Well Laid Plans

I love Sunday mornings.  In the constant pursuit of structuring my life to allow more time for those things that I want to do, protecting my Sunday mornings has been a priority.  This Sunday was no different.

Getting Ready

In preparation for Sunday morning, I spent Saturday evening putting together my Sunday morning bliss pile…a few favorite books I have on the go, my phone for podcasts, a lap desk for writing and my ideas notebook to jot down quotes, miscellaneous notes, things to think about or writing ideas.  All were assembled and sitting nice and pretty on my bedside table.  The only thing missing was my coffee and my laptop. These items would be collected the following morning on my way to a self-care marathon.

I was ready.

Except for one problem…

I forgot to tell the dog.

Without the glasses…my pile was very similar.
Photo by Jade Stephens on Unsplash

Sunday Morning

At 4 a.m., my poor husband readied himself for work and fed our pooches on his way out.  Silently, I appreciated him and rolled over to resume sleeping.  Half an hour later, my dog who is used to receiving a morning frozen treat after her breakfast let me know that no such treat had been forthcoming. She communicated her desire to have it immediately.  My husband had thoughtfully decided not to give it to both dogs because their slurping and gnawing were not conducive to a morning sleep in.  Unfortunately, neither was the barking indicating she had been denied.  The older dog was sleeping with elderly patience until the younger one started. Then, both dogs romped across the bed talking until I roused and gave them their damn treats (sorry, mom).

Take Two

Attempting to procure another hour in my warm haven of blankets, I curled up to sleep, but the slurping and gnawing commenced. I gave up sleeping and grabbed myself a cup of coffee and my laptop.  Lamenting my conscious state, I acknowledge the second-best thing to sleeping in is a quiet morning alone when everyone else is sleeping.  I assumed an upright position to meditate, read and indulge in some writing time.

Frozen treat finished, my dog then decided that the time for her morning nap had arrived and curled up by my side snoring…a picture of rhythmic, noisy paradise.

For 20 minutes.

Peace Interrupted

Another of our morning routines during the weekday after I finish work is to go on a morning walk with the dogs. Since her morning routine was already knocked off kilter due to my staying in my bed, she decided that she had regained enough energy to go for her morning walk.  She proceeded to bark at me and then egg on the other dog to get excited and requested…nope, demanded…her morning walk immediately.

I found myself at a crossroad.  Hang on to my idea of a blissful morning in bed that had been painstakingly planned, shut the bedroom door with my dogs on the outside of it and attempt to proceed with Operation Self-Care with possible barking/scratching at the door.

Or let it go.

With a small expletive, I let it go.  I committed and donned a bra, grabbed the two excited and happy dogs and greeted the day as a fully clothed and reluctantly conscious human being.

Letting Go

It was lovely summer morning, cool, but you could feel the heat coming.  I was grateful we were getting out early.  No other dog was in sight, so we ran around the school field off leash until they indicated they were tired.  Taking them home, I decided to continue enjoying the morning by continuing my walk solo. I dropped the dogs off at home with a big bowl of water and headed back out.

Now 8 a.m., I have already fulfilled half my day in steps according to my Fitbit. In our neighborhood, I stumbled on a beautiful garden that asked passerbys to come in and enjoy their lovely flowers. Inspired, I am now sitting down writing between two sleeping dogs.  I feel sweaty and still a little resentful about the bra but fulfilled in an unexpected way.

Sometimes, self-care does not come in a way you planned, but if you surrender to the flow, it sure feels a lot better than arguing with an 80-pound Rottweiler.

A glimpse of the garden I saw this morning.

The Cashier

“Next for Checkout Number 5!” yelled an employee at our local grocery in my direction as I waited for my turn standing in the COVID single lineup for multiple checkouts.

An Aside

May I say that I happen to love this feature at our local grocery stores.  One lineup…all checkouts.  This is a feature I hope they keep post COVID.  Takes off that pressure you go through when you try to figure out which lineup to choose…the one with the harried mother who has multiple crying children with the full cart or the one with the elderly person who is looking for a price check…truly a gamble of timely proportions.  Love not having to wait impatiently while outwardly giving the appearance of serene patience, love the mother having the opportunity to stop and gently reassure her little ones, love the fact that the cashier can have a little chat with the elderly person without pressure.

Back to Regular Programming

Speaking of chats with cashiers….

Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

Upon taking my position in Checkout Number 5, I should have noted this was going to be an unusual exchange from the appearance of the customer before me edging her way backyard towards the entrance smiling and nodding.  Initially, I assumed they knew each other, but upon taking my position as the center of my cashier’s attention, I learned that they did not know each other and that the cashier thought they had a “good connection.”

We must have had equally as good a connection because within the span of time it took me to pay for $66 worth of groceries (which is not much if you live in Canada…basically a can of beans and a loaf of bread….okay, okay, I exaggerate…two cans), I learned the following:

(I will intercept to say that you will only get vague details…cashier to customer confidentiality)

  • How many relationships she has had.
  • How these relationships ended.
  • What she looks for in a relationship.
  • Her age.
  • Her fertility status.

Maybe some people would have thought this type of conversation was completely inappropriate at a place of business between customer and employee, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Having been privy to a few of these conversations in the past, I am coming to better understand that my life involves less frustration if I embrace the human rather than get stuck in a story of a professional interaction.

Why Us?

I have no idea why she felt she needed to share her life with the multiple customers passing through her till that day.  Maybe her family and friends were tired of listening.  Perhaps she had no one to talk to.  Maybe this had just occurred.  Whatever the reason what I do know for sure is I saw a young woman in pain, grieving the end of a relationship and trying to process why this had occurred and wanting in some way to reassure herself that she was worthy of love….and allowing me to be involved in the process.

Our conversation ended unglamorously with the customer behind me asking if he had received the discount for purchasing hamburger buns in bulk, but I left the store with an appreciation for my lovely husband and for those moments life hands us to serve another…even if it was just listening for five minutes.

And yes, he had received the discount for the buns.

When you can’t cure, you can heal simply by your presence…a silent presence. – The Kind World podcast.