Day 9 ~ Gratitude Journaling

9. Recall a time you needed and received encouragement.

happy coffee
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I know, it has been a while since I was taking time for gratitude journaling. This is mostly because I wasn’t really feeling the gratitude/thankfulness I should, given that my life isn’t all that bad. But if you read the previous post you know where Nana Marti was emotionally, mentally and psychologically of late, not to mention spiritually. It is a good thing that my Father in Heaven is a patient one, because this prodigal daughter is hard headed and learns things slowly at times. But all is well.

This Thanksgiving is a tad easier than last, the first one without my mom, and yet it kinda sucked. I did not have a single invitation for dinner. Maybe because folks knew I had to work? Either way I was kinda bummed about that, not going to lie.

I just got home a little while ago from working a 16 hour Thanksgiving Day shift. From 7am until 11pm I was taking care of my sweet souls suffering with many different forms of dementia. While about half of those on my unit were able to go out with family for the day, the others are in no condition to do so, remaining in the community and in our care.  I did it all with one of my favorite partners, Danielle. We had worked 3-11pm the day before and then rolled in this morning together (I gave her a ride in so her S/O didn’t have to get up early and bring her to work on his holiday off) for the full 16 hours. She was originally scheduled 3-11 but when I told her I was alone 7am-3pm, she told the boss she’d pick up the extra time. Heck we get holiday pay so why not? That was encouraging for starters.

We both have this addiction to Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffees, you could say our unit at work truly runs on Dunkin’ when we are on duty. Today was no exception, but there wasn’t time to stop and grab it on the way in, so I had to run out and pick up our liquid energy boost after we got everyone up, scheduled showers done and we had a few minutes to breathe and relax. It was during the coffee run that I received encouragement.

I’m a big one for sharing the love, and sometimes that means showing it to the car behind me in the drive thru line for coffee. When I have a little extra money I will ask what the total is for the car behind me, and if I have enough to cover it I will pay for their order as well, then drive away hoping I lifted their spirits and made them smile when they found out they owed nothing.

On the coffee run I decided to not only treat my co-worker and pay for her 2 iced lattes, but I wanted 2 bacon wake-up wraps with my iced peppermint mocha. Imagine my surprise when I rolled up to the window with my debit card in hand and the cashier smiled and said, “Your total is zero, the lady in front of you paid for your order and said Happy Thanksgiving”. As this has never happened to me before I was speechless, a rare moment in time if you know me who is never at a loss for words. It warmed my heart, made my whole blessed morning! And me being me, paid it forward and paid for the car behind me! Spread the love, people!

It was such a wonderful encouragement to me, part of the way through a holiday I’d have enjoyed spending with family but instead worked my shift and a pick up shift to care for my residents, to have someone make such a simple, sweet gesture as to pay for mine and my coworker’s coffee and my breakfast. I was already in a great mood because we can now wear holiday shirts to work for December, but when I got back I was dancing, singing off key, and having fun with my residents a little more than normal, all because someone pulled a random act of kindness that totally encouraged me!

As if that wasn’t enough, I received a text from my son, saying he was going to bring me an iced coffee but Dunkin’ closed before he could get there this afternoon. It made me smile to think he was willing to go out of his way to bring me another one in the middle of my crazy day. Trust me the thought counted and made my heart swell  which was super encouraging!

See, you just never know how something so simple as paying for someone else’s coffee can turn a good day into a great one! Imagine what that does for someone having a crap day!?