Yesterday morning I came home from church and wrote a short post designed to vent my spleen as anonymously as possible. I had had a committee meeting at 8:15 and a class to present at 9:30. Thanks to DST, it felt like both started an hour earlier than indicated by the clock, and people were functioning on little sleep -- many of us having endured restless nights wondering if clocks were set correctly and would go off on time.
I had spent a lot of time preparing for both meeting and class and made every effort to arrive well in advance. It was another person's delayed arrival that knocked everything off kilter, and by the end of the morning I was awash in self-pity. Objectively speaking, there was no reason for my overdone angst: all had gone well and many compliments had ensued. I was the only person who had had a completely different vision of the morning, so I was the only person who even suspected how much better it might have been.
Fast forward to Major Evening Event at which a colleague of mine was being honored for a decade of brilliant and caring work. Over and over again, speakers marvelled at her understated demeanor, her modesty, and her broad range of achievements.
Another colleague sat next to me and muttered angrily thoughout the evening. Similarly honored several years ago, she had been stung by an unfortunate oversight and, not only has she not forgotten it, she has been busy constructing an Everest-height scaffold of resentment. To that she has added any number of frustrations, and her general demeanor, of which she is completely unaware, is one of bitterness and resentment.
It was an experience to sit between those two women. One sees possibilities and good in all things, works tirelessly, and never draws attention to herself. The other always finds the splinter, never forgets to remind you of the hours she put in over the weekend, and somehow manages to deflect attention from even the most significant honoree of the year to herself.
Sorta put my morning and my reaction thereto into perspective.