Wednesday, September 12, 2018

And a better one tomorrow.

I've started leaving my house to write.

I'm so accustomed to hunkering down in my own office among my own clutter and filth and sounds and interruptions that sitting down to write has become stale and stiff.

So now, one day a week, I settle into a table at Starbucks or Panera or in the cozy chair in my husband's office with my macbook, a notebook, and a drink. I write whatever I feel inspired to write that day - my only plans are to get some words from my brain to a page. I try hard to block out the bad distractions while noticing the inspiring ones.

People watching, cloud gazing, aroma sniffing? Not only okay, but encouraged.

I collect stories and ideas this way, and today was one of my favorite experiences.

Writing in Starbucks

Seated next to a chilly window in Starbucks, I had noticed that every time someone sat down, they would sit in the same direction as everyone else, which would leave our backs to each other. You know - so we didn't risk having to make eye contact. An older man, maybe in his 70's, sat with a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich at the table across from mine. He sat facing me and everyone else, and he took joy in smiling at us while he ate.

He was overly friendly and chatty - asking every patron and barista about the music (which he loved). He wanted to know what the heck Spotify was, and he told me about his favorite station on XM that he calls elevator music. He asked for help connecting to the wifi on his phone, and joked that the cell phone store was out of the free 10 year olds that usually come with smart phones to help you understand what you're doing.

As he sat reading his paper and tapping his foot to the crooner music, I thought about what brought him to Starbucks for his breakfast this morning. I wondered if he started many mornings this way, and if maybe it just gives him something to do with his day. A simple way to stay busy.

I loved getting to witness his super sweet nature in that cute older man way (why do they become so adorable in their old age?), so I was a little sad to see him go once he finished his meal. When he got up to leave he said to me, "You have a great day now, and an even better one tomorrow." 

It stopped me in my tracks.

It was a sweet and unexpected parting sentiment, and I instantly fell in love with the idea of carrying around your own little surprise catch phrase. I adore it. Isn't it wonderful that he sends well-wishes deeper into the future than just the day he's in? Usually people say those canned phrases so often that the sincerity fades. He didn't just say it to fill silence or to be a little polite - he meant it.

May we all genuinely wish others well so sincerely.

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