My life tends to be rather unfair. Normally that is said in a negative way. While my life is not perfect, I often find that my life is more Buttons than Mindy. I find an odd kinship with Gladstone Gander.
Take yesterday for example. I woke up on time without an alarm clock. I drove to work and found a free parking spot. I was given a free milkshake, a free salad, a free sandwich, free milk for my cereal, and a free cup of apple juice. Instead of paying for a parcel to be picked up, I asked someone who was on their way to take it for me. I used the free internet to catch up on The Flash. I went to a theater and watched a movie for free, but only after someone insisted on giving me a free bag of popcorn. Then I ran across a friend that I had not seen in several months and he invited me to be a guest on his podcast. That was followed by being assigned to work with one of my favorite actresses; a beautiful, funny, and talented woman. Then I saw a play for free.
Ten bucks for parking, a salad for seven and a half dollars, a thirty dollar play, three bucks to watch something on iTunes; I could have easily spent about eighty dollars yesterday. Instead, I did not use a credit card or cash once in a sixteen hour day.
Granted, much of that is included in my lifestyle. The food is a perk of the business where I work. I volunteer at both the movie theater and the theatre. And one of the few skills I have down to an art is finding free parking.
Clearly none of these are life-changing. But they are things that others sometimes struggle to come by. And the two random people popping up and making my life more delightful? That is icing on the cake. This sort of activity happens to me all the time.
The last time I thought to myself, “I need to buy a backpack”, I hopped online and found that REI was having a one-day sale… on backpacks only. I was able to snag a free ticket to what will probably be a Tony-award winning musical. My car is freakishly reliable.
I am not one to root for karma. I think you should do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, not because it will one day win you the lottery. Besides, I have seen plenty of people suffer that are perfectly decent human beings. I have a hard time believing that only jerks and those that double park become homeless or get cancer.
For some reason I do not fully grasp, my life is a little simpler. Things tend to work out fine. I am not rich, but I do not need to be. Nobody has offered me free airline tickets for life, but I do not like traveling. For what I want for my simple life, I somehow manage to come out on top the overwhelming majority of the time.
Of course, that only tempts me to get into a snit when things go awry (horribly or not). A month ago, the power went out during my weekend. Life threatened to consist of no light, no television, and the threat of food going bad in the fridge. The first thought I had was, “Great. Just great.”
Perspective would dictate that I was a twerp. Consider the homeless people that only have power when they hang out in a library or food court. Think of those in other countries who are constantly bombarded, day and night, with war, destruction, and chaos in their lives. It takes the dire situation where I cannot heat up my pizza and casts it in a new light.
Sure I would have liked to read a book. But I am blessed enough to have a fireplace. My cat was warm enough, there was no wind or rain coming through the walls, and everything was rather cozy. Plus, with a little help from some oven mitts, I was able to reheat my pizza over the fire.
Entitlement is a rather real threat for me and my easy-going existence. I have been at my jobs for decades. I like things to go my way. When my boss gives me extra work or one of my coworkers leaves “my area” in complete disarray, I can adopt a bit of a huffy mind frame. However it never lasts too long. Having a boss that likes you and enough funds to pay bills is much more important to the world than whether or not you only have three hours of free time at the comic shop instead of five. Or, God forbid, someone does not have psychic abilities and therefore unpacks boxes differently than I would.
Yes, my life is completely unfair. I do not complain about that. (More often than I should, I focus on the ten percent of my life that is not perfect, but not for too long.) But I hope that I try to pass that on.
My running shoes get donated in those bins one sees in the parking lots of gas stations and grocery stores. Extra books I have go into donation bins or to Goodwill. Friends are often reminded that my library of comics and DVDs is up for perusing. And when I do run across those I care about? I try to make sure that I offer a sympathetic ear when they need to vent about how unfair their life is. I get the benefit of a simple life; I should try to share it.