Archive for April, 2012

perfect timing

It was 12:25 on Saturday. I had two packages to mail and the post office closes at 12:30 on Saturdays. I knew I was cutting it close, but it was important to get those packages on their way, so I had to give it a try.

The post office is on a fairly busy road and there are four parallel parking spots in front. Even the little bit of time it would take to parallel park could mean getting into the building too late. Just as I approached the post office I was delighted to see two cars pull out of the parallel parking spaces, allowing me to easily swerve in and park.

I got inside and moments later one of the postal workers locked the door. Whew. Perfect timing.  One of the packages required filling out a customs form, so it took a few minutes.  When I was finally ready to leave I had to wait a minute for an employee to unlock the door for me.  Just as he opened the door, an elderly woman approached.  The postal worker told her that they had been closed “for a while now”.  She gave him a sweet smile with pleading eyes and said “Please? I only have one little thing to send”.  He melted and held the door open for her to go in.

As I walked to my car I thought about the timing. If I had been a little more organized in the morning and gotten there earlier, this would have been an ordinary, unmemorable trip to the post office. If I had even arrived even 30 seconds earlier, those parking spaces would not have been open and I would have had to park farther away.  If had arrived a minute later, the door might have been locked before I got inside.

If the employee had not been in the middle of a conversation, creating a slight delay before he realized he needed to unlock the door for me, I would not have been leaving exactly at the time of the elderly woman’s arrival, and she would not have been able to send whatever it was she needed to send.  If she had been even one minute earlier OR one minute later, she would have arrived to find a locked door.

Those two drivers who left the parking spaces at that moment will never know that the timing of their departure made a difference to two people. Neither will the employee who delayed unlocking the door. They affected more than two people, actually, because the timing of the arrival of my two packages and the other woman’s mail could also make a difference to the people receiving them.

I think this kind of thing probably happens all the time. Our lives are intertwined with the lives of others – even strangers –  and most of the time we don’t see it, but it happens.  I like to think about that when I get stuck at a red light or behind a slow driver. Or when I hit the snooze button too many times and oversleep. Or the countless other ways that the timing of our days, as we plan them, gets thrown off. Maybe, in some way, someone else will benefit from me being somewhere else (or not being there).

I like to think that in some way it might just be perfect timing after all.


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just a short note

I hadn’t written a blog post since January 2011, so the last thing I would have expected in my email was a notice about a comment on one of my posts.  It was from someone who hoped I would start writing the blog again. Just a short note. It made me wonder how many times I have read something that someone else wrote and liked it but didn’t stop and take a moment to say something to them about it.  Lily did. She took the time to share her thoughts and it was the nudge I needed to get back out here and reactivate OneGlassOfWater.

You never know what effect a short note can have, whether it’s a comment on a blog, a note in email, a comment on Facebook, a handwritten note, or even a text message. People need to be acknowledged, encouraged, noticed. I think we all need to feel connected. Sometimes all it takes is just a short note. It could be exactly what the other person needs and maybe just what you need, too.

So, thanks to Lily, I’m back. What direction OneGlassOfWater will take…only time will tell. I hope you’ll join me on the journey.  🙂

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