Saturday, April 9, 2011

You Too

Thursday’s blog made me think about how we treat each other, and I wondered how well I practice what I preached to Maddie. I reflected on the fact that we live in a “me first” society...and wondered what it would be like to live in a “you too” society. I decided to make Friday my “You Too Friday.”

The morning routine of getting the kids off too school didn’t afford many opportunities to put others first in a way that was different that any other day... I’m pretty much invisible, with no agenda or life of my own, or wants or needs... until it’s time to leave the house and the kids want a ride. I absolutely, positively live in a non-voluntary You Too world until 8:20 when the last child is safely deposited at school.

As I continued with my morning, there were few opportunities to put others first since I didn’t have any interaction with other humans. There was one situation that I had been debating for a couple days... I wasn’t sure what to do, and had received advice that was the opposite of what I wanted to do. I used my You Too day as an opportunity to follow my heart rather than the advice I was given. I’m not sure how all that’s going to play out, so I’m sure it’s fodder for another blog. (Oooooh, look... her second blog and she’s already got a cliff hanger. How nervy.)

I ran a couple errands before going to work, and had my first stranger You Too moment when I let another woman walk into Subway before me. It wasn’t such a stretch for me to do something like that, but I was in a hurry to get to work... so I might not have done that on a regular day. She gave me a big smile and said “Thanks!” so I had that going for me. As I drove to work on the highway, I made a conscious decision to let people over when they needed it and was altogether considerate and didn’t even act like a I was good.

I pulled into the parking lot and took the first (read: farthest away from the door) parking space, leaving the closer ones to the poor unfortunate souls who were even later than me. The whole “holding the door open for people and letting them go first” bit is tricky when you work for the state, turns out. You have to swipe your badge to get into the building and then swipe it with every door you go through, save the restroom. I gave myself a You Too pass and an A for effort.

On my way home, the You Too drive home was similar to the drive to work, and nothing noteworthy happened. And.... nothing really noteworthy happened at home. Or later. I made a concentrated effort to have a You Too day and all that happened was I was late to work. I came away from my You Too day with a couple lessons:

  • If you are going to have a You Too day, give yourself some wiggle room with regard to your schedule. It took time to let people first, to park farther away, etc... and I wouldn’t have been late to work had I planned a wee bit better.

  • My interpretation of a You Too moment and your interpretation When we were listening to a cover band last night, the lead singer kept asking for song requests. The guy sitting next to us, a stranger to me, would shout out “Bare Naked Ladies” and got no response. I offered the suggestion that he might tell them a song, rather than a band, so he said “Brian Wilson’s Song!” Unfortunately, the singer didn’t hear him, so at the break I went up and told her. I also let her know what we had just found out, that it was this couple’s 5th wedding anniversary. After the break, they got a shout out for their anniversary and the song they wanted to hear. Was that a You Too moment for me? Nope, that was Just Missy. However, it might have been a You Too moment for the couple, and that’s cool.

  • You can’t decide to have a You Too day, you have to have a You Too life and take advantage of the opportunities when they fall in your lap... they don’t come around as often as you think they do.

So that’s my You Too day. Not as interesting as I had hoped it would be, but definitely was worth trying. I’ll keep it up and maybe, hopefully someday I’ll have a stellar You Too day.

You too.

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