I go through life thinking that I'm invisible to 99% of the population, and I'm fine with that - I have never been one to want attention, fame, or adulation. But on Saturday, I got a good reminder that how you interact with people stays with them, along with the realization that I'm actually not going through my days without being noticed - at times, anyway.
Backstory is that I went to a baby shower for a runner friend, Kasey, hosted by another runner friend, Rachel. I only knew Julia and the two other runners there, but as with most events like this, you mingle with others. We ended up sitting down for a light lunch (side note: don't invite me to a light lunch after I've run seven miles...those little chicken salad sandwiches disappeared in a heartbeat), and we chatted with a new-to-us person. As Kasey started opening her gifts, we all discussed them, of course. I tried to not be the person who kept saying "back in my day, we didn't have that" but dang, some really neat baby products have been invented since 1987!
Anyway, one item that was discussed was the baby swaddler - back in my day (see? I can't help it) we just used a receiving blanket to make a baby burrito, as Jeff called it, but now they have specific swaddlers with Velcro, which seems much quicker, especially when you have a flailing baby and/or are dealing with sleep deprivation. I mentioned that we sold these very swaddlers in the hospital gift shop, and that's when the new-to-us person said "THAT'S where I know you" - while I have no recollection of this (C.R.S., people), apparently she was in the gift shop a couple of weeks ago, and said that both Rosalie (my co-volunteer) and I were very nice and friendly to her, which, yay! We try to always be like that and I'm happy to hear that it was noticed.
I know it's been said time and time again that it doesn't hurt to be nice to others; you never know what is happening in their lives. And while I can be *ahem* a tad bit vocal while I'm driving (especially when I'm trying to make that unprotected left turn out of my neighborhood and the hordes of vehicles just.keep.coming), in person I really try to be pleasant. Hearing from this woman that she felt good after our encounter made me feel like great - an affirmation that I am doing OK with this thing we call life. Because honestly, with all of the terrible things being said about the upcoming election, coupled with our bad experience with the shoplifter at the gift shop, sometimes I start to feel pretty negative about people, and that's not the place I want to be...and yet I do go there at times.
I need to remember that even if I'm simply blowing up some balloons and making friendly small talk while doing so, it's having a positive impact, in some small way, on other people's lives. I don't have to be saving the world to do good - just being nice is enough.
I think I can manage that.