Dear stop and go man,
I don't know if you could tell you'd made my day this morning, and it wasn't even 9am. I'm doubling-down on my grateful smile with these words, because it's been a whole day and I'm still thinking about you and your attitude.
I was rushing for daycare drop-off, thinking about all the other things I had to do today. I was two coffees into the day and already craving the third, my daughter had done my head in by refusing to wear sensible winter clothing, I had an appointment mid-morning and a bunch of things to do that I just knew weren't going to get done. I was cold, the car is making yet another strange noise that I hope won't cost a fortune to fix… and then there's the bloody roadworks, between home and daycare and essentially anywhere else I need to get to.
Like the toast always falling on the buttered side, I always seem to find myself first in the queue on those roadworks. And what could be an annoyance, ended up being an encounter that brightened my day.
There you were today, holding the sign telling me to stop, and dancing away to keep me (and yourself) entertained.
There were a few metres and at least three glass surfaces between us, with my windscreen and both our sunglasses, but I hope my smile got to you the way yours got to me.
Thanks for that early morning boogie. It lifted my mood and carried it all through the day.
You see, the world is a dumpster fire. What's not flooding is burning and what's flooding and burning is also getting decimated by a raging pandemic. Some days, it's hard to find the good in things.
Then sometimes things remind us. Some days it's the cute way my toddler mispronounces a word (she calls "magnifying glasses" "mega finding glasses" and I dare you to not smile at that). Other days it takes an animal going viral for doing something cute (God bless internet animals). Today it was you and your boogie to a non-existing song.
Your dance today was a reminder to find joy in the small things, and to feel passionate about the most mundane, trivial of tasks.
For the rest of my day, I thought of you and the way you infused a bit of fun and happiness into an otherwise boring task. I remembered that I, too, get a choice between moving through mundane chores in a lukewarm haze or do a bit of a mental boogie to my own beat.
The world is an absolute train wreck, with millions dying and billionaires blasting themselves off to space in dick ships. I haven't hugged my family in years, because we live on opposite sides of the world and a pandemic is keeping us apart. Some days I focus on those things and it hurts like hell. But today, I didn't. Today I saw everything through the lens of someone who dances on the side of the road for absolutely no good reason - which, I'd argue, is the best reason of all. And I realised that, for as long as there are people like you, willing to make strangers smile, we will be okay.