I was up to my elbows in the grumpies a few weeks ago.
An annual affliction brought on by short, grey days, cold weather, and the grudging realization that I needed to start wearing my long johns, an added layer of undergarments, for the forseeable future.
Technically I guess it’s known as S.A.D., or seasonal affective disorder.
I am not alone in my discomforting disorder, although women reportedly suffer from it more than men.
A season that arguably begins when Daylight Savings Time ends, and ends when Daylight Savings Time begings.
Some people grow depressed, withdrawn, sad.
I get grumpy.
Everything gets on my last nerve.
I become extra road-ragey in the car.
I feel it is my right to be irritated at even the slightest affront.
That day, a few weeks ago, I was in full irritation mode.
I was ready to snap.
I was muttering to myself about some perceived injustice while shopping at the local No Frills store.
When something unimaginable happened.
As I was checking out, the checkout lady helped me pack my groceries.
That has never, ever happened before.
And it is something that I am pretty sure should never happen at a No Frills.
That is part of the drill at No Frills, right?
Part of the lack of frills is the privilege to pack your own groceries, perhaps even in your own shopping bags that you bring into the store.
Well, whether that lady had nothing better to do, or just sensed that I needed some extra, tender loving care, she packed my groceries into my own shopping bags that I brought into the store.
It still brings a tear to my eye.
I was so overcome by the sheer generousness and unselfishness of that lady’s actions, that I immediately lost all sense of my grumpies. They were replaced with joy, sunshine, and a feeling that all is right with the world.
It was an incredible transformation.
That one small act of kindness, for whatever reason, whatever the motivation, and perhaps at the risk of getting into trouble from her superiors, that lady changed my day.
A polar reversal.
A total eclipse of my mood.
I regret not catching her name. Not looking at her name badge. I should have, so I could have sent a letter or email to let her employer know how she changed one person’s day from bad to good in mere moments. With that small act of helping someone pack their groceries.
I still think about that day when I feel a full set of the grumpies come calling.
Which it often does this time of year.
However, for whatever reason, perhaps the double dose of Vitamin D I have been taking daily, perhaps the odd rays of sunshine here and there, perhaps just thinking back on how that day turned from dark to bright in a mere act of kindness, I will persevere.
I know Spring is just around the corner.
Wiarton Willie said so.