Give me a glass half full

"Awesome! I can go to this Alternative Gift Event and meet lots of non-profits and learn about what they do. Maybe I can make some contacts and do more interviews. I'll donate some money as gifts for a few people to the ones I think they'd find special. I want something to give the non-profits in return though. I want to spread my message too. I'll make some small cards and get them printed at FedEx. I've got time, it doesn't start until seven," I thought to myself.

The rain trickled down, tickling the gutter pipes, sloshing on the sidewalk. A smiling woman walks past with a large poster board and giant folder. 

"Wait, did it say UNTIL 7 or at 7?" I check the Facebook post again. "till 7. DAMN! I'm too late." Disappointment floods my mind and heart. "Why didn't I read that right? Why didn't I get here in time?" I start to interrogate myself as my heart begins to beat a little faster. 

I traverse the brick walkway down the Charlottesville Downtown Mall to the Paramount Theater. A few people are standing outside. The lights on the awning blare. I go inside. The ladies at the welcome table cheerily greet me, express their apologies that I didn't make it in time to see the booths, but remind me I can still make a donation. I review the list, make my picks, and pay. They give me a holiday card for each non-profit I chose to send to the gift recipient. I walk back to my car. Disappointment still creeps around in my mind, but I find the positive light in the scenario. 1) I was able to finally get my cards printed 2) I still got to purchase my alternate gifts, which was the whole point. 

Make it count anyway

Even though the night turned out differently than I had expected, I was still able to find some positive aspects to the situation. Seeing the "glass half full" can be an easy Small Act to practice when things don't go as planned. I think to myself "if I hadn't spent time designing and printing those cards I would have made it." Thankfully, my Good Wolf chimes in to remind me making those cards was something I needed to do and had been putting off, and that I still made donations, which was the more important intention of the evening. 

Take it easy

Often times my mind just churns and flies into a tornado of questions, doubts, and what-ifs, or "shoulda, coulda, woulda's" as Pam would say, in circumstances like this. It's an ugly and destructive habit of my mind if left unchecked. I can be really hard on myself sometimes if I don't make the conscious effort to be easy on myself. It's not just others that deserve love, compassion, understanding, and forgiveness from me. I deserve and owe that to my self as well. How can I truly give that to others if I'm not giving it to myself first? When I'm feeling down or sad now, I try to remember to be easy on myself. The Small Act of practicing compassion for myself is sometimes all I need to lift my spirits and get me through the rest of the day. Tomorrow is always a new day where I can start fresh, remind myself to take it easy, and embrace what comes my way with love and patience. 

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson