Today was an interesting day from the Universe.
It was my day off of work, so I had a list of errands to run among other more or less mundane things including buying specific work clothes, and I was so proud that yoga made my to-do list. Unfortunately, big city traffic (I’m still learning) delayed my first stop and I showed up too late for the yoga class. At my next stop to a thrift store, it was blocked by road construction, literally no parking anywhere nearby to pop in, and after several loops around, I mentally crossed it off my list without actually making it in. And that’s okay. I could feel my frustration, and instead of scolding myself for my lack of patience and timing this morning, I channeled what I’ve learned in yoga. I just noticed it and let it pass. I reminded myself it was a sunny day, I didn’t have to work, and rolled down my window and cranked up the radio. Onto the next stop.
I couldn’t believe it – more construction. This time, it wasn’t the road- it was the sidewalk, which was completely closed in the area immediately where the entrance and surrounding area of this store. I cruised past slowly, making sure that there really was no access, and just kept going. It was odd but okay, and I had one more thrift store on my list – and yes, I already tried buying pants for full price but that didn’t work out earlier. That’s another post for another time about women’s clothing design and stores carrying brands with completely different outcomes for the same size.
It wasn’t too much further up the road, and my excitement built to actually step foot in a store to finally look around. Parking was easy and I strolled up the sidewalk and reached to open the door. Nope. It was locked. There was a handwritten note that said “Store is closed. Will Open April 6th at 10:30.” I pulled out my phone to check the time, and it was around one o’clock. I called the store, just in case they forgot to unlock the door or maybe were delayed in opening this morning. Just nope. I left a voicemail, and as I write this blog tonight, I still have yet to receive a call back.
So, usually in life, we hear of the three strikes and you’re out. After leaving the voicemail, I stepped down stairs wondering what the Universe was trying to tell me today. Why was I “out?” It was my day off, I was trying to be patient and productive, and I felt curious with almost a hint of unease regarding the future of my day. But I chose to head out on foot and walk around the area instead and actually see what was happening.
Nothing. Nothing out of the ordinary. The part of town I was in even wasn’t especially nice or sketchy. Everything was just fine, generic.
I was still wondering about today and the Universe, and decided to treat myself to a shake – something delightful to walk around with as I pondered the message I was supposed to receive given my three strikes. And while waiting for the shake, a gentlemen experiencing homelessness approached me. He introduced himself and asked my name and asked for some change. I gave my usual sorry, I don’t have cash (which is true – I just don’t carry it usually – and I just don’t have a lot in general anyway). He left the store, and I felt a ping. Maybe this was it. Maybe this was the moment the previous moments were leading up to. Maybe I can give more than a hello and handshake. It wasn’t that I experienced three strikes and you’re out, so much as, three minor things that weren’t as important as getting to here, now.
So before getting that treat (how decadent that sounded after someone just wanted something for lunch), I headed out after this man. And this time, I stopped him, and asked if I could buy him lunch. He was hoping for something from the place next door, so I let him know I’d meet him there in a moment – right after I got what I ordered. And I did.
While I knew that I could give more, I knew this was the right place once we entered the restaurant. The Jackson’s “Blame it on the Boogie” was playing, and as we waited in line to order, the gentlemen quietly sang along.
Don’t blame it on the sunshine
Don’t blame it on the moonlight
Don’t blame it on good times
Blame it on the boogie
Not only is song in general uplifting, but this song in particular has followed me recently. I’ve caught an older documentary about Michael Jackson on tv a few times – and this song seems to always be on when I’m flipping through channels. Just the other day, I misheard my husband and thought he was stating the lyrics during a conversation, which only led to me blasting it while cooking later that night. Songs that follow me tend to have good correlations, so as I heard the man I just met sing, I knew this was where I needed to be today. After he got the receipt, we shook hands and I wished him all the best.
So if you don’t have cash, give change. Change the story. And maybe that’s enough.