Everyday thoughts on
By a human aspiring to be a cat
Some years ago now, my dear friend and colleague and I used to frequent one particular pizza joint that was walking distance from our work. We'd order a couple slices, a couple beverages, and a basket of jalapeño poppers. And every time when the poppers arrived, after taking his first bite, my friend would say:
"The poppers are especially good today!"
It didn't matter if we were there for lunch or dinner, if it was sunny or rainy, if we had a productive or frustrating day. It didn't matter if it had been a month since our last visit or if we had already been there a couple times earlier that same week. It didn't matter how hungry we were, or who was on staff that day. Without fail, every time we were there he would say those same exact words: "The poppers are especially good today!"
There was no magic or amnesia or groundhog involved, and the recipe wasn't adjusted or refined from day to day. The poppers were exactly the same every time. One day we had a good laugh when he caught himself saying his usual line and then added: "Ha, I just said that yesterday, didn't I..." It became a sort of joke between us. But we kept ordering the especially-good-today poppers, and the tradition continued.
It didn't occur to me until years later, after my friend had moved away to a different state, that the especially-good-today poppers had nothing to do with the poppers themselves and everything to do with the company and the relationship we had built while we worked together. I've been to that pizza joint a few times since, and the poppers weren't all that special, no matter if it was sunny or rainy, if it had been a good day or not, or how hungry I was. Still the same poppers as before... but different now. There were no celebrations, no sorrows, no frustrations and no wisdoms shared over these new poppers. They were not infused with the most important ingredients: friendship, love, and trust. They were just plain poppers.
I've come to a realization that it doesn't matter nearly as much what it is that you do, as how you're doing it. And especially, with whom you're doing it, because that often affects the how part of things. One person might inspire you to explore a new hobby and stick with it. One person might teach you to untangle some bad habits you've picked up over the years. One person might make the mundane days at work exciting and full of unique moments and opportunities. There is an infinite wealth of knowledge we can exchange with each other that can trigger our imagination and unlock a new ambition, a new passion, or a new respect, whether it's for something we've never tried before or for the everyday things we take for granted. Take a minute to listen and to share, and you might find your life enriched with something that's especially-good-today every day. And maybe you'll find yourself with a new friend, too. :-)