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A few weeks ago my family spent a lovely weekend at the lake. Summer weekends were soon coming to an end but this one was perfect. Sunny skies, gentle warm breezes, calm waters and a boat waiting to take us wherever we pleased. Our only decision was would we eat at home or take a picnic. Our daughter ended any debate with a vocal PICNIC!

The crew (aka my husband and two lovely children) readied the boat and I readied the picnic. It wasn’t anything fancy, just a plain old last minute throw together picnic lunch – which really are my favourite kind anyway.

We launched the boat and as we pulled away, there was our dog on the dock, tail a wagging. He didn’t seem interested in swimming to join us so of course, it meant docking the boat again. We enjoyed the beauty of the day with hardly another soul about. After a while we cruised up to our favourite spot – no one in sight, the ruins of an old stone barn just off shore, fine sand beaches beckoning us. As we prepared to put onto shore I turned and reached for the picnic basket.

It wasn’t there. As we all proceeded to blame each other I held up my hands. “Look on the bright side, we can go get the basket.”  Off we went back across the lake to the boat launch where we were parked. No picnic basket.  It was back at our place, where everyone had walked right past it!

Hop back on boat and push off.  But “WAIT!” I yell.  “We have the dog,” they say. “I know.’ I call, “But the keys, the keys for the house are in the truck!”  Well, the bright side, we’re getting really good at docking our boat at a rather tricky dock! Not sure my husband was as thrilled with this though.  My son graciously got out, again, and retrieved the keys.

A short jaunt later and we docked at our own dock, son sprinted up the hill and yippee! The picnic basket was retrieved, dog was on board, keys were safely stowed. We enjoyed the second boat ride over to the other side just as much as the first. We had a lovely picnic lunch. We explored, we lost track of time.

Some days are just like that.

We could have seen the mishaps of the day as inconveniences, hiccups or problems, but that would have been a waste of time. We instead chose to enjoy the opportunity to view it as a good story, something to share a laugh about instead. I’m glad we were able to see that as a forethought instead of an after thought.

As with the waning of summer comes the return of academia.  Recently that meant an exciting field trip. The day started off well enough, other than it was very early! The kids had to be at school by 6:00 a.m. It went smoothly but I must admit I wasn’t quite awake yet while I waved merrily as they drove away. I was feeling pretty good though.  I had to be in the city and being up this early would make being on time a breeze!

As I was getting ready I heard the sound of a vehicle coming up the driveway. It hit me, I forgot to cancel the school bus! I wasn’t dressed yet so I threw on my coat and ran out to wave our driver on. Oh well, I’m sure she was after a scenic tour anyway.

Back to getting ready and then I hear a thud at our window and upon running out on the frosty grass I see a little junco. Very dazed, a little blood…. so as I always do, I brought the little bird in. Twenty minutes later he’s perking up so I get ready to take him out to release when…… I tilt the lid too far and it escapes – inside, not outside. Sigh…. did I mention I had to get to the city early?

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Ok…. first order of business, find the cats – cause there were 2 snoozing in here. Out with one and I think the other one is out too. Sooooo off to catch the little flyer. Almost, not quite – twice it was almost but not quite. And then I see cat number 2 just as it catapults itself into the air and grabs the bird, who just manages to flutter out of it’s clutches. How many lives do birds have anyway?!

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Out with cat number 2 (she’s miffed at me). I finally open the window and within a few tries out goes the bird… and it wasn’t even 8:30 a.m. yet.

Some days are just like that…

By now I was sweaty, but certainly wide awake. I left for the city, better late than never.  I was feeling a bit frustrated as I left until it struck me how funny it would have all looked to a spectator. I saved a bird, had a good laugh, certainly had quite a workout and in the end, while I wasn’t early, I wasn’t late either.

So I made it to the city. I realized I had forgotten about breakfast so decided to stop at McDonald’s for a breakfast sandwich. Because after all I’d been through I figured I deserved it, and heck, I was still running on time!

As a matter of fact I was feeling so good I decided to check an item off my bucket list – “Pay forward at a drive thru”.  I ordered and pulled forward, but there was no one behind me. And then I proceeded to wait, and wait, and wait. So much for staying on time.  So much for fast food.  Exasperated I looked in my rear view mirror.  There was a woman in a car behind me. For a split second I thought, “So what, this is just taking forever!” But in that same moment my exasperation started to turn to anticipation. The thought of being able to pay for the car behind me started to make me feel better. I wanted the line to move, but now it was motivated because I wanted to pay for the other car, not so much because I was bored or running late.

I started to wonder about the woman behind me.  Was she having a good day or a bad day? Was she early or running late? Was she happy or sad or mad? I wondered what she ordered and if anyone had ever paid for her meal like this. Then I wondered if she had paid for someone else’s and if today, she would keep the pay it forward chain going.

By the time I finally made it to the window I was smiling. I explained to the cashier what I wanted to do and she was dumbfounded. She said no one had ever done this at that restaurant before.  She called her boss over right away to tell him and find out exactly how to go about making it happen. I thanked her and she looked at me and said, “No, thank you! You just made my whole day. Thanks for putting a smile on my face.” As I picked up my order I asked the server to make sure she wished the car behind me a great day and I wished her the same. She was smiling too.  Best $5.64 I have ever spent.

I looked at my watch. I was late, but not late enough to cause any damage. As I navigated through traffic to my destination I reflected on the experience.

Some days are just like that, and that’s perfectly ok.

Everyday presents you with experiences and opportunities. How you choose to perceive them and what you choose to do with them is always up to you.

It’s all good so remember to see beautiful and you’ll rise like air.

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©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

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