Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Coinkydink? Fate? Serendipitydoodah?

Today was laundry day. I failed to bring with me a book or some other reading material. I knew boredom would set in as I listened to the washer spin and dryers tumble. Everyone who normally occupies the laundromat on Tuesday hadn't arrived. No one to amuse me with their nonsense banter which I'd attempt to ignore or be annoyed by. There is never, ever, ever any reading material left behind by other patrons. Not even as much as a classified ad. As I poured fabric softener into the wash, what did I spy with my little eye? Reader's Digest. Hoo-to-the-ray!

I don't know about you, but I tend to thumb through a magazine by starting from the back. In RD, that means the feature The Last Laugh is my first laugh. As I backwardly flicked the pages, I stumbled upon the section called Quotes. This edition referenced a particular subject that caused that proverbial light bulb to off on over my noggin.

Why? Let me cryptically explain (can't go into detail -- work stuff)

Sometimes difficult situations cause you to look a little deeper into your persona. I didn't have an epiphany but something occurred that instigated some self examination. I think it's healthy to do this. This time it was by blunt force. It happens. When it does, I try to learn from it.
"It's always helpful to learn from your mistakes because then your mistakes seem worthwhile." ~ Garry Marshall
Making a mistake is easy, but admitting it is often difficult particularly when witnesses are involved and your ego hangs on by a gossamer thread. As I said, I can't go into detail, but I have done a lot of thinking, wishing for a time machine and, most importantly, examination of my ...............................
Character -- the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life -- is the source from which self-respect springs. -- Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem
When I came to those pages, it was then that I realized that it wasn't just luck that the magazine was left behind. I was meant to read it -- read the quotes on and about character. I never want my integrity or character to be questioned. I realize that I can't control what other people interpret, but in my heart, I have to approach life with the best of my intentions and strength of character unquestioned. Yesterday left me unsettled. My hope is that it doesn't cast a disparaging shadow on the foundation of how others feel toward me. I am certain I can make right what was done improperly and it won't require a Quantum Leap.
"Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain, and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving." -- Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
I wrote that quote down and put it in my purse. I'm going to tuck it into my lab coat pocket. When I reach in I'll feel the sheet of note paper and be reminded of what I strive for and what I want to represent not only for myself, but for the company I work for.

I wish that I could thank the person who left his or her Reader's Digest sitting on the table at the Aroma Park laundromat. At the time they probably had no idea they forgot it nor what it could mean beyond quick reading between the wash and tumble dry. For me, it was a pivotal moment in my self-evaluation.

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