I hopped in the car and started the drive to work. My brain was racing with calculations about how I could flirt with maximum permissible speed limits, dodge traffic without severely injuring anyone and manage to get to work at a reasonable hour. So in such a situation, imagine my frustration when the driver ahead of me suddenly slowed down at the intersection and did not enter the roundabout even though the roads were completely clear. I slowed down myself and waited impatiently for him to move forward.
Here comes that lesson I mentioned. Ever notice how you miss the most obvious things when you are in a tearing rush?
I was in such a hurry that I did not notice the municipality worker standing by the side of the road, picking up trash carelessly tossed out by passing drivers. I did not notice him because I was too busy mentally giving the driver ahead of me a generous piece of my mind. I did not notice him until that very same driver rolled down his passenger side window, leaned across and slipped the worker a rolled up currency note.
I saw gratitude in that driver for an underprivileged laborer who keeps our streets spic and span. I saw gratitude in the face of that worker for someone who took 10 seconds out of his day to express his appreciation. I felt gratitude well in my heart for the kindness of strangers.
The worker could only fold his palms together and bow his head in humble thanks. The driver lifted his hand in a casual wave and drove off leaving in his wake two hearts overflowing with hope that the world isn’t such a bad place after all.