Today is Halloween so I will share a scary story with you. As most of you know, I have a day job at the United States Postal Service. In addition to the monetary aspect, it also allows me to practice many of the tools I put forth here. I always strive to be a source of positivity and help my coworkers foster a sense of gratitude and joy. As a matter of course, I always welcome the mail carriers back when they return from their routes. I also routinely ask my coworkers if they are having a good day or having fun at the moment. A gentle reminder that while doing our best to get our jobs done, we can still focus on having fun. Most of the time this is met with some jocularity and on occasion, some comments of encouragement of their own.
There is one young lady, however, that seems quite sunshine challenged. When I inquired if she was having a good day she informed me in no uncertain terms that I should never ask her that as long as she is at work because the answer will always be ‘no’. After 21 years of working there, I am no stranger that the Post Office can supply some challenging situations, as can any job. There are days that are tough, and days that are not. I could not imagine going to some place every day where you know with certainty that you will have a bad day, and doing so voluntarily.
This young lady is a carrier on what they call a ‘rural route’. This means she seldom has to leave her truck and drives up to the mailbox to put the mail in. I think on a nice spring or fall day driving around in a rural setting listening to your favorite music all while getting paid a good wage could sound nice to some people. Sure, there are days when it is raining, or here in Wisconsin snowing, that I can imagine driving for several hours could be a drag, but not every day. How could this be?
The answer was supplied to me last Saturday. This young lady called me over to her case where she sorts her mail. She handed me the scanner all carriers use and said in a rather angry tone, “This is the f*&king sh*t I have to deal with!” I glanced at the scanner. On it was a warning to pay attention to the signs of heat stroke. On this day we were experiencing an early October snow storm. Ironic? For sure. Funny? I thought so. As far as something she had to put up with, I found a message that could easily be deleted and even laughed at to be not that big of a deal. Her perception was that everything was against her and that this was a large obstacle. When viewed through a filter of that nature any job will seem terrible.
This brings to mind a great reminder. We have the option to how we see things. We can find the humor, or we can find the frustration. We can find the gratitude, or the lack. We can find the joy, or we can find the pain. It is all up to us. When we look for the good in things it can transform our days and jobs into things we enjoy, or certainly do not dread.
While going through some of my childhood items my mother found cleaning out a closet in her house, I came across this little item. I found the irony in this because I could not have been very old, I am guessing 6 or so, when I wrote in this notebook. The thought bubble above Snoopy’s head could have very well been a warning from the universe. It could have been I was just a big fan of Peanuts and Charlie Brown. Although personally I think I am more like the character of Linus.
What this made me think of is how perhaps talents we have may be innate. If you would have asked me what I wanted to be at the age of 6, I highly doubt my answer would have been best-selling author and blog writer, but that is what I am on my way to becoming. Did I somehow already know that is what I was destined to do?
To add to the feelings of irony, found with this notebook was a collection of stories I had composed back in third grade. Other than noting my grammar has not improved a great deal since then, my writing style was oddly the same. The fact that these two items were found at this point in my life seems interesting to me. Sometime after receiving an A+ for my writing in third grade, I had transitioned to being warned by my teacher my senior year in high school never to pursue a career in writing. Had I come across these items at that time they would have totally meant something different.
Does timing and current life situations dictate what things mean or are we destined to find and become certain things in life? I guess that falls to a matter of opinion. As for me and my little Snoopy notebook, there are several ways in which I could view this. I could say that perhaps my grammar will never be good if it hasn’t improved in thirty years. I could say that my writing was better received in third grade than it is now. That may very well be true, but there is another way to look at it. A more positive way. I will just take it as a sign from the universe that being an author is really something that has always been a part of who I was. Also a sign and reminder that I am pursuing the write life path.
I think we have a choice as to how we interpret the things that happen to us in life. Whether we view them as positive and inspirational, or negative and foreboding is up to us and has a great deal of influence on the quality of our life.
How many times have you had your vision checked? Some people have their vision checked twice a year, some once a year. How often do you have your mental vision checked? What do I mean by mental vision? Well, let me explain by asking you a simple question. how do you see? You look at things with your eyes and the image is transferred to your brain and that’s what happens right? Wrong. What you see is only about 20% physical. What am I talking about? What we see in the world is tainted by our perceptions, our experiences, and the stories we tell ourselves. This can be best explained by relating a story that occurred back several decades ago. A young man named George was born with a condition that caused him to be blind. There was no cure, but his mother refused to let that limit her son. She coached him on how to overcome his limitations. She encouraged him to use his other senses to navigate his way through life. With her help he was able to make it through his Junior year in high school. At this time George and his family were informed there was a new operation that could restore his site. After two operations George slowly came out of the surgery he heard the doctor calling his name and asking him to open his eyes. Slowly a blur began to become crystal clear. He saw the man in the white coat. Next to the doctor he saw a wrinkled old woman. He wondered if she was a nurse and if so why she was dressed so differently from the doctor. Suddenly the woman asked him “Can you see me George?” The voice was instantly recognizable. George knew his mother’s voice. Instantly this old wrinkled woman was transferred into the angelic soul who had coached him his whole life.
Now let me ask you, did anything change physically about George’s mother? No, of course it didn’t. what changed is what George saw when he incorporated all he had experienced about his mother. So think about what you see when you look at a person of a different race? A person with tattoos? When you see a caterpillar changing into a butterfly do you see a gross insect changing into another one or do you feel you are witnessing a miracle of evolution and transformation? Our vision is based more on our experiences and our beliefs than on our physical attributes. So question your beliefs, and get your mental vision checked!