Mental Health

Mom

Today my favorite FedEx delivery person stopped by my work to do her usual mail drop off. Her name is Marilyn and she’s awesome. I would say she’s middle aged (old enough to be my mother), African American, pretty sure she has cornrows, and is always able to make conversation about absolutely anything. Either she comes in and starts talking about something that’s been on her mind, or I tell her something about my weekend or how I’m doing, and she always has something substantial to respond to whatever I say. I really like Marilyn. I feel like we’re friends, even though I’ve only been working here for a little over a month.

Every time Marilyn leaves, I have a smile on my face and I feel genuinely happier. There’s something about people who are able to feel comfortable with whomever they speak to, and she’s definitely one of them. They’re just so genuine, and you don’t get the polite, almost rehearsed “Hi, how are you?” – which by the way, I sometimes get annoyed with because I’m pretty sure most people who ask that don’t actually care to know exactly how you’re doing. And most people don’t feel to be the most genuine or open about how they’re doing, so they just say “good” in order to end the conversation right then and there. It’s more like a quick formal greeting, I think. And I’m finding myself more and more guilty of asking this question heartlessly and answering this question in the quickest way possible to get it over with – but does that make me a liar? Hm. O Lord. Maybe sometimes it does, but other times it may just be common courtesy, or even a manifestation of professionalism in the working world.

But Marilyn, she doesn’t always just say “good.” One time if I recall correctly, I asked how she was doing and she said something along the lines of, “You know, I’ve been thinking a lot about retirement savings… Yeah, It’s really good…” And she looked like she genuinely meant what she was saying, and this really was something she had been considering. She really saw the benefit to saving for retirement. And how sweet it was that she would share that piece of her life with me!

Another time, she came up to our beautiful office and told me, “You know, every time I come up here I feel like I’m in a tree house. When I was younger my dream home used to be a tree house with a hammock…But by the time I retire I won’t be able to climb all the way up there anymore.” That really made me laugh – I never would have thought of a tree house with a hammock during my first day of work here.

And another time, she told me how another person she delivers mail to just had a baby – like it was her own family member who had a baby. It just seems like she treats everyone as family. Oh, the thing to note about the woman who had a baby is that it was going to be her first mother’s day! How sweet!

One time Marilyn stopped by to make her usual delivery and her response to my polite “How are you?” was that she can’t complain because there’s so much to be grateful for. I was a little taken back by what she said, but it got me thinking, wow, I have so much to be thankful for. I also wondered if she was a Christian. I believe my speculation was correct when she told me last Friday that she was gonna go to church that weekend, and then take her visiting relative around to see places afterwards. I was happy to hear that she went to church, since even after a month working at this office, still no ones knows that I’m a Christian, even though that’s a huge part of my identity. So hearing that Marilyn was going to church, I finally got to tell someone while at work, “Oh I go to church too!” It felt so good to be genuine, unlike other times when my co-workers asked if I had weekend plans or was doing anything fun, to which I would respond, “Ummm I don’t know,” when in reality, I do (most of the time) enjoy “going to church” though “fun” probably wouldn’t be the word I’d use to describe it.

Today, my friend Marilyn asked me how my weekend was, and if I had a good Mother’s Day, to which I responded “Yes, except my mom is on the other side of the country.” Her simple yet thought-provoking reply was, “But you still have her.” Through just that one short sentence, she infused into me a deeper appreciation for my own mother, whom I’ve called “mommy” (or “mami”) for as long as I can remember. My mother whom I still have, and who is fully supportive of me, just as she was always there to support me in every stage, at every juncture of my life. My mother who tried to teach me many things she’s learned from her own life experience, many things which I was stubborn about receiving. And then years later in my adult life, I’ve been learning a lot from my own mistakes that probably could have been reduced if only I had listened to dear mommy.

I’m thankful for my wonderful mother. I can’t believe she had me when she was exactly my age, 26… I guess I shouldn’t compare myself to her because of the generation difference. Otherwise compared to her I’d be way behind in life, since I’m already 26 and still unmarried. Nowhere near having a baby yet.

I was recently introduced to the “5 Minute Journal” App, which I highly recommend. It’s supposed to have psychological benefits, and is based on studies related to our psychological well being. It’s a very quick mental/soul exercise which I believe is good for your health (happy soul = healthier body). Every day you get to write down 3 things you’re grateful for, among other little things to write down. On that note, today my 3 things are related to things/persons I have that I usually take for granted:

  1. My mother whom I love and still have
  2. My father whom I love and still have
  3. My health – the fact that I can still breathe today

I’m a little sad to say that I’ll be leaving my job to start another one in a week. I will definitely miss Marilyn, as well as the other delivery people who stop by and know me by my first or last name (yes, or), including Peter and Bob among others. I’ve actually run into Peter on the street after work before, and it’s really nice to be able to greet each other by first name, as if we’re old friends.

I’m scared to tell these regular visitors about my coming departure to another office where I can advance my career – I guess with everything in life there’s always some kind of sacrifice. I also haven’t told any of my dear co-workers. I don’t know what’s better – letting them know much earlier or just a tiny bit earlier. I kind of just like having normal work days where there isn’t a “she’s leaving” factor affecting any of the normal daily happenings.

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