Friday, 3 July 2015

Life Lessons, and Unintentional Giving

A couple of days ago I withdrew some money from the cash machine outside my branch. My son and I had done the grocery shopping for the week, and I needed some cash so we could have a cool drink while waiting for the bus home to arrive. So I withdrew 70 euro (approximately 77 dollar) while keeping an out on the tables outside the coffee shop to see if one would free up. There are a few tables positioned so we can see when the bus arrives, meaning we don't have to stand around and wait at the actual bus stop since the buses are rarely on time here, and we wanted one of those tables. But, since they were all occupied when approaching the cash machine on the other side of the street I kept my eyes on them.

And we were lucky, as I was in the process of withdrawing my money a table became free and I we rushed over there. Once seated we ordered our drinks and I got my purse out to pay the bill, but imagine my surprise when my money weren't there!! What the heck!?

I then realised that I had not actually taken the money out of the machine, I had only taken the card and the slip, but not the money. Obviously because of the distraction of the table. Also, correct me if I'm wrong Swedish readers, I think in Sweden the slip comes out last, here the money come last, and I think in that moment I was on an old auto-pilot from way back in my Swedish days. When the slip comes out you're done! I do remember looking at the slip before putting in my purse. I might be wrong about the order of things coming out of the machine, though.

Anyway, I rushed back to the cash machine but the money weren't there. Of course.

At this moment I had a few options on how to react;

  • I could get mad - but obviously that will not change anything except my mood. 
  • I could get annoyed - with the same result as if I got mad. 
  • I could laugh at it - and improve my already good mood.
  • I could be happy about it - because there is a lesson to learn here. 
  • I could be grateful about it - because I probably made someone else's day. 
Well, I started out laughing at it, I mean seriously, how can you not. I certainly think I would have laughed if someone else had done it, actually my bank lady laughed at me when I told her about it the next day. How can you get so distracted by a table that you forget 70 euro? She completely understood though, she had seen it plenty of times and she'd done it herself. At least I'm not alone, right!

Then I thought, well, that will teach me to be focused on the task at hand. Lesson learned, it cost me 70 euro - it took a split second. Maybe sometime in the future I can charge someone that to teach them this lesson? Ha!

Thirdly I thought about the person taking the money; and I sincerely hope that it was someone that made something special with it. Maybe it meant that they could take their girlfriend or boyfriend out to dinner, maybe it meant they could treat their family to something unusually nice, or maybe they needed a new pair of sandals. Or maybe they just needed some food in their stomach or a bed for the night. Whatever they did with it I choose to believe that they appreciated it one way or another. 

Sure, I had things to do for the money, but I am lucky enough to have more than enough to live a good life in every way. And maybe that person do too, but hey, free money is always nice, right! 

So then I thought, lesson nr 2 learned; remember to be grateful for everything I've got in my life, and remember to be grateful for everything that brought me here. 

Life is so precious, and we take it so much for granted most of the time. I think sometimes we need a reminder of that. And I think it's important to remember the gift of giving. This experience reminded me about all this. And that makes me grateful.

So, I threw myself a curve ball, and I caught it, and I (unintentionally) made someone else happy. That to me, is worth a lot more than those 70 euro. 

Whenever I find myself in a situation where I so obviously can choose my reaction, action and emotion (yes, I believe it is almost always a choice) I get proud, and I feel love for life. 

This song was the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012, a Swedish win just like this year. 
It always raises my mood and energy. I hope you like it. 

Here's Loreen with Euphoria. 


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