How a Woman Holding up a Sign Reminded Me to Be Thankful

It’s funny how life works sometimes. We all get caught up in our little “race” and forget that it’s pretty much all in our heads and we’re the ones who put us in that position in the first place. It’s winter in Perth now (yes, GoT has started but I haven’t watched it so no spoilers!) and that means that it’s cold, wet, and miserable. It also doesn’t help that I work in a pharmacy which is often filled with sick people.

Therefore it wasn’t surprising for me to fall ill when the temperature dropped. I’ve been in bed since Monday and last night my stomach decided it was going to dance to the rhythm of “Rolling in the Deep” with pom poms made of knives while my asshole was doing its best impression of a volcano. Yes, not as pretty as it sounds. This continued till the next morning.

After the third run to the loo and feeling how 3 ply toilet paper felt like sandpaper on my oh-so-delicate anus, I knew that there was no way I could go into work. So it was off to the doctor’s I went. After the usual hour long wait, I finally saw the doc and basically I caught a virus. No medication could fix that, only lots of fluid and rest. Doc even wrote me a medical cert till Sunday – that’s basically a whole week off.

On the way home, I grabbed some groceries to last me till I got better. All this time I was whining in my head, “Why me?”. I was certain I caught this virus from work – specifically at the tills because customers can be disgusting. They leave their used tissues (filled with gawd knows what germs) in their basket when they’re shopping. The worst part is that they’ll hand me the whole basket with their disgusting piece of GERM SOAKED RUBBISH for me to remove with my BARE HANDS. Trust me, we don’t sell enough hand sanitisers to kill stupidity.

Anyways, as I was driving home, there is a bus stop along the road and I noticed a woman was holding up a sign that said “288”. For a moment I was puzzled – then I realised that she was blind. Upon passing her, I realised that she was wearing a hat and raincoat; standing outside of the sheltered area.

It was like a slap in the face – but in the most gentle yet humbling way possible.

Here I was, in a car, with groceries in the trunk, grumbling about how I had to take a week off work because my ass was too sore to be touched by 3 ply toilet paper. And this woman (whom I’d assume was in her 50’s) who is blind, who can’t even SIT DOWN to wait for the bus, is out there in the rain and cold, getting to where she needs to be, the only way she can by herself.

My problems were nothing compared to what I would assume she would have to go through daily. I tried to put myself in her shoes and I couldn’t even figure out how to find a bus stop let alone stand at the right spot so that I don’t get hit by passing traffic while holding up a sign. In fact, I am sure that if I lost my eyesight tomorrow, I’d end up tripping in the bathroom and they’d find my body in there with my head in the toilet.

So this post is to remind me and YOU to be thankful for what you have. If you’re reading this, YOU HAVE WORKING EYES. Like do you not know how lucky you are?! And you’d be reading this on a computer or phone – there are children in the world who don’t even have food!

I’ve been bitching about my job for months now. I blame it on the economy and the competition about how hard it is for me to secure a better job – but I know that given enough time, I’d find something to bitch about that new job too. So today, I’m reminding myself to be thankful that I even have a job (even if it sucks) that allows me to put a roof over my head and food on the table. And to stop complaining – if I really want a change, I have to make a change.

Don’t get me wrong, change is hard. So. Very. Hard.

But it’s not impossible.

So I’m going to suck it up and keep trying. Even if I fail, it’s better than sitting around moaning about how everything sucks and life is hard. I’m going to continuously improve myself and work towards my goals. I understand that sometimes I’ll feel depressed and I’ll need some help – but I promise I won’t give up.

Are YOU with me?


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