The woman with the buzzcut was giving out free advice as well as newspapers on Church Street this week.
“Smile,” she said to the somnambulant commuters. “Smile or go home!”
It was a good suggestion, actually, but I think I’d get in trouble with my boss if I turned tail and went back to Brooklyn because I couldn’t come up with a grin.
Still, I’ve been trying to be more positive. I saw this little boy in a stroller on Monday morning and I can’t get him out of my head—mainly because I want to keep him there.
I saw him as I was walking up Fulton Street. His mother was pushing the stroller toward me and this little guy was so excited at everything he saw that he seemed ready to climb out of his seat.
He was looking in all directions, at all the people and buildings and activity; he couldn’t get enough.
The contrast between this boy’s boundless enthusiasm and everybody else’s bottomless misery was stunning.
Here we were, Monday freaking morning, heading back to work with this somebody-please-kill-me look on our faces while this kid was in awe of the world around him.
Of course we were all adults with grown-up grief and problems.
None of us can stay babies forever, but even though there are many negative expressions associated with children—stop acting like a baby; don’t be infantile; grow up!—you can still learn something from the mouths of babes.
As it was in the beginning...
This reminds me of my Day One pledge that I made back in December, where I vowed to reboot my entire existence. There’s been no miracle cure, but I think I am slowly changing my view of the world in which I live.
It’s true that I’m not where I want to be in my life, but I’ve got my family, a job and a roof over my head, and that’s more them a lot of other people have.
With that in mind, I treated myself to an hour-long Reiki session on Friday night. I had met this woman at my company’s health fair and she offered me a treatment for half her usual price.
I had a brief encounter with Reiki last year and I never followed up on it, so I thought that instead of saying no like I usually do when faced with something new, I’d answer in the affirmative to this lady’s offer and try to improve my life.
So I went over to a studio on Canal Street and literally put myself in her hands. It felt so strange, lying face down on a massage table while this lady did her thing.
I completely lost track of time, I forgot about the outside world, even though I could hear horns honking and radios blaring from the street below. I think I fell asleep at one point and I woke up feeling...good.
I’m not sure I’ll go back to this lady, but I know I want to continue with Reiki. I want to see the world the same way that little boy did.
I want to enjoy every day like it’s day one and if that doesn’t put a smile on my face, I’m going to jump into my stroller and go the hell home.