It was a long week on the road, sleeping in a foreign bed, driving a God-awful number of miles, trying to keep up with young family members and keeping up with work. By the time I got to the airport, I was exhausted. I was impatient and irritable. I pulled into the garage to return my rental car and there were a number of others waiting to get checked in, 3 different lanes, and wouldn’t you know it, they took someone else who pulled in after me. Was it the action itself, nope, I had left plenty of time to get to the terminal and catch my flight, it was ego of how dare they that had me a bit bent out of shape. Here’s where the story is leading. All it took was an employee with a good attitude, recognizing I wasn’t in the best of spirits to turn things around. He smiled, apologized for the wait, reminded me it was the weekend and even jokingly berated himself for making me wait.
All it took was that one person to turn my day around and see how silly my poor behavior was. So I started thinking to myself, why not try to be that person that influences others’ days in a positive direction. It doesn’t take much: a smile, allowing someone to check out at a cashier before you, holding the elevator for someone. What it does take is setting aside my ego which wants me to think: I more important than you; I need to be somewhere and just can’t wait; you should have gotten here first/sooner if you wanted my spot.
My first sponsor taught me a very important lesson early on in sobriety. He told me to ask myself one simple question when I started to get upset (which happened entirely too often then and still does I’m embarrassed to admit today): how important is it really? To not let someone in when merging in rush hour traffic, rush down the aisle to be next in line rather than walking at a normal pace and being second, or repeatedly pushing the ‘door close’ button rather than holding the elevator. How does that make me feel when I do get my way? Not very good. And frankly, pretty darn selfish and silly.
Today I will be aware of my ego trying to inflate my sense of self-importance.