Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happy despite ...

I went to KFC to pick up dinner tonight. While waiting in a very long line in the drive-through, I noticed an old man standing on the side-walk. He had a reader-board around his neck advertising family night at the Round Table Pizza, and he was smiling and waving at the cars. He was somewhat stooped, being very old, and he had an earring in one of his ears. Every so often he would turn around and wave and smile at the cars headed in the opposite direction. Then he turned toward the line of cars and waved at us. I waved back, and he blew me a kiss.

He made me smile; he looked so happy to be doing what he was doing. When cars would honk he would shout and throw his fists in the air; when people waved their arms out their windows he would yell "hello" at them.

Maybe holding a sign on the side of the road isn't the most fulfilling thing to do, but he was making the most of what he had. Maybe he was barely scraping by and had to hold a sign because he couldn't stretch his budget any further; maybe he was retired with a military pension and his wife died, so he took a job just to get out of the house. Maybe his grandson managed the Round Table so that old guy just volunteered to help out.

Whatever the reason, that old dude really made my day, smiling and blowing me kisses. It made me want to go to Round Table. I wanted to jump out of my car and give him a big hug; I wanted to buy him a cup of coffee and ask him how he got to be so happy. I wanted to find out what circumstances brought him to where he is today, and is he really as happy as his smile says he is.

When I'm old, I hope I remember that man. I hope I remember to make the most of what I have, and to make a choice to be happy even if my life or my circumstances aren't perfect.


MargauxMeade said...

Awww, reading this post made me happy! I've had moments like this, where I see someone who just seems so stoked to be alive despite their seemingly dismal circumstances. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Why wait till you're old? ;)

Mrs. Jane Doe said...

Your post made me smile and even cry a little! I like reading of those little things in life that make days just a little better.

Thanks for sharing!

Jade said...

Well, I'm already pretty good at making the most of my circumstances - I've had oodles of practice at that. I just hope I remember it when I'm old, and don't get cranky and rude. :)

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