A recent Monday began with a dreaded medical checkup. Not fun, but necessary. I entered the hospital nervously, as much over dealing with people as regarding the procedure itself.
The technician acted professional, upbeat, and friendly. Only when I mentioned something personal did I learn that her demeanor hid sleep wrecking nervousness concerning her profession. For the first time in ages, I hugged a stranger and the social anxiety plaguing my morning faded far away. I certainly don't have to worry about any life endangering mistakes.
Days later I found myself approached by a former colleague at the local gym. He shared delightful news about his son and the fact that he happily remarried a few months back. There was a catch, though. His very ill wife remains in an intensive care unit after months of unsuccessful treatment. She may not live.
I practically rejoiced now over the inconvenience of a preventive medical test. My little family safely awaited me at home. And lifting weights took on renewed meaning. I am healthy and strong.
The next afternoon I stood by my vegetable garden, thrilled to see beet seedlings. Thinning them to one out of three, I was startled by a neighbor approaching. He lives several doors down in the opposite direction.
I heard the lady of the house say his name and wondered again at his appearance without hearing the rest. He replied without turning, words I still did not catch, then she approached. A warm clasp met my arm before she spoke.
"I believe someone broke into our house."
Stunned in this quiet suburban neighborhood's sunshine flooded afternoon, I heard our neighbor confirm her suspicion. Police officers arrived in two squad cards shortly thereafter. At least nobody got harmed, including the family dog.
I left the daughter's sobbing canine reunion in respectful silence. No longer did our rising home security bill seem such a burden.
It's easy to wallow in minor misfortune or discontent, then one need only watch the news to learn how much worse life can be. How often does the fact strike close to home for you?