There's a line (attributed to Plato here and there, but who knows) that I run through my head on repeat when things get a little (or a lot) sucky in my world: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle."
I've called upon those words a lot in the past few weeks, what with the discovery that I owe a staggering amount in taxes (staggering amount paid in estimateds last year evidently notwithstanding), the sudden and unexplained disappearance of the latest garçon, and continued slogging to make up for the slowness of business over the past few months.
And here's what really blows: this month in particular, it seems like Plato is more right than ever. So many people in my life, relatively speaking, have been socked with crap lately. One client is in the midst of a sad and painful separation. Another is contending with a very serious and totally unexpected health issue. My cousin, whose father-in-law recently died after a battle with leukemia, found out today that her 6-year-old son has cancer.
I could go on, but I'll stop the litany there, because I think you get the point.
In a client's office yesterday, I stood for a moment in front of the vase of daffodils set on the reception desk and leaned in to inhale. I had forgotten how daffodils smell: like newness, like starting again, like spring. Like some vague--if frequently un-keepable--promise that sooner or later, things will turn around and the loss and falling and failing and sadness will stop.
Because the receptionist was away from the desk, I lingered longer than I might have otherwise, with my face basically in the bouquet. I breathed in that smell, said a silent Please, and then walked away to lose myself in work. Because how much power can daffodils have against the world?