During one of the vet trips with Tom, I found myself quite hungry. There was a fast food place a block away and I decided to stop there to eat. It was indeed, not fast.
There was a line, the A/C wasn't working, and the folks behind the counter seemed discombobulated. I felt like shit and I was already upset about the cat. Add in this new sensation of abject hunger and I was a ticking timebomb. I had finally gotten up to the counter and the large lady that was running the register was sweating profusely through her shirt, no bra, her hair was greasy and pulled back and she had a mustache. At first, my judgy self kicked in and before I spoke, I took a little look closer.
Thank heavens I did.
Once I spoke with her I had already adjusted my speech, smiled, and asked her how she was and how she was handling the heat inside and outside the building. That woman is a warrior. She's fought and won battles already, in addition to working fast food. She's missing a breast. There's a twist in her back and her belly is protruding not as if pregnant but that there is some sort of gastrointestinal thing going on. No wonder her hair is greasy and slack. No wonder she has the mustache going on; you can only wax so often. Of course she is carrying extra weight and I'm sure whatever is going wrong with her back is not being helped by her job. But she was still there; working. She was trying to keep going. Were there things she could have done about her appearance? Probably. These types of battles don't come with an instruction book. I'm sure there's been an effect on her mental health along with everything else.
I made sure to smile big and thank her for her help with my order. She smiled back. That was my reward.
On that day, she reminded me of a valuable lesson. You cannot judge a book by it's cover. Dad preached that to me over and over as a kid. While I have always tried hard to follow that; on that particular day my guard was down and I was beyond my normal capability of grace. She reminded me to dig deeper for a little bit more manners and a little bit more understanding.
Isn't that the issue with alot of what's going on with folks nowadays? Being kind and keeping yourself in check is hard. Far more difficult than just letting whatever you're going through spill out onto other people. Everywhere you go, people are on edge. They are stressed about almost everything. If you happen to be in the path of that one extra thing that sets them off; watch out. They will unload and make you feel just as awful as they do.
Try removing yourself or even just your words from situations that are getting to the edge of your limit. Don't worry about the expectation placed upon you by society, family, the public and yourself to "get it all done". When you feel yourself at the point of being on edge; step back. Give yourself atleast a moment to think, examine and re-route the feelings that are welling up inside. Even if all you can do is step out of the line and walk away with a hand wave for a moment. Isn't that better than spewing more nastiness into the world and making someone else feel crappy too?