Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Today's happy moment brought to you by the US Postal Service

I have been in an amazingly good mood the last couple of days. I don't know what has brought it on and I am fearful it is going to be short-lived, so I am trying my best to enjoy it while it lasts.

Being the slacker that I am, I had to stop at the post office after work today to mail a last minute Christmas package. I was pleased to find the line was pretty short, unlike yesterday when I was pretty sure I would be there for at least an hour and was happily surprised to be in and out in about 20 minutes.

The package I had to mail was pretty light so I was holding it. The little old man in line behind me told me he normally puts his packages on the ground and kicks them to the front of the line. I said I normally do that too, but it wasn't really heavy. He said it didn't matter if they were heavy or not, he still kicks them. I told him it was my weightlifting for the day and it was light at the moment but would probably be getting heavy by the time I got to the front of the line. He said by then it would be heavy and I would be wishing I had just kicked it to begin with. And then he said "You are going to have a great Christmas because you are happy as heck." Wow. I have not been called happy in almost 2 years. It warmed my heart to have this little old man, this stranger whom I have never seen before call me happy. It gave me hope that I am finally on the right path to happiness-I know that lately, I have been feeling a much fiercer determination than usual to make that happen.

After a couple of minutes of silence he told me he was at the post office because he was going through the drive-up lane and had accidentally put a stamped envelope in the metered box and wanted to know if it had to be pulled out. I said I thought it would be fine. He said it was a bill that needed to be paid so he needed to be sure. He was waiting his turn and was moving toward the box when the car in front of him stopped. He stopped and the guy behind him started honking his horn and he got distracted. I told him I felt that when you waited until the last minute to go to the post office, you lost your right to be impatient. He said he agreed but it doesn't always work that way. He then told me he is 80 and that he has had a great life; that he has loved every minute of it. I said I was only 35 and couldn't say the same but I was determined to make the best of what time I have left. He said he wished he was 35 again, but at the same time he wouldn't trade a minute of his life that got him to where he is now. He also said that all I could do is try my best to make life happy.

Then it was my turn to head to the counter. With a cute smile he said "You're in," and said he had enjoyed talking to me and wished me a merry Christmas. I repeated the sentiments to him. He was fun to talk to, even for a minute, and he told me something very important, that it didn't hurt to hear even though it is something I already know: the rest of my life is in my hands and what it ends up being will be what I make of it.

As I type this all out I have to wonder if James had a hand in this-if this was the sign I am on the right track that I asked him for this morning. And the little old man can rest assured tonight-I overheard the clerk telling him it was okay that his stamped letter went in the metered box.


Tracy said...

Yes, Heather, there is a Santa Claus! I think he visited you a little early this year.

Sari said...

That is such a sweet story, Heather. I am glad you are feeling happy and working to make the best of your life. That's all we can really do. Merry Christmas.