Friday, April 17, 2009

Being Surprised by Joy

I woke up this morning prepared to grind through the day--an all day workshop with a meeting downtown that I needed to scramble to during the lunch break. I had a heaviness about me...a Friday that was going to be loooong (followed by an equally long Saturday at the workshop--no weekend for me).

On top of that, I forgot my cell phone and had to go back home to get it. I check my email quickly, and came upon a video. It's a delightful video where Susan Boyle, unemployed, in none-too-fashionable clothes tells Simon Cowell and the others that she wants to be a famous singer. The 47 year old self-profed never-been-kissed woman is clearly object of ridicule as people roll their eyes at her dream. They are laughing AT her...and then their jaws drop when she opens her mouth and sings in soul-shivering beauty that had tears rolling down my face. The judges admit with shame that they had prejudged unfairly, and have little trouble aknowledging that she's awesome. She's giddy with delight. The audience giggles nervously feeling foolish for having judged her.

I realized that the tears were a reflection of the joy. It was wonderful to see someone who has struggled and hasn't always felt esteem in the eyes of others succeed big. There's a part in each of us that feels vulnerable and not accepted--my inner geek felt like one of my own "made it". And if she can make it, then others can make it. If she can make it, there's hope for all of us.

So, I skipped out the door to class, an unexpected lightness in my step. The day was interesting, but I knew it would feel long--sitting for hours on end trying to take in reams of information would be exhausting. Then...another surprise...

Behind the speaker was a window. We were on the second floor...outside the window was a back lane, and 1/2 a block away at the end of the lane was a school yard. Suddenly it was flooded with children laughing and playing, running back and forth, chasing balls and each other. I couldn't hear them but I could imagine hearing the sounds of children enjoying recess. They came out at lunch and again in the afternoon. The delight of watching children enjoying the spring weather was spectacular...those times were little treats that helped the day fly by.

But the joy wasn't over yet. Tara Sheppard, one of our therapists, is going up north to present a workshop next week to workers at a women's shelter. The work at a women's shelter is hard...the stories that are heard are full of pain and trauma, the women that desire help come with huge needs, and sometimes the fear in them has them resist the very help they ask for, and the resources available are often exceeded by the need. It's tough to work at a women's shelter. One of things we wanted to do at the workshop was have the staff feel a little pampered and cared for. Care for the caregivers, y'know? Melanie, our receptionist, went out shopping to buy some supplies that would allow the women to feel a little special. The good folks at Shopper's Drug Mart caught the vision and ran with it. They gave us little samples of all sorts of things...enough for each of the staff to have little lotions, face mask stuff. COOL!! The kindness towards people they will never meet--heartwarming. I could just imagine the faces of the shelter staff next week. How neat is that!

I feel like I was the one rolling my eyes at the day, and now it has had the last laugh--the long dreary day that it was supposed to be was replaced by one that will be remembered for it's pleasures.

1 comment:

Kara said...

I too was amazed at the video of Susan Boyle. I watched it the other night and also found myself getting a little weapy. What a courageous woman!
Blessings to you today as you head off to work - I'm headed there as well. May there be many little joy moments in your day.