June 14, 2012 – So true. How often are we so busy rushing along, trying to do more, get more, be more, trying to so fully experience everything all at once, that we don’t realize the value of just slowing down, and looking. Oh the things you see and learn.
You learn how a simple honest, warm smile can make all the difference in the potential outcome of a situation. For instance, I am always slightly on edge with respect to my parking for the scooter. The City of Vancouver has their collective head in a bucket when it comes to providing incentive to get people out of cars and charges the same amount to park a scooter as it does a Hummer. So I have this wonderful little spot, only a block away, and it’s totally on the goodwill of the attendants and the security guy. When I came to leave at the end of the day, there was a new attendant in the booth – trepidation. As I pulled out towards the booth she was giving me a serious frowny-face. I gave her a big smile, so it totally reached my eyes (with a helmet on it’s the only way anyone knows you are smiling) and her face lit up like a light bulb and she gave me a huge wave as I went past. I can’t imagine how boring that job is, and I can imagine a lot of people are in foul moods when they pay. Parking in Vancouver comes with a hefty 35% tax attached. It’s very expensive.
When you stop and look, you also see things you might have missed, and you are amore approachable person. Conversations start up unexpectedly. I went for a walk this evening, I wanted to see if my Nikon was actually in proper working order after a costly repair bill. Seems fine. On the walk I stopped at a bench that was flanked by flower bushes. on the left of the bench was a spread of purple salvia. On the right was a huge mound of whatever this flower is. Both of the flower beds were filled with bumble bees. But what was really interesting, was that the salvia had only big yellow bumble bees, and this flower bed had predominantly black ones. An older gentleman, walking his dog, took a rest break at the bench and said to me “I stopped here the other night, and do you know that the bees on this bunch of flowers are all yellow, and the ones on that patch are all black?” I said I did, and wasn’t it an interesting observation!
Stop rushing. We only have one life, look around and savour the moments.
Speaking of which, I just realized that today marks exactly one year since I started this job. And two days ago I thought my actions might cost me it. Instead I’ve been praised at some Director levels in several programs/departments. That’s worth savouring. And I called the person who is at the receiving end of my actions. He was a bit surprised to hear from me, was very concerned, and asked “Do you hate me?” Funny thing is that I figured it would be the other way around. I tried to make it clear that it wasn’t personal and we left off agreeing to try to schedule a couple of site visits in the next couple of weeks, and sit down over a few beer. He wronged me, I thrashed him, and we are both smart enough to learn from it and build from it. So that was also worth savouring.