What a day this was (Friday). It went kind of all over the place and it made me stop and think, and sometimes in places where I shouldn’t have stopped at all.
I started my new volunteer job this morning! That was pretty great. I had to get up early, which was tough because I’m into the last 200 pages of Stephen King’s almost 1200 pages of “The Stand” and it’s really hard to put down. So after reading for over and hour and a half, until 3:00 AM, I determinedly set my alarm for 8:00 AM, which, by the way, is the earliest I’ve been up for a long time.
Well morning came and the alarm went off when it was supposed to. I should know better than to try to reason with a sleepy brain at 8:00 AM; it doesn’t work. I reset my alarm for 8:30, thinking my bus surely won’t come until 9:30 and I can just put more hair products in my hair in lieu of a shower.
So, like a good little soldier, up I got at 8:30 and checked the bus times again. Nope. The time in my head was wishful thinking, I had 25 minutes to eat and get ready and take my morning meds then run the 2 blocks to the bus stop. Mad panic ensued. My cat watched me in wonder while looking pointedly at her full food dish. She likes to be petted while she eats. It’s an anxiety thing.
It was the first beautiful morning in ages. -1C and with the wind chill it only felt like -8. So I figured I would not have to dress in so many heavy layers of clothes this time.
The bus was late. A LOT late was that bus. I even ran half of the 2 blocks to catch it on time. Well, I think of it as running. It sure felt like running. The wind seemed to be picking up as well.
I made it to the hospital where I volunteer and got ready to have coffee time with the “girls” for the first time. Well, there were a couple of guys there too. I love working with the elderly. They were all smiles this day, even the grumpy ones apparently. Tarts for tea today.
We spent the next hour and a half having coffee and tea and goodies while another volunteer told jokes she found on the internet and yet another brought out his guitar and sang some songs. I tell you, these people know how to chair dance! The volunteer promised to play again next week. Then it was time to clean up and go home.
I figured it was such a nice day I would wait at the bus stop instead of staying inside for 10 minutes. Funny thing…was that wind getting colder? It was definitely colder. And stronger. And it was snowing really hard.
I made it home and had a nap. Nice morning all around.
After the nap the ex brought me some of the child support which I planned to use almost all for groceries. So now the bus to Wal-Mart. The weather was worse than before. It was freezing cold. My fingers and my nose were numb in 2 minutes. And the bus was 11 minutes late. Then 13. I guess it was travelling backwards.
A cold walk to the bank. I climbed over snowdrifts up to my knees in some places. I fell twice. I ran in front of traffic not wanting to stand on a windy corner any longer than I had to. Then an even colder walk to Wal-Mart. The sidewalks had been plowed though. I wish there were heated bus shacks along the way. This is Winnipeg. There should be.
But once I got there I happily shopped, not realizing the money I had been really not that much. To me it seemed like a fortune but once I got to the cashier I was getting that feeling in the pit of my stomach that I made a big mistake. There were so many items on the belt I realized there was no way I could cover them all. The cashier would tell me what amount we were up to and I was prioritizing items desperately. Yes we needed meat. Yes we needed milk and eggs and cheese and peanut butter. Yes we needed veggies and bread. I kept taking things out of bags and the patient cashier would take them off the bill. I was red in the face and feeling rather faint with embarrassment. I was so close to tears. I apologized to the woman behind me for taking so long. She was fine with it although the man behind her swore at me and went to another line.
Finally the tally came up with more than half of what I wanted to buy still sitting apart from my bagged items. I was paying, still on the verge of crying and holding it in nicely when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned to see the woman who was behind me in line. She leaned in close and whispered that she hoped I wouldn’t be offended but she wanted to buy me some of the items I couldn’t get. Then there were tears on my face and told her how grateful I would be and promised to pay it forward. She spent $16 so my girl and I could have toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner as well as a few other things.
I was embarrassed but so blown away by her kindness. I know I’ve done that for strangers, mostly just a dollar or two, and more back when I was working. The saying “What goes around, comes around” is perfectly true. I wish for that woman to have the best year of her life. The things she bought me aren’t so important but her actions touched me. She is a truly kind and unselfish person.
I did get all the important items though. I expect more money this coming week so I’ll be more rational when I shop then.
I made it through the day. Again, as I usually say, I always do. 🙂
PS. I know the title of this post says Part One. I’m not sure if I can finish part two. I wanted to have it for Mental Health Awareness Day on January 28 and it’s hard to write. I’m digging deeper into my psyche lately and finding things that I want to ignore. Hopefully I can put some order to it and share it with readers. I might be a little late though.
Peace and love.