This week I had one of those days.
When I got home I flipped the lights on in the kitchen. I flinched briefly as an overhead bulb sparked and faded out. My only thought at the time was: No worries. I have replacements. A little while later, sort of in the dark, I turned on the stove to sweat onions for Texas chili. I had thrown half of the hamburger into the pot. Three minutes later, after realizing nada was happening on the stove, I ventured over for a look. No heat. I tested the oven. Nothing. Woe. Woe is me!
While sitting in my living room later, getting ready to watch the presidential debate, I stopped feeling sorry for myself. Not sure of the trigger...but I flashed back for a moment to when I lived in London in Putney and would take the National Rail to get to Waterloo during the week.
If you commute to a job or class around the same time every day, you naturally see the same people on the train. Because you live in London you never actually acknowledge or speak to anyone but there's a comfort in seeing familiar faces day after day.
During the 8am hustle and bustle of the commute I noticed one person that always seemed to be there. This man had long, light hair that was curly but lacked the styling products that some might use. He was balding on top but didn’t seem to be very old. He was as thin as a rail and his glasses hung on the tip of his nose. He wore tidy, long shorts and a polo shirt with a sweatshirt depending on the weather and was always alone. The dude was noticeable because he moved excruciatingly slowly. He progressed to the train platform moving inch by inch on crutches that were made for people who could barely move their legs.
I noticed him day after day moving down the sidewalk to the train platform. He was probably mid-30s and could have flung himself to the tracks with a “forget it” attitude. Seeing his state and all of the rude commuters rudely pushing past him, I don’t know how he didn’t.
Point is, even when it was raining, the guy was there. In my opinion, he was courageous. He had a goal to get from A to B. Perhaps he was going to his job or doctor appointments. I hated when it was raining during my commute but at least I had a hand free to hold an umbrella. This guy didn't but he was there making the journey. I wish I knew his name. He taught me and perhaps others that the way to deal with unwanted circumstances is to just keep moving - no matter the speed.