I was wandering today, trying to just take it easy. I’m hiking this weekend, so I was letting my reserves build back up. As much as I’ve been working in the yard – and as many days in a row – it was time for a break anyway. I had shopping to do. I just didn’t have a precise plan other than a couple of must-have items.
Sometimes I take unconventional routes and say forget the freeway. By the time I was headed home, there was traffic, so I did try to avoid the freeway for that reason. In random choices of streets I noticed I was near a Marshall’s that I like, so I stopped to check for something I needed anyway. Random or not, there is always a reason for being somewhere and today was no exception. A woman browsing a shelf next to me knocked an item over, picked it up, did it again and then couldn’t help but laugh and make a comment about it. That made me laugh too. We had a giggle about it and ended up chatting. In the course of our conversation we shared about our health issues and both realized that we each had come to the same sort of conclusions about how to live with catastrophic illness. I noticed she had purple streaks in her hair. No, she does not have Lupus but I found that interesting anyway. She kindly commented that she noticed how happy I am and that she liked my outlook. I have to say that I like hers too, because like me she is intent to live her life each day, regardless. It’s nice when that is noticed, and it is something that cannot always be conveyed online. I don’t spend a lot of time interacting with people face to face, living where I do, so it is often missed. It was a pleasant distraction for a few minutes that left me with a smile for quite some time after leaving the store. (Good thing because there was still traffic! lol)
We live in an unfriendly society sometimes. Those of you that live in the South, and places like North Carolina, or Oklahoma (depending on the city) may not realize what it’s like if you have never visited at length… but in California you are really not encouraged to make eye contact and greet people. Some places, eye contact is asking for a beat down. People like their space respected. Making friendly connections with strangers is sometimes the best thing you can do with your free time – with careful choices, mind you. I did tell her about my Facebook pages, so I hope to see her again. It was just a nice moment in my day. One that would not have happened, had I been in a hurry.
You never know what stranger may leave you with a smile, or whom you may have been sent out to smile at.