One day this week I went out for lunch with some colleagues from work to wish another farewell as he exits the company. We’ll call him Marcus. The exit wasn’t his choosing. It is part of a strategic plan to re-organize the company and not a reflection of his ability, but in my mind that can’t make it much easier to take.
This wonderful, amazing person that I’ve come to know over these past months addressed us all as we sat making small talk around the long table. We all work for the same company and most of us had never met. Marcus made a point of going around through the crowd and introducing each person. He brought up a point about what was so fabulous about working with each one of us. On his last day he could have dwelled on the negative, making bitter remarks without reservation. He could have packed up his desk quietly and exited with hatred in his heart without a glance at the world he was leaving behind, but he sat before us with a smile on his face and brought us together instead.
Isn’t it amazing what the positive things in life can do? What struck me most is that when one of the most identity-shaking events in his life is in the process of happening, Marcus has remained exactly as I’ve always known him because he knows who he is. On our way out the door as we hugged him goodbye he shrugged and said “This is just a chapter. It’s been a great one but I’ll see you all in the next”.
Marcus’ positive attitude reminded me of the importance of appreciating all the good things in life. It reminded me of positivity’s contagion. Truly. Everyone left the restaurant with a smile on their face.
I’ve struggled to remember that lately. Since then I’ve continued noticing the little things people do for each other. On the subway ride home one day a young guy sat down beside me. We rode the whole way sitting together, me with my head buried in a book and he with his bent over his smartphone. We didn’t interact in any way or even acknowledge one another but when the subway came to a stop at the last station he stood, stepped to the side and waited for me to exit first. The little things you know? The playful things. The joyful things. There’s too much that’s awful and it’s easy to let it take over. When I left the station that day it was pouring rain but I felt energized by the small kindness of a stranger. I walked straight out into the rain and I enjoyed every single moment of it. In the moment I gave myself permission to enjoy the moment and appreciate the little joys. I gave myself permission to feel like a kid.
I reblogged a post from a fellow blogger the other day that talked about the importance of play. I think it’s all relevant. Remembering to play and not take life so seriously is remembering to accept joy and appreciate all the good little things. It’s not easy. Lately I’ve had this cloud over me and I’ve just let it sit there, but life is short and I’m wasting days, moments and hours letting it consume me. Today I’m joining a “learn to run” group because it scares the absolute crap out of me because of what a spazz I look like when I run, I’ve signed up for “Color Me Rad” which is a race that incorporates colour bombs at every checkpoint- so that’s 5km worth of coloured cornstarched glory, and I’m bringing back the art again to mess around in imperfect ways that make me happy. That’s a start. Let there be play.