Never underestimate the power of a kind act.
The hostess seated my Mom and me at a table for eight. With seating capacity at 50% (yay COVID!), it was the next available table and we got it despite there only being two of us. As the hostess placed menus in front of us, I had the awareness to simply ask her how her day was going.
“How’s your day going?”
“Oh! It’s going alright,” she replied through her facemask, startled that I had asked. “Thank you for asking that. I don’t get asked that very often.” It was as though the weight of 2020 had kicked her ass, and my asking lifted just a wee bit of weight from her shoulders.
“For sure! Sometimes we just need that, don’t we?” I replied, smiling up at her. She smiled back (with her eyes, over her facemask) and told us our waitress would be along shortly to take our order.
About 40 minutes later, as we finished up our summer rolls and massaman curry (food for the soul! Yum!), the hostess walked back to our table and looked at me.
“Okay, I just need to tell you this: you look amazing. Your energy is incredible. You are glowing. So I wanted to tell you to keep doing whatever you’re doing. Wow,” she told me, her arms moving emphatically as she spoke.
“Uh, really?? I don't feel that way. Thank you so much for saying that.” I looked up at her, in surprise. And then the flood gates opened. “That means so much, because let’s face it: 2020 can bite a dick. I have been mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. And it’s just in the last week where I feel more like myself again. So thank you.”
We excitedly chatted a bit more, connecting over the challenges of 2020 and the freedom found in trusting your gut and staying open. We exchanged names (hers is Jenny, and her family has owned Keo’s Kitchen for 20 years), and the simple acknowledgement of being seen.
I’m so grateful that Jenny took the time to tell me what she saw in me. Her kindness in return is exactly what I needed. It reminded me of me. I’m light and kind, and it’s important I keep going. It’s important I keep being me.
That’s an incredible gift, from a complete stranger. What the actual fuck? Yes. Life is this beautiful. I’ve just forgotten a lil’ bit during this past year. And that’s okay. But for the rest of the day, I was able to be myself: full of energy and light. And I spread that outward to every person I encountered. Ripples, right? Thank you Jenny.
I have been quiet on Grounded Goodness for most of 2020, for many reasons. I have written a number of “I’m back!” posts but I’ve never hit “publish.” These musings were dramatic and full of uncertainty, and not quite right for this platform. (I’ve never really been a fan of “I’m a victim” stories. They’re disempowering and enable all of us to wallow in our shit.)
I decided to hit “publish” on this post because it represents the simple moments in life. And simple moments represent the sum of our lives. Simple moments challenge us to act through awareness and kindness, which is what we are all about here at Grounded Goodness.
If I had decided to stay quiet in that moment, to not ask Jenny how her day was going, we may have missed an opportunity to both be seen and heard. I know, from the last few years of Sisterhood events, that being seen and heard is precisely the release on the pressure cooker of life that we need. We need to know we’re not alone.
You, my friend, are not alone. I know this fully in my heart and I’m here to remind you.
And never underestimate a simple act of kindness. It will come back to you with such loving ferocity that you’ll tear up in gratitude.
Yeah, we need more moments like that right now, don’t we?
I love you,
P.S. Have you given and/or received an act of kindness during 2020 that reminded you of who you are? Let us know in the comments below!
P.P.S. I’ll be back soon, with news on 2020 & 2021 possibilities for you, through Grounded Goodness. It’s deeper, it’s kinder, and it’s all in.