Somehow, I'm still finding sparkly bits on the floor when I sweep. I'm choosing to see this as a wonderful omen for 2023. I wonder if, like me, you hear the voice in your head saying, "Please 2023, just allow me to keep hugging people..."
Isn't it strange how our perceptions of what's truly important change? Wishing for a lottery win pales in comparison to putting your arms around someone you love and have missed.
The arrival of a New Year brings thoughtful reflection on what led me to this place in my life and who touched my heart along the way.
For many years, I made a living by working in restaurants. It was stressful and many times exhausting, but I think it made me appreciate aspects of my life that I would have missed otherwise.
P___ was a musician, also working as a short order cook in a pizza place. When he arrived at the pub that day, he was unshowered (and probably hungover), with dark circles under his eyes. He looked at the coins in his hand and ordered only a cup of soup. I delivered it with extra crackers which were free. We chatted as usual, then he apologized for not being able to leave me much of a tip. I told him that the important thing was our conversation and that other people would tip me later on.
When I cleared the table, there was a small pile of coins, from the deepest part of his pocket. He hadn't counted it, just left all of it for me. In the little pile was his guitar pick. To me, this was worth more than gold. It was part of who he was: the musician; the artist.
F___ worked with me for years and we were buddies. He was the only one who could decipher my rushed handwriting, the only one who could tell if I was having a good day or not. F___ loved to cook and was studying for his Red Seal Certificate.
One day he brought his girlfriend to meet me and they had lunch at one of my tables so we could visit. She was lovely and adored him, which made me adore her.
As they got ready to leave, F___ asked, "So, you probably want a good tip, eh?" I laughed and said, "You bet, Pal!" He told me my tip was under his coffee cup. When I lifted it, written on the cardboard coaster was: "TIP: Don't eat yellow snow!" I hadn't had a belly laugh like that in a long time. F___ and his girlfriend were also laughing as they peeked through the window to see my reaction.
F___ was stolen from us by a drunk driver. I am so grateful that I had him as a friend. That cardboard coaster still makes me smile.
Friends, in these days of "clobbering clutter", I invite you to find a couple of items from people who have touched your life. Put those things in your jewelry box because it's those things and not gold that are the real treasures.
Wishing you every joy in 2023.
Thank you for spending this time with me,