I fell during a 10-mile run two weeks ago. It wasn’t the first time I’d fallen over a curb, and probably won’t be the last. I scraped up several limbs really well. I am still grateful for the stranger who brought paper towels and a box full of bandaids so I could get cleaned up and back on my way. You see I fell about four miles from home. And Plan A was to get there on my own two feet (Plans B, C, and D involved other people and cars).
After jogging a few blocks, I knew it would be a slow journey but one that I could finish. The slower pace meant more time to see and notice things around me. Including a sweet little sticker on a crosswalk when I was about a mile from home. Someone, I am guessing a child, added that little bit of yellow onto a dirty and scratched up poll. This week I ran the same 10 miles (without falling, woohoo) and the sticker is still there. This little gift to others is still holding on.
As I traveled past a second time, I thought about how this little act by a stranger had added joy to my life twice now. And had hopefully added to other people’s lives as well. In the season of Covid-19, we all need ways to add some extra joy. For me, that has included a routine most mornings of watching a comedian while eating breakfast. I have also started regularly sending real mail to friends that I cannot see in person. After every long run, I celebrate with a large bowl of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. And I signed up for virtual races to earn some new shirts and medals (today I’m wearing a favorite: “Hope Isn’t Cancelled”). Random choices in this season that I might now have done before or maybe ever. Yet each one fits in and brings a little extra smile with it.
What is bringing you joy today? How could you bring joy to someone else?
If the answers are nothing and you can’t, I ask you to keep thinking and try again. It can be as simple as a yellow daffodil sticker.