Today, my dear readers, my day started like this:
Today, my dear readers, my day ended like this:
I do not know at what point during my pleasant Thursday that everything went to pot, but suffice it to say that I’m happy for bed tonight. (I should have known…Thursdays have a way of turning their backs on me…read why here).
Disagreements, general malaise, lifeless theatre audiences, and small frustrations were the reasons for my drop-to-your-knees, throw-your-hands-in-the-air, yell-the-F-Bomb surrender to my Thursday. I could go into all of the details, but I catch myself before going into full Debbie Downer mode.
To make things worse, here I sit, at 12:09 AM, without a blog post, and without an RAC for the day. Yes…I confess…I believe I went an entire day without fully committing to an RAC.
I couldn’t believe it. I had become so wrapped up in my own problems/fears/anxieties that I had completely forgotten to dedicate one spot in my day to helping someone else. How could I have let that slip by?
I had been doing so well the past few days, too. On Tuesday night, I took a long lost friend out for dinner…someone who I haven’t spent much time with over the past few years. I had a gift card to Max & Erma’s, a restaurant chain here in the area, and I offered to take him out to dinner on a lark.
Justifiably, I could have taken out more appropriate candidates for the task. The friend I dined with hadn’t really tried to contact me in a few years, and our current bond merely sufficed as an acquaintance. I could have asked someone else who I would have much rather enjoyed taking out for a meal…but something in my head told me that taking him out for dinner would be a great RAC…something that really shows I’m trying to think of others before myself.
So, we went to dinner, and to make a long story short, it was about as dull as watching the grass grow. Nope…I correct myself…grass growing actually produces a result…this meal produced little conversation and a lot of awkward pauses.
Have you ever been around someone that’s low energy? Someone can be as nice and sweet as Mother Theresa’s clone, but if they have low energy, chances are they’re going to suck the life right out of you as well.
During our meal, I began to regret choosing this specific friend to take out for a meal. It’s not that he wasn’t respectful and appreciative…he just didn’t seem to be enjoying himself. I hadn’t talked to him in years, and our last interactions weren’t exactly favorable. Why had I tried so hard to treat him to a nice meal?
After dinner finished up, he offered to take me out for drinks at a local bar, to which I hesitantly agreed to. My pajamas and electric blanket were looking mighty fine at that point, and their allure was certainly more enticing as well. Politely, though, I accepted his offer, and found myself sitting next to him at the bar.
The next few moments made me realize why the Universe had paired me with him that evening. The waitress had checked to see his ID before we ordered our beverages, thus prompting a response from her. “Oh, tomorrow’s your birthday, huh?”
I had no idea my friend was turning 26 tomorrow. Not a damn clue. And here he was, on the eve of his birthday, taking a night out to spend with me. I knew this certain friend: he could have been out partying with any of his buddies (‘cause he certainly could party, let me tell you), but he went to dinner with me. Was I his only choice? Didn’t he have someone else he would want to spend time with on the eve of his big day?
I’ll never know the answers to those questions. All I know is that on Tuesday evening, the planets aligned so that we could enjoy a nice dinner together, followed by a few drinks and a few rounds of Rock Band at my apartment. I’m beginning to think that sometimes, things do happen for a reason.
My two other RACs for the week included baking, yet again, for my fellow cast mates on Monday, and tipping the friendly sandwich maker at Quizno’s Subs on Wednesday night.
And for Thursday? Nada. Zip. Zilch. Niente. Nil. A big fat nothing.
Or were there no traces of an RAC? All this time, I had been looking to perform purposeful actions to count as RACs…things I wouldn’t normally do in a typical situation. My goal was to take part in these activities to see if they fostered any extra Christmas spirit within myself and within those whom I interacted with. But, what if these purposeful actions are now becoming habits?
I paid for lunch today for a friend. I drove out 25 minutes to a nearby city to play piano for a rehearsal which lasted about 30 minutes….for free. Heck, I was even cordial and polite to a family member with whom I share a strained relationship. Are RACs becoming more and more a part of my life? Are they becoming more and more a part of who I am?
Suddenly, amidst an emotionally rocky Thursday, I find a certain calm after the storm. I was so distracted by my own issues today that three RACs completely slipped my mind…but perhaps (hopefully?) these kinds of actions are becoming easier to achieve without a lot of forethought? The goal of the RACs was to inspire Christmas spirit, but I’d say one of the positive side products has been to create a habit out of doing good.
And that trumps any grey skies, any day…
RAC #45-47: Made cookies for castmates; took a friend out to dinner; tipped a Quizno’s employee