We are constantly choosing what to focus on, whether we’re conscious about it or not.
What we choose to focus on can dramatically affect how we feel.
Last night I flew home from a weekend trip to San Diego. Now, when it comes to plans around my travel, I don’t mess around. I’m a PRODUCER for goodness’ sake, my work revolves around logistics like this.
I had planned on catching a light rail into Salt Lake City from the airport and then switching to the frontrunner train that would take me all the way down to Provo where I live. Simple enough.
I double-checked all of the specifics because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t landing too late for that plan to work. I say double-checked because I wanted to be sure that there wasn’t some weird Sunday schedule that would mess me up and leave me stranded at the airport.
I got off the plane, walked to the train stop at the end of the airport, and purchased a ticket.
Then, I saw it out of the corner of my eye, just as I was turning to walk out to the train.
A little, folded sign with bolded words:
REMINDER: THE FRONTRUNNER TRAIN DOES NOT RUN ON SUNDAYS
I slumped into a chair in the waiting area. I looked at my watch. 10:15pm.
What am I going to do?
I went through a crazy 10 minutes of checking Lyft – $86 – then Uber – $122 (!!!) – then other bus schedules – didn’t leave until 12:35a – could I get to my grandparent’s house and stay there? Who could potentially drive me that would be awake and willing at this hour?
Ultimately, I found myself stuck. I took a breath, shook off the embarrassment of having my plan fall through, and tried again. Opened up the Lyft app again, and the price had magically dropped to less than $50. Amazing.
I ordered the Lyft and went outside to meet my driver, Vince.
We chatted the whole drive, which I was grateful for because a 45-minute drive with no- or bad conversation is torture. We got to talking about my work as a producer which led me to talk about Relative Race.
With about 15 minutes left and a strong desire to share the show with him – typically I just say “yeah, it’s at relativerace.com, check it out!” – I asked if he wanted to watch one of my favorite moments of the show, the start of Season 5 Episode 1.
We watched the introduction to my team, Marcus & Keith from Team Green, and then the ensuing events. (I’m keeping this post spoiler-free. You’re gonna have to watch the show!)
By the time we reached my house, he was hooked, and we sat in front of my driveway on the street for a good five minutes before I had the heart to pause it and end my ride home.
Vince, my driver, turned to me and said: “thank you, I really needed that”.
“No problem man, thanks for letting me share it with you!”
I got out, closed the door, then opened the back door to grab my bag. Vince turned back and stared at me with so much gratitude. I looked at him back, waited.
“I mean that, sincerely. When I say I really needed that… I haven’t told this to anyone.”
I took a breath and focused on being as present as possible with him.
He continued, “I lost my son last Saturday.”
I was shocked. “What are you even doing out here driving???”
“It’s the only way I can keep going. I have to work or else it’s too much. But this show…what you showed me… just, thank you. I needed it more than you know.”
I nodded, not sure what else to say. I ended up thanking him for sharing that with me, wished him a good night, and left a great review and note for him in the app as he drove off and I walked inside.
I’ll probably never see Vince again.
But think back to how my night started. It easily could have been what I focused on the rest of the night – the embarrassment, the frustration… but all I could think about as I dropped my bag in my room was how grateful I was to be placed in Vince’s path tonight. For him to share what he did with me. To be able to have that incredible experience.
All I could focus on was grace and gratitude.
There’s grace in everything if we choose to see it.
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