Sunday, January 22, 2012

give and take

rose-pen

We get, we give, we get, we give. Both good and bad. Cause and effect. Karma. Whatever you want to call it.

We found a sweet rose pen fashioned out of duct tape in the Whole Foods parking lot. Someone's gift to us.

A crusty resident yelled at me for leaving the communal laundry door open, then slammed it for dramatic effect. Had he asked nicely, I would have apologized and closed the door on my way out. Since he didn't, I left it wide open. My gift to him.

Third grader came home from school, and in her quest to "cause happiness" (and also to stall on her homework) she was resolute on creating an artsy surprise for our mysterious neighbor (sometimes home, often not) upstairs. Homework's gift to her: she was up until 9:00 that night finishing it. The next day while my daughter was at school, mysterious neighbor came home; I heard her trod up the stairs, pause, then squeal (not knowing anyone was listening): "OH! This is BEAUTIFUL!" My girl's gift to both the mysterious neighbor and me.

Sometimes I let people merge in front of me, because I like to be friendly to those in need, and I like to annoy those behind me. Both give and take.

I fed a few meters with my extra change. My gift to the city.

Then I got a parking ticket. The city's gift to me.

I always include an extra something with my Etsy orders. My gift to lovely people who choose my shop for their purchase.

At Stop & Shop last week some poor soul tripped and went airborne, landing in and dismantling a large display of king size Reese's Peanut Butter eggs. Hundreds of them. My kids made a beeline for the fallout while a checker and I helped the guy out of the eggs and made sure he was OK. I tried to help him feel better by telling him that it is normally my job to cause that kind of ruckus, and told him the story of when I fell down a full flight of stairs at the Wall Street Deli in Dallas and blasted a crowd of corporate lunch-goers with my tossed salad. Meanwhile my kids counted and sorted the eggs back into their boxes, thereby honing their math skills. Can I also say here that I found this more than just a bit funny so eventually I had to excuse myself to the produce aisle to regain my composure, which was then repaid in spades of bad karma the next morning. Gifts exchanged all around.

So many good, kind, genuine people have stepped up to the plate to help me manage my bewilderment and adjustment to the frenetic pace of life here -- gifts that I can probably never fully repay.

Simple thank yous. I try to give them as much as possible. They are free, easy to give, and when they're genuine they mean a lot more than the effort it takes to give them.

I'd love to keep a formal tally for a week of the gives and takes, to try to figure out what's connected and what's not, what is random and what's not, to see how much I'm giving versus how much I'm taking. But for now all I can manage to do is keep up with the actions themselves ;)

28 comments:

Lorinda said...

love, love, love this post!

(It seems Blogger took this comment away the first time I tried to post it...fingers crossed for this submission.)

aimee said...

Thanks Lorinda! Blogger has its own set of karma rules ;) This one came through loud and clear!

Jennibellie said...

Fantastic post - I laughed out loud in parts (I've done something on par with that salad!!). The only rule I live by is karma, to be kind & give whatever gifts you can (it also helps you to walk away from bad situations when someone is unkind to you - it's all ok, cause you're in on the secret karmas gonna give back their dosage with a suckerpunch lol)

la ninja said...

x

painted fish studio said...

oh karma, you and i... whenever i feel like something is going well, i immediately stop enjoying it because i know karma is peeking around the corner, giggling to herself with glee, because she can't wait to drop the bomb that will remind me that things can NEVER go swimmingly or be easy... right now i am working from home, because i can, because my new boss at my new job is awesome like that, and when i started my day today i learned that the only project on my plate was put on hold, which meant that i could be at home all day with not much to do and still get paid good money and oh shit, i'm so scared about what karma is going to do to me because i feel so f-ing lucky right now. oh maybe this is payment for the horrible break-out i had last week? where i looked 14 years old again?

so glad that i am not the only one arm wrestling with miss karma.

mo said...

lovely post. i really enjoyed reading the ups and downs, the positives and negatives. if we don't pay attention, we miss all that, don't we? and what was it your daughter made for the neighbor? i'm dying to know ;)

ps: thanks for the little thank-you's you've sent with MY orders. they are always delightful and much appreciated!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Love your daughter's heart - please tell us what she gave!

Kim Hambric said...

Thanks for sharing your give and take stories. Tomorrow I will see if I can do some giving. Tomorrow. Today is Monday.

I hope egg man appreciated your salad story. I know I did.

Sorry to hear about the laundry jerk. Chances are you will meet up again. Hopefully he was just having a bad egg day and will be much jollier on your next meeting.

Beth said...

xoxo to you and all your loves my friend - it is Karma - and you deserve all good...the pace will get slower and flow better - it's just the re-entry - or initial entry - that can be tough! ;-) deep breaths and snuggles with little ones - that always make things better - hugs,b

cath c said...

wonderful post!

laundry guy deserved,

so did mysterious neighbor. spreading happiness is a great goal!!!

bohemiannie! art said...

Add one to the 'good' side! You rock and I love reading your posts...ALways!

Bella Sinclair said...

Aaah, give and take. My bet is that you give more than you take. You give off good juju.

Hugs, and a hug to your little girl who gives mysterious presents to mysterious neighbors. :)

Candied Fabrics said...

Ah what a life you have! Your girls are going to be such awesome people.

We Three 3 said...

oh I liked this Aimee! Great post, and loved reading all the bits and back forths of your surrounding karma...however my very favorite part was the parenthesis about your daughter stalling her homework. My son does that, aggh! They end of paying for it don't they? Silly kids;)That made me laugh.

Pat said...

Great Karma post! All I ever want when I let two or three cars into traffic ahead of me is a little wave of thanks. Is that too much to ask? I'm just sayin'.......

michelle allen said...

girl, you are hilarious and so stinkin' witty! i love your posts. never dull.

AG Ambroult said...

uh huh. you fed meters then got a ticket. classic.
karma fascinates me. IF YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT'S WHAT (oh snap caps lock) be sure and let us know.

Marcie said...

What a wonderful post!! When you stop and think about it - life is just a series of gives and takes. Love it!

Andria said...

What a fun post, Aimee...that's just LIFE, isn't it?!

S.E.Minegar said...

we appreciate you softening up the east coast with your thank yous!

Cindy said...

i want to be your neighbor!

Nancy said...

I just read this today. And I cried. OXO to you and yours out there in NJ. I think of you often and will miss you on our next visit to that little oasis where we met.

aimee said...

thanks everyone! little girl made a drawing and a card. wish i had scanned it before she gave it away. it was a cutie!

Christine E-E said...

aimee - this is such a lovely post---I feel like it could be shared as a thought-provoking column in a newspaper (all about being kind, helping, sharing, giving another person a life etc)... out lives have gotten so serious, overrun with personal issues, etc that we rarely look beyond our own little microclimate. A public viewing would make for thoughtful insight.
Way To GO!

Beth Niquette said...

OH, Aimee--I love your take on life. I love reading your posts. You bring such joy...you are not only a gifted artist, but you are an amazing writer.

I think you should be published. I LOVE reading your blog. ((hugs))

rachelle | tinkerlab said...

I don't know how I landed on your creative corner of the universe, but I'm so glad I found you!! This is all true, and so well said! It helps that you pay attention to all these details of your day. I have two little kids and often get so caught up in our daily drama, and you've reminded me to look at the big picture for how it all interconnects.

Lisa Gonzalez said...

It's weird, I subscribe to your blog so normally I see each new post in my reader. This one, I didn't see until today. Just wanted to tell you I think you and your girls are like bright stars, shedding colorful light wherever you go. I am so glad to know you and be blessed with some of your glitter.

xoxo

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