You know how life sometimes goes along and you get into a rut of doing the same things for the same reasons over and over and over?
Sometimes this happens without even realizing it. I know I have been in one of those ruts because today I came out of it! Today was the kind of day that warms the cockles of your heart, the kind of day that made me remember what it is about life that I love so much.
I work with students on a college campus. There is a LOT involved in the day to day things that I am responsible for that give me opportunity to see the "not so nice" side of student life on a college campus. I see the discipline side of things, the complaint side of things, the side of things that too often feeds into my own "glass half empty" view of life and I can easily spiral into viewing the world in a negative light. Although I like people generally, I also find I get tired of people and I can be quite reclusive, in fact I have to fight being completely reclusive.
Last night I was working late. As I was walking around for the last time of the night I encountered a student in the hallway looking quite forlorn and I stopped and asked how they were doing. What transpired was a long and quite intimate conversation, one that I have not had with a student for a long time. maybe it is because of me, maybe because of the workload, maybe because an opportunity like this has not presented itself for a long time, but I took the opportunity last night to stop and talk. I took the time to engage in the conversation fully and give my time and attention to this student. We had a great conversation and I think by the end of it we both felt good. Today this student sought me out and brought me a plant as a gift and thank-you for the time I took last night. In all the time I have been in this job I believe this is the first time a student has given me something like this. I absolutely love it. I love even more that I had shared between last night and today this experience with my spouse and we had decided together to do something for this student ourselves. We worked together and I had something ready for him when he came with the plant. I had no idea he was bringing the plant - but it was so awesome to have something here that he was not expecting that just further improved his day and his experience here. It was awesome. It made me smile all day just thinking about it and now my new plant is on my desk as a reminder how sweet it is sometimes to stop and engage with someone - even a complete stranger.