My bank recently put in two drive-thru ATM machines on one wall.
It’s actually pretty genius, since most people seem to just pull up for some quick cash and keep going.
A couple of weeks ago, we were in the car on a blistering hot day finishing the last of some afternoon errands.
Wonder Boy was jammin’ along to Inside Riot with me when we pulled into my ever-lucky left side teller machines. Both cars started to move at the same time and cheered inside with my luck, since all of the vents in the car point back on the boys and was feeling sweaty.
However, the SUV in front of my pulled up to the first and stopped.
I honked. I yelled something to her through the closed windows of my car and made dagger eyes as hard as I could.
The woman inside of it got out, looked at me, and then took the one step over to the teller window and proceeded to do a month’s worth of banking.Over her frizzy hair, I could see the sad lonely machine waiting for someone to come use it.
I was livid.
I took a deep breath, and looked back at Wonder Boy.
“Hey buddy,” I said. “I am SO frustrated. She should have pulled up to the first machine so we both could use it. She is being selfish.”
“I’m frustrated too,” he said. He wanted to be home, with a snack, and better air conditioning.
I have not been handling my stress well lately. I snap easily, I am always tired, and I cry out of frustration more than my son should see. But I try to hold one though close to my heart, even though I am no Buddhist.
“Have I told you about karma, buddy?”
He shook his head.
“Well, we could be mad, and yell, and say bad things because we are frustrated she isn’t using the teller right and now we have to wait. But, instead, lets think good thoughts. See, buddy, when you think good things and do good things, good energy will be around you. If you’re bad and mean, you will have bad things around you.”
I looked over at his sleeping baby brother, cheeks pinkish with the heat of the day, snoring peacefully.
“See? He can take a nice long nap. We can listen to Uncle David’s new CD some more and you can rock out in the back seat with your air guitar some more. We can sit and talk together and spend time together.”
“Yay!” he cheered.
As hard as it is some days, I try to point out the positive. Yesterday I had a hard day, feeling left out, defeated and failing. The dollars are definitely flying out faster than they are in.
Yesterday I also signed up for a course in college.
It’s hard, really hard, to focus on the positives some days, to hear beyond what my own head is screaming in my ears.
Living with grace in moments where you can do nothing about it, or when you feel you are swimming upstream, is SO hard. But worth it.
And starting my own kids down the road of focusing on the positive in moments when your frustration bubbles over like rice in a pot, is something else i can put on my imaginary shelf of accomplishments, to dust off and admire when I need most.