I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou
Friday I went to get my COVID vaccine. I had an appointment but I expected to have to wait and had accepted that fact. The articles in the paper made it sound like getting the vaccine was unpleasant and took hours. Wrong!
I walked in to the building, followed the signs, and checked in. No lines. A woman asked me a couple of questions, I signed a paper and was told to see the man in a blue jacket. He told me to please sit in chair #5. I walked over to the chair and before I could sit down he came over and said someone was ready to see me. He showed me over to a table and introduced me to the nurse. She asked a few questions, gave me the shot and a card noting the day and time and what the injection was. Then she told me I could make an appointment for the second vaccination at another table. I went there and made the appointment and was told to go to the back of the room and sit for 20 minutes and if I felt okay and wasn’t having any side affects I could go. I left in 20 minutes feeling fine.
I was there less than an hour, maybe in part because I filled out the paperwork on line the day I made the appointment. But the best part was the people. Everyone I interacted with was smiling and friendly and they seemed to be genuinely happy to see me. They took their time. They answered questions. I never felt rushed or that I was just a thing they had to take care of and be done with. All the clerks, aides, and nurses were happy people and that made me a happier person.
Maya Angelou was right. I will always remember the people at the site and how happy they were and how that made me feel; happy to be there and to be me.
Some tortures are physical And some are mental But the one that is both Is dental Ogden Nash
Yesterday I went to the dentist. Time for the 6 month check up and cleaning. There was a time when the Ogden Nash quote was true for me. A dental appointment was something that sometimes made physically ill. When it was a couple of days before an appointment I would begin to worry and imagine how awful it was going to be even if was just cleaning and check up. Sometimes I would cancel the appointment because I made myself sick thinking about it. My stomach would rumble and my head would ache and I had trouble sleeping.
I think my problems started early on. My parents didn’t take us to the dentist unless they could see a cavity and it hurt so bad that even the numbing cream they would smear on our gums didn’t work. And of course, we never went for preventive treatment so, there was always a filling or extraction needed. Add to the fact there was much pain I don’t think the dentist we went to liked kids. He would complain and was anything but understanding or in any way gentle. But maybe I just remember him that way because it was such a painful experience for me.
Even as an adult I had a hard time thinking about going to the the dentist. When I decided I needed a new dentist I went shopping for one. I went for a check up and interviewed three dentists. I picked one and he has been my dentist for 27 years! Do I need to say more?
Well, I will say more. I was one of his first patients. He is kind and thoughtful and does great work. He has done some extensive work on my teeth. Some of it was making what other dentists did look better and some was needed because of poor dental care in the past. Of course, there have been things that popped up over the years…root canals, crowns, fillings. Today he found a cavity. First I have had in a few years! It’s in a tooth that had a root canal and crown done a long time ago and now has a cavity along the gum line. Bummer.
I don’t worry before an appointment anymore. I know all will be fine. I am ever so thankful I have a wonderful dentist, Tom. Oh, and I have told him he cannot retire until I’m dead!
Perhaps the most radical act of resistance in the face of adversity is to live joyfully. Ari Honarvar
How we handle adversity says a lot about who and what we are. Life is not always easy or pleasant. Bad, even horrible things sometimes happen. There are times and events that happen that hurt deeply and leave scars that will remind us of the trials and sorrows forever. What we do and don’t do during and after the hurt determines how we live, how we continue our journey.
When we live joyfully, the less than perfect circumstances and situations that we face are not as bad as they could be. Joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness comes and goes. Yes, it feels so good when we are in that moment. But that moment is just that, a brief time of feeling special and good and well and happy, it isn’t lasting. Oh, there are fond memories of happiness and it is good to remember those times and happenings. Without the memories of happiness life would be small and trivial.
But joy is not dependent on what is or is not happening. It is a state of being that resides in the heart. It is a warmth that cannot be cooled by the day to day business of life. It is a strength that cannot be weakened by an adversary no matter how big or threatening. It is a knowing that doesn’t allow lies or false beliefs to become truth.
Joy is within all of us. It is not loud and bossy fighting to be felt or heard. It waits for us to acknowledge it, to welcome it, to be thankful, and allow it to do its work in us. Once we begin joyfully living no one can take it away from us. There are those who will try to take it away, even the devil will try. But once we claim that joy it’s ours forever.
One reason that cats are happier than people is that they have no newspapers. Gwendolyn Brooks
My happy cats.
Teddy and Jack have no interest in the newspaper. Actually, they really don’t like the newspaper. I don’t pay attention to them when I am reading the paper and doing the daily puzzles. That doesn’t exactly make them happy. And they are very good at getting my attention. Jack meows loudly and taps my legs without stop. Teddy pushes at the paper until he is in my lap and laying on the paper.
It doesn’t take long for me to stop the newspaper nonsense and pay attention to them giving them scratches and chin rubs and sweet talking them. When they are satisfied that I understand what’s important they happily go off for morning naps.
I think what makes them happy isn’t that they don’t have newspapers but that they can use the newspaper to make me remember what’s really important in the world and why Patricia’s Place is a happy place no matter what the news reports have to say. And truthfully, if it wasn’t for the puzzles, the news ain’t all that great and most days could really get me down if not for my catkids.
Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. Swedish Proverb
Sometimes I worry but not often and not for long. It’s just not my nature. That wasn’t always true. There was a time that I worried all the time. Sometimes I would get sick with worry. What a waste of time and energy!
I have a friend who is a missionary in west Africa. Many years ago she and her co-workers were held captive in their village by rebel insurgents. To say I was worried is an understatement. There was no communication with the missionaries or the rebels. Just silence for two weeks.
I was at work when I got the news. I was so upset and worried that I couldn’t think. It was as if there was a big black cloud hovering over me. I couldn’t just leave work so I decided that the first five minutes of every hour I would let myself worry uncontrolled. Then I would pray for my friend and the others being held. After that I went back to the tasks at hand.
The missionaries were released and allowed to use their vehicles to get to the river and cross over into an area that was safe where others from the mission family were waiting. Thankfully, no one was hurt although they were not allowed to take anything with them, just the vehicles and the clothes they were wearing.
It was amazing how that little exercise helped me. It calmed me down and gave me hope. Over the years I used the exercise quite often and each time I found peace. Now I don’t allow worry to take hold of me and there are no big black clouds or shadows that hover. If it seems worry is going to be stronger than my resolve I remember that I am in control of what and how I think about any situation. It is not that there is nothing worrisome in life it just doesn’t cast a big shadow.
My friend (and the others were all fine) and she is still a missionary in Africa.