As most of you know, I have been on the long road of recovery from my open-heart surgery. When I say long, it has only been about 4 months. It can safely be said, these 4 months have been some of the longest of my life. Being physically limited and having to “take it easy” as the doctors keep reminding me, is a very hard prescription for a man who goes to the gym 5 days a week. There are times that the pain and reduced cardiovascular ability can lead to frustration and at its most severe times, depression. Intellectually, I know healing from this takes time and due to some complications, it will take me even longer. Emotionally, however, it can seem as if I will never get better. I put on a smiling face and am truly grateful for coming back after my brief visit to the world of death, but it can still feel very dark and hopeless at times.
In the last few weeks there has been some return to normal. 4 weeks ago I was cleared to go back to the gym, although limited. 2 weeks ago I returned to work. It was good to feel like a productive member of society again. Several of my coworkers told me how good it was to see me again and that made me feel good. Slowly, this all helped return a bit of that feeling of normal I was missing. One of the best things about returning to work is the local Starbucks location by my work. In past blogs you have heard me discuss some of the amazing people there. First, there was Deb, who is not only friendly, but has one of the best attitudes for someone who serves the public that I have seen. I mentioned the man who runs the show, Nick, the manager. He takes a personal interest in you as not only a customer, but a person. There is nothing that will get return business as sure as making someone feel valuable. That is what Nick does.
It is not just Nick that does this, but a fair amount of his crew as well. Sydney has a smile that is at once both infectious and contagious. You are all but guaranteed to walk away smiling after chatting with her. If having a good feeling in your heart is what you are after, Kryssy will do that for you. Much like her amazing manager, she really gets to know you as a person. She shows great care and concern for you as a person. The group is rounded out with many other amazing souls like Andrea, Colleen and Erika. Plus, many others that my tired brain let escape for this second. The best part about all of these people is they are genuine. They are not trying to sell you, they are just being themselves.
They showed why they are one of the best group of people in two fabulous ways recently. In doing so, they not only gave yet another example of how amazing they are, but did a great deal to help my healing journey. The first touching thing was a package that they had put together to welcome me back. This location is so busy and has so many customers that pass through their doors, to be remembered and thought of in such a way gave a lift to my spirit that was just the thing I needed at this time. They had no way of knowing, but everything they put inside this little package fit me perfectly. The gesture meant such a great deal to me. By being great human beings, they gave this crazy author and blog writer a great deal of needed positivity.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I walked in to discover they had made me their ‘customer of the week’. I am certainly not one to seek accolades (Oprah if you want to make my most recent book the ‘book of the month’ I would be happy to make an exception) but being recognized as someone who they find valuable made a real impact. Again, there are a lot of amazing people who pass through their doors and I am sure a great deal of them deserve to be ‘customer of the week’. For them to choose me, really made me feel welcomed and missed.
These 2 acts may seem small and little to the outside observer, but they made a world of difference to me. As my friends at the Oak Creek Starbucks showed, doing small acts of kindness with great amounts of love is what really changes the world. I encourage all of you who may be pondering doing something to show someone how much they are appreciated, to do it. While it may seem like something small to you, it can make a great amount of difference to them.