“Oh, were you sitting here?” she asked me when I returned to my chair to find a co-worker sitting in it.
I had been sorting mail when I had to get up to dispatch some full containers.
My seat was vacant when she arrived in the area, and so she sat down in my empty chair and began to sort.
“No, it’s okay really, …stay there,” I told her. “I’ll keep busy by helping to collect mail bundles until lunch.
…”It’s all good.”
My co-worker’s demeanour suddenly became serious.
Looking at me intently, she asked me:
“Is it Doris, is it always good for you here really?”
I was the resident union shop steward.
I could be called any minute to defend a co-worker, explain contractual language, or smooth over misunderstandings, or worse.
It was a question that I had not expected. The look on her face told me that she wanted an honest answer, and so I gave her one.
“I use to believe that all people were inherently good,” I began…
“But I don’t believe that anymore.”
She was listening intently, saying nothing.
“I’ve since learned that people are inherently selfish. It’s the good people in my life that make it all worthwhile.”
Now, it isn’t often that I put all my cards on the table like that, but I sensed that this was an appropriate time to do so.
My co-worker had often shared with me the issues that she continues to struggle with.
Indeed, we all struggle from time to time.
Some of us struggle more than others.
At the moment, I had the sense that she trusted me and that I had her full attention.
And so, I continued.
“We all have our crosses in life to bear, and it’s important to minimize what negativity we can and move on.”
“In the end, whether or not it’s all good is up to you.”
With that, her face brightened.
“Yes,” she affirmed to me…
… “I’m good today.”
By the look in her eye, I could tell that she was. Indeed, I had been there for her on some her darker days.
As for the times when life is not good, what’s important to me is being able to recognize and acknowledge to myself the times when I’m having a rough day.
Then accept it for exactly what it is.
Just one day.
If it’s good, I enjoy it now.
If it’s not, I try to dig out some happy thoughts to hold me over until tomorrow…
…because that’s how I roll.