Right now, I am writing to you while living in a small town hours away from the city I currently call home. I am here for a one-month work placement. Because of the size of the town, employees who are sent here are often billeted with local residents. Admittedly, I had mixed feelings about this prospect. First, I like my personal space. Second, more importantly, I get really sick if I eat gluten - sharing kitchen facilities with a gluten eater can be hazardous. However, when I finally arrived, I quickly realized that this arrangement is going to be great.
I am living with a single, middle-aged lady who has a meditation area in her backyard. She likes to play spa-like music and has decorated her house "to promote relaxation." She works in the same field as I do, and we share a similar approach to our professions. The icing on the cake is that she thinks my gluten-free diet is just fascinating - enough so that she is considering a gluten-free trial while I am here. She even used the words 'excited' and 'gluten-free' in the same sentence.
My host is on her own self-care journey, though I suspect she is much further along in the process than I am. We talked about how hard it is to be kind to yourself when it seems like there is always something else that is more pressing. I mentioned to her that I was taking advantage of being away from home to jump start some new good habits and learn to relax.
This morning, my first morning here and my first workday in this new environment, I entered the kitchen to see that the table had been set for two. Beside one of the plates was a note: Good luck today at work! You'll be great! I was really touched. My workday was actually terribly long and not that interesting, but my host's kind words stayed with me. I had started my day with the thought that someone believes in me. When I came home, there were freshly cut flowers and sprigs of lavender from the garden in a little vase on the desk in my room.
My host's thoughtfulness made what would have been an ok day into one that I will remember for a long time. I am reminded of the impact of kind words and gestures.