Today was, well, one of those days when you get out of the wrong side of bed and expect that everything will go downhill from there – which it does if you let it i.e. if you feed your inner grump with negative energy.
The alarm summoned me from a deep sleep ….. well, I knew there would be days like this, which is why I chose this, particular alarm, shrill doesn’t really describe its tone! Fact is, once I was sufficiently awake, I remembered it was entirely my own fault for staying up late searching the internet for material for an English lesson today. Fact One: I allow myself to wander whenever I am on the internet, so I probably could have been in bed at least an hour earlier than I had been. Fact Two: I’d had all of two weeks to prepare this lesson, and whilst what I wanted to do was all planned in my head I hadn’t researched the information I needed to do it.
I had had the gumption to get all my papers together for the respective parts of my day, lay out my clothes and make a prioritized list of all the tasks I had to accomplish. This was going to be a busy day, and remember I have been out of work for two months now…..so it is no longer the norm in my world.
Showered, dressed, smeared a bit of makeup on my eyes, put on coffee, took Trixy for a quick drag around the block. All accomplished, to my surprise with perfect timing.
Drove to Los Cristianos. First task to pay the fee for my photo course, which is sponsored by the local authority. Their system is to go to their offices, register and be given a slip of paper. That slip you take to the Caja Canarias, and pay the course fee in there. Full of efficiency I had attempted to do this the same day I registered. However, on that day, two weeks ago, they refused to accept my payment because it was after 11am, and they only accepted local authority payments up to 11am. (Can I see throwing up of hands amongst my friends who have never lived in the Canary Islands?)
The bank’s system then required me to select an option from a machine at the entrance, take a ticket and wait until my number came up. Of course I chose the wrong option, how could I not do with all this negative energy around me? Start all over again……Note to Caja Canarias – if you are going to teach your grumpy staff to say “Have a nice day”, teach them HOW to say it too!
You see how grumps are infectious? They just attract more, like magnets!
In the end, I arrived in time, and happy to see the great teachers I have for this course, but to find there was a slight delay and the class would start at 10.30 and not 9.30.
Bemoaning the missed hour in bed, I took myself down to the little bar we frequented when I worked in Los Cristianos, Bar Venezuela, and ordered what used to be my “usual” – a slice of freshly-made tortilla española and a capuchino. Now, I used to breakfast on this at least twice a week f or around 3 years, so you can believe me when I say it used to be great. The tortilla was invariably just-out-of-the-pan fresh, chock full of chorizo or peppers or whatever Salvador had handy on the morning. Today it was cold and dry and flavorless. The cappuchino I used to crave was also cold, not so strong and was slopping all over the cup. What did I tell you about negative energy?
I had been reading for around five minutes,when a young woman in a shell suit brushed by my table and left a note and one of those beaded bracelets which are so fashionable at the moment. The photocopied note asked for a donation as she was homeless and had a family to feed.
Now, I am not clueless, and generally around here I don’t give to “beggars” (yes, of course, if they look 90 years old or are missing limbs, but not to the round-faced young woman who sits on the steps at the entrance to the shopping center – she of the 1001 gypsy skirts, nor to the older one who hangs around near the bank – how’s that for guilting you when you’ve just drawn out money?), but the bracelet gave me pause for thought, and I watched her working the other tables, and saw peoples’ indifference, and my heart went out to her. OK, maybe she reported back half her earnings to a pimp, but the fact is in this god-awful employment climate what chance does she have of finding a job?
I asked her where she came from. She named a village which is, essentially, an immigrant community, people from all over the world who can’t afford to pay the exorbitant rental charges in the resort areas, or can’t afford to live inland with the locals because they can’t afford the transport. “No,” I said, “I mean what country”. She mumbled. Maybe she spoke less Spanish than I thought, maybe she just wasn’t going to let on. I didn’t press her. It’s not the first time I’ve come across this, and I understand the reasons. She thanked me for the €3 (a couple of dollars) and left. Andre, the waiter, said “There’s always someone asking for money these days”. I agreed, “It’s the times we live in”.
It won’t take anyone more than a second to trace my line of thought. I don’t have much these days, mainly because of my own stupidity, but I do have a darn sight more than she does. As I put my new cellphone back into my backpack, alongside my new camera, thought about the course I am doing, and how the rest of my day was going to be blessed with good stuff my mood shifted dramatically. Maybe the cappuchino, despite its temperature, contained more caffeine than I thought, but suddenly I was wide awake, and grateful for everything around and everything that lay ahead.
The day took on a whole new demeanour. The positive energy had kicked in and was calling out to its ilk. The photo session was fascinating. My appointed English lesson was interesting and enjoyable. I downed a luscious meatball sub on a Parmesan-flavored roll. I got another half hour of reading time before I went up to the Center for the beginners’ class, where we had lots of laughs – which involved M & Ms.
I took the long way home, winding, back roads which take me along country lanes lined at the moment by wild lavender and margaritas, and through a small valley where lush vineyards nestle, before I reach the coast road, and the ocean breeze slightly rocks my car. As I turned my key in the lock I could hear Trixy’s tail thumping out a greeting.
I’ve eaten, I’ve checked my emails, I’ve checked out what my friends on Facebook are doing, I studied a bit, and I’ve written this. It’s past eleven, I got little sleep last night, and yet I am wide awake, without the assistance of caffeine or alcohol or anything else. I am skipping on hope, gratitude and adrenaline. I know the future is uncertain, but I also know I had proof today of the power of positive energy, the possibilities which open up if we grab at those possibilities and stay positive.
How, on earth, I wonder, could I ever have been so grumpy this morning? And now I have a new bracelet to remind me to count my blessings in future.