white printer paper with be kind text on plants

Choosing Kindness

Say it Rah-shay By Dec 02, 2023 No Comments

In which I practice choosing kindness to myself and others.

It is a bit of a drag to have so many restrictions post-surgery. A cocktail of meds that I must take for the rest of my life with some side effects that make me feel like a blurry version of myself. Rest and recovery forced me to miss some of my favorite fall races. And how can I forget the weekly, sometimes twice weekly follow-up appointments where I am poked and prodded by a whirlwind of people? 

It’s an adjustment, to say the least and in the last few weeks I have found myself feeling frustrated at apathetic lab techs, frustrated with what feels like lack of progress, frustrated by the frequent hospital visits and just feeling pissy in general. I found myself complaining about things that didn’t matter while home, chatting with family or muttering to myself whenever the slightest inconvenience occurred. It all came to a head a couple of weeks ago while I was waiting to get more labs done. The waiting room was full. A staff member was late, and another called out (I was ear hustling so heard the front desk scrambling to adjust the schedule) and I was getting angry that while I had an appointment, I was made to wait. After a short while, my favorite tech called me to draw my blood and, after apologizing for the wait, chatted me up about the merits of band aids vs tape for stopping blood flow. She asked after my mom and aunt and congratulated me on my transplant and it was then that I realized that if I had come to the appointment with the wrong energy, I would not have been able to have this conversation. Sure, it was just some small talk, but she put me at ease for getting stuck and having three tubes of blood drawn and she did it so quickly that I wasn’t stuck with a needle any more than it was warranted. I didn’t realize her being kind was what I needed at that moment.

We’ve all heard, don’t sweat the small stuff but when all the small stuff feels big, it can be easy to start allowing some of the negatives to trickle in and in reality, most situations are not even worthy of us flying off the handle. Sure, it sucks to wait for labs when you have an appointment, but on that day, I had a free parking spot, nothing to do or anywhere to be for the rest of the day and had time to wait. Once called back, my interaction was over in less than seven minutes. In contrast, the lab folks would be there for the rest of the day dealing with a short staff and a steady stream of folks needing services.

There seems to be the false idea that being kind is equal to being a doormat. I am guilty of thinking someone being kind was going to get used and hurt but the opposite happens. For sure there are some people who are awful but that’s about them. How I react is what matters. It sounds like I am being all Pollyanna and goody two shoes but really, taking a step back and just realizing that most folks are doing their best, that the world is rough, and people don’t need anyone, including me, adding to the nonsense and suddenly it’s all small stuff. Knowing that I don’t need to carry anger or complaints with me, it has been freeing.

I won’t lie and say that my choice of kindness has been smooth. I come from a family who complained about any and every thing and were quite vocal about the things that ailed them. It is taking time to do the work to unlearn the sport of complaining and reacting in a negative way but with each encounter I get another chance to work on myself. Don’t get it twisted; sometimes when I’m out in the world and someone is giving me the business, I want to snap at folks or roll my eyes but instead I take a breath, think about how long I have to interact with this person and kill them with kindness.

Practicing kindness also extends to myself and I treat myself like I would treat my favorite person. It’s a work but when I reflect on my day and realize that I have treated myself like a person I like, it’s a win!

It is easy for me to wax poetically about kind and the like in a sort of controlled environment. Since I am still on rest and recovery, I can be home to recharge after different interactions but I am thinking about what will happen once I have a commute and job duties pulling me every which way. I think using the cheer of the holidays, reflecting on the gift that I have been given and practicing grace for the world and myself, will keep these vibes going.

No grand promises or plans but just taking it one day at a time, one act at a time and one smile at a time.





I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.

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