Yesterday I spent some time on the road. I stopped at a restaurant for dinner. I was seated at a table, where I patiently waited while reading the short stories of J.D. Salinger. A waitress brought me a glass of water, then promised to return to take my order. Several moments later she returned with a styrofoam box, set it in front of me, said “Thanks for stopping by tonight,” and walked away. I sat there looking at the box, confused.
Two minutes later she returned, looking embarrassed. “I’m sorry, that box is for another table. I still didn’t take your order, did I? I’m sorry, today has been a long day. It’s almost over, but it’s been one of those days.” I told her I knew something about those days.
After I finished my meal she asked me if I wanted a box for my book.
That challenged me, for right now I’m in the dissertation writing process. I feel like most days are “one of those days.” Seeing this waitress (I forget her name) keep her sense of humor in the midst of a long day reminded me of the importance of maintaining perspective. Life might be stressful but it is still to be savored.
I left her a 65% tip.