Thursday, September 22, 2011

Great Expectations

"Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds." George Eliot

By: Suzie Carr


The other day I lived one of those days I wished I could do over.

I planned this day off from work a month previous to it. I was going to spend the entire day at a cafĂ© sipping creamy coffee and completing my next novel’s first draft. I had great expectations that I would accomplish a ton and enjoy some much needed downtime from my marketing job.

Well, the day went down like this: A friend called and asked me to take him to the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) so he could update his out-of-state, outdated driver’s license. On the drive over to the MVA, he sat cheerful in my front passenger seat, while I stewed at his lack of good timing. I'm not completely sure, but, with my writing plans altered, steam might have been blowing out of my ears.

The day veered far off from where I wanted it to go. My mood was not pretty, especially after spending the entire day (8.5 hours exactly) driving back and forth to the MVA because my friend forgot an item, needed to take a special course at a different location, needed to go back to show his course completion certificate only to be told he needed to now take a written and driving test to complete his updated driver’s license ordeal. He was devastated by his plight. Instead of being the optimist this day, I was fuming.

And just when I thought the day couldn’t have dug any deeper into the abyss of waste, when we were ready to leave the MVA parking lot, my car refused to start. Yeah, seriously, right? Talk about calling out to the wrong frequency! Eventually, roadside assistance showed up and helped me out. By this time, my head felt heavier than a fifty pound kettlebell.

Fast forward to many hours later, long after I tossed all sense of compassion out the window and acted like a petulant child who didn’t get her way, I knocked on my friend’s door. I hung my head in shame embarrassed that I acted so selfishly by making him feel badly that he wasted my day.

Stuff  happens. He didn't order this crazy day for himself anymore than I did. So, I swallowed my pride and apologized to him and tried to explain my actions. But, how do you explain selfishness? The only way I figured how was to show him I cared. I volunteered to take him back to the MVA for his tests this weekend. I know if the situation were reversed, he'd so the same for me with zero hesitation.

So, what did I learn from this?

We should have great expectations, but also be flexible when we're called to part with them for the greater good of someone else. Approaching a good deed with a selfish mindset only nullifies it. To truly be selfless requires that a person steps out of her life momentarily and focuses all her love and attention on the one who needs it.

We're all in this together.


I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to Chely Wright's LikeMe foundation ( to help provide support, resources and education to LGBT individuals, and their families and friends.

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