A Thank You Left Unexpressed

Today my leave-behind here is short and simple; a short story of unexpressed gratitude from yesterday about 5:25pm.

Late afternoon rolled around with an appointment for my every five-week haircut. Driving in the peak of late day drive-time traffic, my departure from work was later than it should have been.

As I drove my mind was a flurry of activity that included discussing an issue on a long phone call with a co-worker, concern about getting to my appointment late, reminding myself to stop at the pharmacy on my way home and then getting caught in traffic where two lanes are narrowed into one. It is there the subject of this story lies.

1) It is a personal pet-peeve about people who can clearly see the signs that a lane is closed, but chose to go down the closed lane as far as possible before merging (called a “zipper merge” I read somewhere). Of course, doing that slows down the lane that is open where everyone else has orderly lined up soon after seeing the signage.

  • Admission: In my haste yesterday I was one of those people. In my efforts to get to my destination I disregarded what I should have done to serve my own selfish need. Of course, it’s a little thing, but one I wish to apologize for to those who “followed the unwritten merge rule” . It’s fascinating to me what a human being can justify when they feel cornered; even me.

2) Even though I ‘cheated’ by going down the closed lane as far as I could, there was someone kind enough to let me in. That is one of the wonderful things about living where I do; people are genuinely good and thoughtful. What I regret is pulling into the space the person gave me, but never acknowledging them. Another peeve is letting someone in and not getting some sort of customary signal of thanks. Being late and caught up in my own “stuff” I disregarded expressing gratitude for a small kindness. So lost was I at that moment I could not tell you if the driver was a man or woman, much less what type of car they were driving.

  • My small retribution for a thank you left unexpressed: To that nameless, faceless person who let me merge in traffic yesterday, this morning I say “thank you” and apologize I did not express my gratitude at the very moment of your kindness.

Today I will be a little more aware of each kindness shown me and a bit more expressive of my gratitude for each one. For the small lesson of yesterday I am grateful and even more so for my awareness to notice it.

Happiness cannot be traveled to,
owned, earned, worn or consumed.
Happiness is the spiritual experience
of living every minute
with love, grace, and gratitude.
Denis Waitley