Friday, July 29, 2011

Nice People


We’ve recently taken on a couple of domestic cleaning jobs. Now I’ve never liked domestic cleaning. Clients often fail to recognise you as a ‘real professional’, and to understand that this job, be it ever so humble, is actually your bread-and-butter and not just some way of making a bit of pocket money.

But our situation was such that we needed the work and we took the jobs gladly. And now I can hardly believe how fortunate we were to find them.

It’s the little things that make a difference. At one of the homes we clean, if the clients are out, they sometimes leave us a note. Now people usually leave notes for the cleaner when they want to complain about something, or to ask the cleaners to do a bit of extra work. But these ‘notes’ are little letters. The ‘Hi, how are you? Nice weather we’re having’ type of letter that you would expect to get from a friend or family member.

Both marriage partners and their little girl treat us as part of the family. The young woman has a serious back condition, and she often has to retire to her bed to rest while we are there. Such is the relationship between us that there is none of the usual awkwardness that would normally occur in a situation like that.

And the second most recent client works from an office at a complex of about fifty townhouses. The last time we cleaned for her, she was on the phone when we were ready to leave. Rather than interrupt her, we packed up quietly and left. We were driving home when my mobile rang and her name appeared on the screen.

Our first thought was that she was ringing to complain about something. What could we possibly have missed? But she was actually ringing to say ‘sorry I didn’t get to see you off. Thank you for a job well done and I’ll see you next fortnight’.

Maybe I’ve been moving in the wrong circles all these years? I have really never known people to be as ‘nice’ as the people I’ve met lately.

And what about the complete stranger who purchased my little eBook on Smashwords, and then made mention of me and my literary efforts on his Blog, along with another first-time eBook publisher? He was remarking on the fact that both of us had a vision - we wanted to write and publish and eBook - and we had seen it through to completion. I was so encouraged by his words and so very grateful to him for giving me the bragging rights for having sold a book. Even if I never sell another one - no one can ever take that away from me now.

I think life, or God, or the Universe, or whatever you might want to call it, is trying to show me something; that there really are some wonderful people out there. And perhaps, instead of hanging back and nursing my hurts from the not-so-caring people I seem to have met in the past, I should just get out there and start being a ‘nice’ person myself.

I should start seeking out others who need a bit of encouragement and appreciation. I should start showing them that there is still kindness and warmth and love in this often cold old, uncaring world. I may not be able to rush off overseas and start building wells and hospitals; or bringing about world peace. But I can be a little ray of sunshine for someone in a dark place. I can be a helping hand for some one who is down or a shoulder to cry on.

I can just try to become one of the nice people.

©Lyn Murphy 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Ark


Perseverance pays off. Even the snail made it to the Ark.

I saw this quote on a notice board outside a local Church and I couldn’t suppress a chuckle. Sometimes life really is all about ‘slow and steady wins the race.’ The trouble is, of course, we live in an ‘instant’ generation when we expect everything to happen right here and now.

Sometimes too we tend to mark our progress in great leaps and bounds; rather than acknowledging the baby steps. It sounds much more exciting to be able to say you’ve lost 20 kilos instead of just 2. And it’s much more impressive to boast of running 10 kilometres over a 10 minute jog in the park.

But, of course, it is always much harder to achieve the big steps, and much easier to become discouraged and defeated too.

I became discouraged and defeated for a while. We had some problems; family and work issues, and it all just got on top of me. I even considered taking down my Blog. Who really wants to read anything I write, after all?

My ultimate aim had been to build up a following; attracting readers who might then be interested in reading some of my short stories if I made them available. But, after nearly two years of Blogging, I have 11 followers and only about 2166 views. That’s couldn’t really be called ‘setting the world on fire’, now, could it?

But then I read another quote that made me stop and think.

‘A writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.’ Junot Diaz

Two years ago I didn’t have a Blog and I certainly couldn’t boast having my work viewed 2166 times. Baby steps perhaps - but progress all the same.

And today I uploaded my first eBook. It’s a short story that I’ve been trying to write for the last eight years. Imagine that? Eight years and the finished work is only just under 14,000 words.

Will anyone actually buy my eBook? It would be nice if they did, of course. It would certainly do wonders for my ego. But this would be more about the leaps and bounds of progress rather than the baby steps.

For now I need to be content with having made it to the Ark.
©Lyn Murphy 2011

To check out my eBook, click on the link below
The Doorway