Time to think.
Time to react.
Time to choose kindness.
I hate, hAtE, HATE being late for things ... and after frantically showering, running errands and baking a pie (okay, I actually just bought a Remlinger Farms pie and baked/heated it - but it takes 70 minutes to 'bake' and I think that's just as good as baking it from scratch), I dashed out the door to make it to my parent's house in time for dinner.
I jumped in my car and headed out the door with 30 minutes to get there.
I was about 20 minutes from home when Jay called.
He called to tell me that he left his keys in my car and needed them to go to his football BBQ with the other coaches. I quickly said, "Ok, I'll be right there" and heard him say, "I'm sorry sweetie" as hung up the phone, not waiting for his response.
I was mad.
I was irritated.
This was going to make me late for my dinner.
Not to mention an extra 40 minutes of driving.
As I headed back home, I starting thinking about all the time I was wasting.
All the gas I was using.
Everyone would be eating without me.
I'd show up late. How disrespectful.
About half-way home ... something happened.
I thought about the remorse in Jay's voice. He felt terrible. He understood the inconvenience of having me drive all the way back home. He knew my dinner was important to me. He had seen my excitement as I left the house.
All of a sudden it dawned on me ... my reaction to this situation could really make a difference in this situation.
And I chose kindness.
I thought about all the times I had inconvenienced someone. It really does feel terrible, and no one means to do it. I remembered all the times the other person had said, "No problem" or "I understand" or "Don't worry about it" or "I know you didn't mean to."
And I decided to do the same today.
So when I pulled up to my house, I decided that I'd treat Jay with the same kindness that I have appreciated.
He came outside. And as I rolled down my window, he said, "I'm so sorry babe. I'm so spacey today."
I said, "No big deal honey ... no one was hurt. Here are your keys, have fun at your BBQ."
Jay smiled, and his face said a thousand words. I know he was grateful for my reaction. I could see it on his face.
And he said, "You look so cute today. I like your hair curly like that." Like he was really seeing me for the first time today.
You know what ... kindness feels great.