It is tough to complain about the recent heat wave or any other temperature extreme for that matter, since I work at a day shelter for homeless men, as it definitely puts everything into perspective. I begin and end my day in the comfort of an air-conditioned home, and my commute to and from work and running errands is made all the better in an air-conditioned car. Meanwhile, the men at the day shelter are schlepping around backpacks that weigh as much as a small child as they trudge along the sidewalks and streets that feel like they could melt the rubber soles on your shoes when you step foot on them. Any relief that they find in air-conditioned shelters or soup kitchens is far too brief to truly beat the heat. One good thing about the heat is that it provided an opportunity for me to do something kind for some of the guys at the day shelter, and it also inspired me to cool off and be kind to myself.
Unfortunately, prior to the heat wave, the lone water fountain at the day shelter decided to malfunction, and instead of offering up a cold drink of water, it puts forth only warm water. By now, most of the men know that it is not working properly, but every day, some unsuspecting soul leans over the water fountain, expecting a cold treat and recoils when the warm water hits his lips. Today, after seeing too many people taking too many sips of warm water, I decided to cool things off.
We do not have an ice maker at work, but we do have some ice trays that luckily were full of ice cubes, waiting to help the men beat the heat. After lunch, several of the men, in particular, looked worse for the wear after walking to and from a local soup kitchen for lunch, and I was concerned about their health. Even though I did not have enough ice for everyone at the day shelter, I did have enough for those most in need of relief, so, I discreetly gave up cups of ice to those appreciative recipients. It was a small gesture of kindness, but I know that it made a difference to these men.
I was not in need of relief from the heat like our men were, but after a very hectic and stressful week at work (and it is only Wednesday), I found myself in need of relief from deadlines, emails, reports, etc. So, tonight, even though I brought some work home with me, it remained in my messenger bag until tomorrow. I enjoyed time with my daughters, talked with my special friend, wrote, and enjoyed time to relax. As much as I love my job, I loved doing nothing tonight even more. It was a great way to escape the pressure cooker that work can be.
Just one thing each day . . .
Categories: Just One Thing Each Day