Saturday, September 26, 2009
For years now when I'm having a hard time I tell myself, "There's always someone else in this world who's worse off than you are at that moment...". I know that it means that someone else is struggling worse, but somehow that makes it better. That sounds bad. But it's just like the "things could be worse" idea.
So today (you can read my earlier blog from today) I was really having a rough day emotionally and did some venting. I can't say that I feel 100% better - I'm still having doubts about my weight and feelings toward this pregnancy, but what happened to me this afternoon kind of put things in perspective for me.
I am a co-leader of one of the Biggest Loser Challenge teams and I write and post daily challenges for our members. They are optional, but usually when we complete them we find that we do benefit in some way and are glad that we did it. So today's challenge was this:
Saturday, September 26 - WEEKEND CHALLENGE - Some people seemed to like last weekend that we did something to change the world around us by saying something nice to someone who looked like they needed it. So, I'd like us to do something kind of similar. We are not only in the business of changing us for the better, but we should be interested in changing our own little corner of the world. So, if you see some garbage - pick it up, if a little old lady needs helps with her groceries - help her out, if there are runaway carts in the parking lot - chase them down and put them in the cart corral. Maybe if we ALL did our part (meaning each citizen of this earth) then this place would be a nicer place to live! Have fun, all my little tree-huggers! lol (and let us know what you did to better our world!)
So today I went out to satisfy a craving. Lately I've been craving spicy food and I like getting a Subway turkey sub with pepper-jack cheese and jalepenos (and piled high with other veggies) and their Southwest Chipotle dressing. It's really spicy, but decent in calories and such with all the veggies and on wheat bread. So me and the kids went to Subway. About halfway through our meal we saw this man come in. VERY scraggly, greasy and dirty. His clothes looked as though they've been worn for weeks or even months straight and the shorts looked as though he's been sitting on the ground or in dirty places alot. This man was in his late 60's and right away I thought he looked like he must be homeless otherwise his clothes would at least look a little better than that. He walked up to the counter and asked for soda and soup and put a few singles on the counter. The owner (the owner and his wife run this location mostly by themselves) gave him one dollar back and the man said, "Is this a discount?" The owner said, "I'm giving you a discount so the next time you come in you'll take a shower first or don't come in." The man took his empty cup and his soup and set the soup down at a table. He started walking toward the drink machine with the cup but then put the empty cup in the garbage and then got his soup and threw that in the garbage and walked out. When the owner saw the man leave he looked at me with a look that said, "What happened?" and I told him, "He threw away his cup and soup." The owner said, "Well, good. Every time he comes in I have customers complain about how badly he smells." My kids and I felt bad for him - thinking that he didn't feel like eating anymore because he had hurt feelings. I'm not saying that the owners don't have a right to protect their customers, but I think he could have spoken to the man more discretely - everyone in the restaurant heard him.
The kids and I decided that when we were done we'd go and find him and if he wanted a sub we'd go back and buy one for him. Well, we drove around the city and neighboring city for about 30 minutes in the direction my daughter saw him walking. I was praying, "God, if you want me to talk to this man then I need you to be the one to find him." Finally after driving for about 25-30 minutes I decided to go back past the part where we first started - and I happened to look in the window of an Arby's - just one block down from the Subway - and I saw him. I went in and talked to him - it was obvious he had eaten something already with a tray of a couple of wrappers in front of him and food dribbled all down his giant overgrown beard. I talked to him for a few minutes. He insisted that he didn't leave because of hurt feelings but because he didn't feel like having soup anymore. I know that was a lie that he used to cover his embarrassment - but he thanked me for caring and for checking up on him. I still wish I could have done more - but at that moment I didn't see anything else I could have provided and I hope that just knowing that there are some caring strangers out there might lift his spirits in what seems to be a very rough patch in his life. And I hope that my kids learned that we need to care for everyone - not just those who smell good and dress nice...
So the reason for this story? Yeah, I can feel badly for myself because my stomach is getting fatter cuz of the baby and my clothes don't fit right and I feel frumpy and un-sexy. And I'm tired all the time and I'm emotionally unstable. But I have a bed to sleep in when I am tired. And I have the money to buy new clothes when my current ones don't fit my baby-belly. And I can stop in at Subway and buy lunch for me and the kids on whim. And people tell me I'm cute and compliment my make-up or my hair color or my sunglasses. But no one tells me I smell and I've never been insulted to the point where I had to leave a restaurant. And I don't wear the same clothes two days in a row. And no one has ever looked at me and felt badly for me because I look homeless... And I have alot to be thankful for and there is ALWAYS someone out there having a worse day than I am...