A couple of days ago, however, I was jolted out of my usual rhythm by song and camaraderie. The aide, an African-American woman in her late fifties or early sixties suddenly pumped up the volume of the radio to Top of the World by the Carpenters and began singing and dancing in her seat - loudly! First I was surprised to find a fellow 'guilty pleasure' Carpenters' lover and then everyone in the pool who knew the words started singing while exercising, including me. We were laughing and smiling and nodding to each other as we reveled in the common love of a duo and their famous song and the little secret we all shared because who admits they treasure the pop music of the Carpenters? The mood was elevated ten-fold.
My second surprise was a follow-up chat with a woman who was expressing concern that one of our regulars wasn't there. It seems the fellow, who had lost 100 pounds in recent months by working out in this exercise pool, was not able to afford the monthly fee of $50 to $75 and she was concerned that he wouldn't return. I suggested we take up a collection and she confided in me that she had been paying for him for the past two months and was more than willing to pay for him again. She explained that she was an 'old' woman who had been fortunate to receive a family inheritance and "what else should she use it for except to help others?" We further introduced ourselves and talked about this extraordinary and silent philanthropy and she swore me to secrecy. We separated as we continued our routines and I couldn't stop smiling.
I showered, dressed and left, waving goodbye to my new'friends and thanking the lovely aide for the special musical treat. It IS the small things, I allowed myself to believe and gave pause and a prayer for Karen Carpenter who died so young of yet another disease, anorexia.
Finally, today author, radio host and public speaker Jillian Maas Backman and a recent Facebook friend, posted that she was dedicating today to promoting others' projects or stories instead of her own. Page views of 'Dying to Live' spiked after Jillian so kindly made this offer and allowed me to post my link. She also used her Twitter account to spread the word, one facet of social media I have yet to join. (I'm still trying to figure out Google Chrome's Circles!). Well, I hope to make my new readers proud and I am keeping my eyes and ears open for other small surprises that will highlight this holiday season for me.
What small surprises have popped up in your lives lately?
Photo from http://www.richardandkarencarpenter.com/