While on a training run for an upcoming 10k, I ran by some kids with a free lemonade stand (I’m guessing they were making their money off tips). Rather than interrupt my run and brighten their day by giving them the opportunity to serve someone, I just ran by saying, “No thanks.” While growing up, I remember my dad going out of his way to buy lemonade from kids. I want to be that person.
In the future I want Hijo to look back at childhood and say things like “My dad always stopped to buy lemonade from kids. And he tipped them well!” Instead today I saw an opportunity as an interruption. Which makes me wonder where else in my life am I totally blowing an opportunity to extend kindness and joy.
This morning I needed to get out the door a little early to get to work on time. Hijo clearly wanted to play rather than watch Daddy leave. However, I just focused on doing the tasks at hand like packing my bag up. As I tried going out the door, he blocked it in his four-year-old way – standing on one leg and stretching himself across the doorway. I found myself starting to respond with annoyance. However, I eventually saw the situation for what it was and changed my behavior.
I picked up Hijo and rough-housed him a little. I took a moment to apologize for not being able to play more fully but explained I’d like to play when I get home in the evening. That whole interaction started out as a loss, but I chose to make it a win. I don’t always make that choice. But right now I choose to look for chances to turn losses into wins and take them.
Where do you see opportunities to make similar choices in your life?