Smile

February 5, 2013 in Costa Rica On The Horizon, General by Scott

Happiness is a balloon animal.
So I mentioned the other day that I was cleaning house, trying to prepare for the Costa Rica shift. Then the other night, I started writing a long post that had some negative undertones to it and so I decided to sit on it to see if there might be another way to write it.

Well, I sat on it, had some time to let my mind wander about, and I realized that…. no, not going to do it. It’s very easy to find the negative when you have greener grass syndrome mixed with senioritis. But really, green grass is just a seasonal thing. And senioritis passes upon graduation. So I’m not going to, as I had planned, extrapolate on Jimmy Buffet’s “The Weather is Here, Wish You were Beautiful.” Instead….

Happy time with Scott! Yay!

Moon #496
When I was just a boy, I remember looking out from the backseat of my parent’s car at the moon one night as we were driving back from somewhere in the desert. In my memory the moon was, of course, full. It might not have been. One thing I was certain of, though, was that it followed us wherever we went. It didn’t matter if we turned left or right or headed straight: the moon just sat there in the sky in the same place. Wherever we went, there it was. Following.

Of course like everyone else, I eventually grew up and learned that the moon isn’t, in fact, real. The point, though, is that we have these notions and ideas that we grow up with or that we develop over time and we protect and defend these concepts with vigilance. We hold dear and hold tightly onto some of our beliefs. Sometimes the notions and ideas are true and sometimes, in fact, they aren’t true.

Later in my childhood, during the satin-tennis-shorts-and-tube-socks days of the early- to mid-70s, I became aware of an idea that has proven itself to be true over and over again:

Smile and the world smiles with you.

I believe that to be true. And here is some music to help you through the rest of this post. Because it’s happy.

In three weeks, I end this little stint that I’ve been engaged in for the past two years, driving around this town on my scooter, delivering sandwiches. I’ll be ending regular interactions with strangers. When I first started, it was awesome. Exciting. Who knew what would happen next?! I held a job wherein I was hand-delivering happiness by way of food to strangers, working for a restaurant who had the words “Enjoy Life Every Day” written in big letters across the awning of their little shop. A shop with all the warmth of a little family run business. A great job, really.

Days would come, though, that I didn’t want to be delivering. I didn’t want to interact. I would have a mood that was less than happy. I would be less than enthused, perhaps coming to work with the burden of something else on my mind. And I could not STAND delivering on those days because I didn’t want to let my negativity connect with anyone else and then have that negativity carry forth into some aspect of their lives. But a person can’t smile all the time. I can’t anyway. So I didn’t enjoy those days. Just too risky.

Now that I have less than a dozen days of work left, it’s easy to smile day in day out. Of course, work really has been enjoyable. I’ve really liked the people that I’ve worked with. It’s been fun. We have fun.

One of the managers there, Rashid, cracks me up. For a while, he referred to me as Gaston Lagaffe or sometimes Mr. Magoo because I seemed to blunder my way into odd scenarios which would work themselves out. All the time. Actually, that’s always been the case, me being in the middle of comically odd situations and getting out of them. Thank the heavens. But he’s a funny guy, Rashid. I’m glad I’ve gotten to know him. He came in one night while my shift was coming to a close and began doing a little work, prepping for the next day. He stopped, looked at me, and said with a smirk in that English-As-A-Second-Language dialect, “Hey, I don’t like doing your job!”
To which I naturally replied, “That makes two of us!”

I’ll miss laughing with others at work.

Sometimes, I would make little drawings on the paper towels that get placed on the metal trays underneath the layers of little sauces. That way, whenever whatever random employee hit the bottom of the tray, they’d be greeted with a lovely drawing. One time, someone actually hung up my “Dinosaur and Flowers” drawing on one of the fridges. Truly, it was a turd of a drawing, far worse than any 1st grade art. (No offense to first graders. Some of you are pretty awesome at drawing and stuff! And why are you reading this? This is “adult” talk. Granted, I’ll give you that you’re an advanced reader for getting this far, but seriously. Not for little ears.) It brought a smile to my face, though, seeing it on the fridge.

Lately, I’ve been telling everyone that I’m feeling pretty good about my chances of being employee of the month. Even though no such award exists. You would think I would get it just for my sheer optimism and go-getter determination to receive the award. As best as I can tell, I’m the only contender. Sure, other employees may work harder and be more deserving, but not really. The only reason anything gets done at work is because of me. I’m the only one that really works. And that’s not just me throwing my coworkers under the bus, that’s me driving the bus and running them over. And backing up to make sure I got everyone. Because I’m the only one there who knows how to drive the bus. It’s amazing they ran a successful business for almost a quarter of a century before I got there. I don’t know how they’re going to manage when I leave.

Anyway, it’s been fun. When I get to Costa Rica, I’m going to smile a lot. I hope that I get to smile regularly with others and don’t just spend my time practicing Spanish with monkeys. Which, by the way, I must say is coming along quite nicely. As a point of reference, I could actually write a better love song than this, replete with hugs, kisses, flowers, blue skies, AND directions to the bathroom. (This is, though, masterfully awesome!)

On a final note, here are some happy facts that a friend shared on Facebook the other day. THESE are the kind of friends I like having in my life. :)

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