Parallel Moments

In October 2016, I came to the end of a job which I did not enjoy very much. When I left, I accidentally left behind a yellow smiley face stress ball which I was quite fond of. It was especially useful for that particular job, since it involved a lot of stress. I texted a colleague who had remained there and asked her if she could retrieve it for me, but sadly I discovered that it had been angrily thrown into the bin after I’d gone. It was a sad loss.

Almost two years later, I found myself coming to the end of a job which I had enjoyed quite a lot. It was better than that other job in most every way and was certainly not a cause of stress. While working there, I had regaled one of my colleagues with horrific tales of my older job – including the sad fate of my smiley face stress ball. So on my last day, as a parting gift, she gave me a new smiley face stress ball (among other things.)

It was identical to the original and was such a satisfying gift in many ways. I lost the original when leaving a place of stress – its purpose potentially served. I gained the replacement when leaving a stress-free environment, potentially entering more stressful times – its purpose renewed. I lost the original as the result of bitterness from a very unlikeable person. I gained the replacement as a result of kindness from a very likeable person. I like to think of it as having been reincarnated by the power of kindness. I like when things fit together perfectly.

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