I have been off work this week with a sinus infection and everyone knows Im not very good at sitting still and doing nothing so it has been extremely frustrating for me. The most awesome thing did happen to me though by complete chance.
My neighbour knocked on the door one night asking me if I could not leave my front door light on again that night. I haven’t spoken to this neighbour in quite a while, we know each other’s names but that’s about it. In all honesty she usually only talks to me when she’s complaining about something, which she used to do on a regular basis. My overall impression of her had always been that she was just a grumpy, lonely old lady who wanted to meddle in everyone else’s business because she disliked her own life.
Anyway, when she came the other night, to politely complain this time, I explained to her that I only left the light on because my partner was working night shift and needed to see when he came home at 2am in the morning. It’s extremely dark near our front door at night; however our front door light shines into her bedroom window. She then went on to explain how I could get him to go buy a small torch for the keys etc and straight out demanded to know if I was on holidays because I had been home the past few days. I politely said I would leave the light off and explained I had been home because I was off work as I was sick (I really didn’t have the energy to get into an argument so just agreed she was right and gave in). She seemed to mellow after that and was asking me how I was and about my divorce and how everything was going. She seemed kind of sympathetic at that point and then left. I merely thought she was happy she got her way and that I wasn’t being confrontational (my ex always had big arguments with her).
The next day there was a knock at the door and it was her again. My immediate thought was what have I done now I left the light off surely there is nothing else to complain about? To my surprise she had knocked on my door because she had bought me a present because I was sick. She had taken the time to go out and buy me chocolate, wrap it AND buy me a get well card too! Total and utter shock I cried and hugged her (and on the inside felt like a bitch for all my previous assumptions about her). I could not believe that someone who is pretty much a stranger to me took the effort to go and do that for me off the back of one simple 5min conversation the night before. It made me feel so amazing! Sounds so stupid but being stuck at home with a clogged up face and only crappy daytime tv for entertainment I was starting to feel very sorry for myself and so lonely. To have someone acknowledge that I existed and express sympathy in that way made me feel like I matter. The fact that it came from someone I normally don’t interact with made it more special.
Such a simple act of kindness meant so much to me I just had to share it. Please remember that no matter how small of a gesture you make to someone you can have such a big impact.
You always have the power to brighten someone else’s day.