Brigitte has been cutting my hair for quite a while now. We have both watched each other age -- that's how long I have known her. She is doing it more gracefully than I am.
Tonight while I sat at Starbucks and read my book I realized I am due for a shearing. So, without an appointment, I floored it to the Mall where she works and she was busy when I arrived. She seemed flustered when I hesitated at her suggestion that I return tomorrow evening, finally saying, "Can you give me half an hour, though?"
"Sure," I said. "No problem at all."
I got a cranberry-lemon muffin from the place next door and sat at a table in the main aisle of the Mall, outside the barber shop. [It's actually called The Barber Shop]. Continuing on with my book, I kept glancing up where I could see her in the reflections of the hundred mirrors of the place. She did not have another client after the one that had just left. Instead, Brigitte just sat there in the chair that I would soon occupy, sipping on a coffee, running her hands through her incredible mane of hair and ponderously thinking.
At exactly half an hour, she popped out into the bustle of the Mall, saw me, and said, "Are you ready now?"
The reason I am relating this story is because as I sat and had my ears lowered, she mentioned at least five times how appreciative she was that I had afforded her that half hour. For me, it was not an imposition or a chore at all -- but to her, it was extremely necessary to sit there for that space of time and "collect her thoughts" as she put it.
It made me think of times when people have been patient with me when I have been down and out.
Sometimes you need a break.
A break that does not have to be earned or explained -- just a break.
I myself have needed a break lately, and I am so appreciative of the friends that have left comments on my blog. Things like "have a nice re-think" and "come back soon" and "I cannot live without you" etc. [OK, admittedly, I made that last one up!]
The past few days, my life-long friend has been giving me some terrific over-the-phone counselling -- and during one of our sessions he said something so profound, I want to tell you of it. He said, "The distance between your expectations and what is, is called frustration."
It really helped me. I think there is great wisdom in that statement and it can be applied in so many ways. On the face of it, there is a tendency to equate it with the idea of simply lowering one's expectations. As though that would cure all ills.
But I tend to interpret it as meaning one should strive to have more realistic expectations. It's not advocating pessimism as much as it is endorsing a truer sense of things, of what is.
Being true to yourself.
At this point you may be wondering what any of this has to do with an image of a box of beer, above.
Well -- see, it's part of my ongoing therapy.
On the way home, in honour of being more and more "true to myself" I knew that my expectations of even this evening here would be heightened…. yea, accentuated, if you will -- if I just had a couple of brewskis.
So far it is working. Re-thinking my inks while I be-drinking my drinks!
Therapy. Therapy, my friends.
Sometimes we just need to do what we need to do to be what we need to be.