Smiles Not Scowls


Today I had a bunch of errands to run, which is usually bound to put a scowl on my face. Especially when they involve paying bills and fees, and one of those errands was the town collector’s office. So imagine my face when I got there to pay the bill, checkbook in hand after confirming that they don’t accept credit card payments, ready to write the check, when I flipped to the end of the checkbook and saw we were out of checks. I looked up at the woman, smiled and said, “I guess I’m not paying the bill after all.” She smiled and told me they were open until 5. The credit union was next on my list of errands, so I just withdrew the money for the bill and went back to the town collector to settle up. 

Whose blog is this, you’re probably wondering, glancing up at the top to see if you’re on BabblingBridge. Cranky old curmudgeony BabblingBridge. That’s kind of my thing, I guess. I complain a lot. I’m sarcastic. I can rant and rave and stew and sulk w/ the best of them. Just yesterday I wrote a lengthy post doing all of those things. But is coming here and bitching about my terrible customer service experience or the internet being super slow or Taco Bell getting my order wrong doing anything besides putting more negativity out into a world that already has enough of it? 

I could say I woke up on the right side of the bed this morning, psyched to face the day and all my errands, but I know the real reason the empty checkbook didn’t throw me off the rails like it usually would is b/c I had just come from volunteering and spending an hour snuggling adorable bunny faced kitties. The whole idea of doing good making you feel good is ten thousand percent true. 

I’ve been wanting to volunteer at a shelter forever, but they’ve been slow getting back to me, mostly b/c they’re all running on fumes on a volunteer basis. It’s a sad catch 22; they desperately need volunteers, but they don’t have the time and resources to follow up w/ all the people who are interested in volunteering. Or maybe they do and just didn’t want me, who knows. 

I applied to three local shelters before hearing back from one and today was my first shift. Not only did I do something great for those kitties, I left in such a great mood, it was infectious. Instead of barking at the town collector when I was out of checks, instead of making her feel bad, instead of racing over to the bank and getting angry at all the other cars on the road, instead of snapping at the teller b/c I was in a hurry, I chose to not succumb to these minor annoyances and accept that it’s not a big deal. 

I don’t want Debbie Downer on speed-dial. I want to choose happiness. I know it won’t be easy and there’ll be days I totally muck it up (and I'm kidding myself if I think my blogging rants are over). But I’ll forgive myself on the hard days and try again.

Smiles not scowls.   

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