Last night Dave and I were planning on cooking a big family holiday dinner entertaining my daughter and her two children, Poppy and Nola. But when Dave picks them up from school, they persuaded their Grampa (he is an easy mark for them) into ordering pizza. I put the turkey in the freezer and planned on having it later in the holidays.
Not having to cook dinner, we all four sat down and played a card game called “WAR,” waiting for their mom to come home from work. The last “battle” of the WAR was over when Poppy, using her new math skills, realized because she had fewer wild cards than anyone else, she would ultimately lose, and decided to quit instead of facing defeat. Anyway, we had fun laughing at a silly card game.
In the meantime, we had forgotten to order the pizza and it was way past their/my 5:30 dinner time. Several of us get food mood when we haven’t eaten on time, and we found ourselves getting a little testy without much to eat, waiting on pizza. As everyone edged toward the end of their patience, Nola suggested that if we let them open one, just one, of their Christmas gifts, it would make everyone feel better while we waited. After that 30-second delay ripping open a couple of packages, we found ourselves still waiting and moment by moment getting crankier and crankier.
Finally, we began to wonder where our pizza was, as it had been over an hour since we ordered. Frantic with his 3 girls getting hungrier and angrier every moment, Dave began calling the poor pizza guy harassing him into hurrying.
The kids’ mother arrived and saved us all by taking the kids home, stopping on the way back to get fast food for she and the kids. Dave and I continued to bite our nails getting angrier and angrier at the pizza guy, vowing to never give them our patronage again. We felt like the worst grandparents sending our hungry family out to forge for themselves.
When the doorbell finally rang, we both leaped to our feet knowing it was the pizza! It was not, instead, the FedEx guy got our angry faces.
I told Dave to not accept the pizzas when they did come so that the pizza company would learn its lesson to be better about delivery times. My food-deprived brain just knew the management would be impacted and change their whole ineptness cycle.
Alas, the doorbell finally brought the pizza to our door. I was loaded to leap on this delivery person about how upset I was at their poor service. I would give them a piece of my mind and tell them we refuse to pay due to tardiness.
We had both seen the delivery car drive up but we were not prepared for the young man who slowly climbed out of his car and came up the walk to hand us the pizza. It was obvious that he was dealing with mobility restrictions. We could tell he had physical limitations affecting his ability to walk. And yet, unlike many physically fine people, he was out trying to work and make a living for himself.
No wonder he was late!
Whoa! We both stepped back. Dave ran back into the house to get a larger tip. No, really, I mean a really big one to assuage our guilt.
It was our lesson to learn. I ate the pizza, rose above my food mood, and thought a lot about what had just happened.
You never know what is going on in the lives of those trying to serve you. The waiter who seems distracted to refill your tea. The woman at the counter who gives you the wrong change. The parent screaming at their child in the grocery store. They all may be carrying burdens we will never know or experience ourselves.
This holiday will be different for me just because of a late pizza. I will be with people this holiday and demand less, be less likely to lose my patience with others, including Dave. (Did I share I blamed him for the problem?)
Because of one late pizza, I am more aware of how much I have and how little others may have. I stopped taking some of the basic comforts of life like physical health and well-being for granted.
Our brain believes whatever we tell it. When I want to change something inside of me, I begin reciting new beliefs to my brain, hoping it will effect change in me to be a better person.
I thought I would share some of these new beliefs:
Everywhere I go, I give and receive love.
I wear a feeling of gratitude like a coat I automatically put on every day.
I embody the strength of my Authentic Self and quickly shift out of a negative mood.
I love myself and as a result, others do too!
May your holidays be filled with love and gratitude!