This is a story about the power of mindset and kindness.
My 87-year-old mom is safely, successfully, back at home, after a four-day trip to and from St. Louis, through LaGuardia airport and onto a destination wedding at a beautiful farm in a small town in Connecticut. It was her first outing since she broke her leg a year ago.
How will she physically navigate this? How will I not lose my s$&% when she says things like “I’ll pack a new box of Wheat Thins in case they don’t have food I can eat there.” I hear a Seinfeld-esque voice saying “Ma! They have crackers in New York! George, tell her they have crackers in New York!” as George chimes in, “They have crackers in New York, Mrs. Seinfeld.”
Shift your mindset for positive outcomes.
I credit a friend for helping me to shift my mindset and relax. “Think of it this way,” she said. “You are the star of a sitcom and this is the episode where you take your mom to New York for the wedding.”
As a sitcom, this was comedy gold! There was the $106 half-mile limo ride from the airport terminal to the rental car counter (Are you kidding? Have you seen how high those free shuttle bus steps are? said mom in response to the driver’s “you know it’s right there, right?”) That took only 20 minutes less time than the entire flight from Saint Louis to New York City. Then there was the scene with the lone wasp in the bathroom, spied from inside the shower, and two fretting, allergic, ladies, the be-toweled hero saving the day with a can of Clorox disinfectant spray.
And who doesn’t love a repetitive callback in comedy? That would be the doorknob that fell off in your hand effectively locking you in or out depending on where you stood whenever you opened the door, and the intermittent GPS that took us on 20-minute perilous drives to the wedding events from our Airbnb, which had been conveniently, strategically, booked only 3 miles and 5 minutes away from the venue.
Within every sitcom, however, come the obligatory, heartwarming moments.
That’s when all the characters realize what’s truly meaningful in life. Spending time with your mom while you still can. Witnessing a stunningly beautiful wedding, so full of love, celebrated with friends and family…and the most adorable 2-year-old twins ever, wearing tuxes and bearing rings.
But mostly, it was the kindness of strangers (and loved ones) that made the difference.
There was the tender TSA agent (also a mom and daughter herself) who helped my mom through security. And every single wheelchair porter who stayed by our side until we were settled where we needed to be next. 19-year-old server Kayla at the diner was a hero, bringing my mom a side of chocolate chips because “Where’s the chips? I’ll tell you something, this is no chocolate chip cookie.” (that’s in the sitcom script).
And so many more moments, every step of the way.
Be kind. Recognize kindness in others.
When the world is so screwy and the public discourse can be so mean, it’s amazing to see that kindness is alive and kicking across America. Kudos to the Kind Commercial (to tie this back to marketing) which points out that you don’t have to be a Nobel Prize winner to change the world—or at least one individual’s world.
You just have to be kind and be grateful for kindness. That’s something you can do right now, right where you are.