Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Reflection of Envy

I had something truly remarkable happen to me today.

I had run into the local natural foods store on the way home from picking up my daughter at school. My head was full of the usual thoughts and worries that seem to make up my running sound track these days - will the doctor call with the test results, how will the falling real estate values affect my plans to move and remodel my mother's house up north, will my house sell, how can I fill out my daughter's FAFSA (financial aide application) without having my taxes done, do we have enough groceries, and on and on. Because my daughter had to work and because I only needed a few things, I quickly rushed through the store putting the necessary items into a basket and queuing up in line at the cash register.

I saw that the clerk was familiar face belonging to a young woman whom I knew nothing about other than the fact that she had been working at this store for some time and had a pretty face and was competent at checking customers through the payment process.

The person in front of me obviously knew her and they chatted as the bill was rung up. The customer asked the clerk how she was and the clerk said enthusiastically, "Great! No, better than great - fantastic!," and I was struck suddenly with the realization that it had been a very long time since I had been able to say the same thing.

At first, I think that I felt jealousy and envy at how life appeared to this beautiful, young woman who was in love with her life at the moment. I felt the distance between my world and hers. It was a bitter feeling, like drinking brackish water. I did not like how I felt.

All of this passed through my mind in less time than it took for the customer ahead of me to pay her bill and make promises to get together with the clerk for a visit and I found myself sheepishly and suddenly the focus of the clerk's attention as she started to pass my few items through the scanner as I fumbled for my credit card and my frequent shopper's punch card to present to her.

I was ashamed with myself for feeling as I had. What had seemed an unfair reflection of the difference between our lives now felt different. I was standing in front of someone who was radiating happiness. I felt a bit blinded by it. I think that I have been living in a dark place of late, filled with worries. I was not used to such lightness of being.

I still carry that "flash" with me as I write this many hours later. I think I need more such light in my life to remind me that such things are possible.

So now, rather than feeling envious, I feel grateful to be shone once again how light and beautiful life can be. It's a contact high, it's true, but one that I needed to feel. Thank you whomever you are.

3 Comments:

Blogger Cheesy said...

What a lovely post P~~ Thank you for reminding all of us that life.. no matter what our woes are, is precious and SWEET!

Glow on!

8:47 PM, February 26, 2008  
Blogger Moosekahl said...

Sounds like you need to go back and pick up a gallon milk :)

Keep me posted when you hear anything...HUGS!

8:50 PM, February 26, 2008  
Blogger lime said...

this...this post and this attitude of yours is what humbles me and makes me pause to reflect on my own attitudes every time i come here. you amaze me, my friend. thank you for sharing the light.

2:24 PM, February 27, 2008  

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