Sunday was day 5, and I had most of the day to myself. I usually work on Sundays, and I generally find that when I'm feeling completely unmotivated, it helps to be among people, so I took myself to Starbucks. Although I had a rather unpleasant interaction with the barista, the cashier was as friendly as ever, and I gave him an extra big tip for his help.
On Monday, day 6, I got a text message from my best girlfriend saying, "Are you on gchat??? Hope hope hope!" So I got online immediately and distracted her from her horribly boring job. She had been sick all weekend, and it turned out that she was still feeling under the weather. She said she would do anything for a Jamba Juice and pajamas. Her husband works at the same company, so going home would mean going back into the city at rush hour to pick him up. "I have a brilliant idea!" I said. "I'll come get you, we'll get Jamba Juice, and I'll take you home."
It turned out to be as much of a gift for me as it was for her. I needed to get out of my house -- and my mind -- and our excursion was just the thing. In addition to our smoothies, we stopped in at the makeup store and played with the lip glosses and blushes, before heading back to her house to spend time with her adorable dog.
Yesterday, day 7, I joined the library. Since I work from home and don't encounter all that many people in person during the day, I'm particularly sensitive to people's feelings when I am around people. The girl at the front desk seemed bored, exhausted and a little under the weather. I just kept smiling at her, and by the time I finished signing up for my card she, too, was smiling, and she looked like a completely different person.
My gift today was going to be dinner for a friend I haven't seen in months. We grew up practically next door to each other, and now we happen to be in the same area, an ocean away from home. But she called me up not feeling well and having to cancel...so now the plans have changed. Instead, I'm having dinner with another friend and I'm cooking, so I went out to the grocery store. Since he likes his desserts, I slipped a piece of chocolate cream pie into my basket on the way out. :)
It's still hard, but as the days go on I feel more and more confident that it's better this way. He's better off without me always wanting more than he's willing to give, and I'm better off not feeling so desperate all the time. I hurt him much more than he hurt me, and for that I'm beyond sorry. At some point, I hope I'll be able to stop beating myself up about it. The compassion book says that there's no point to guilt -- treat yourself as you would treat a friend: acknowledge the fault as your own, shake your head a little, and move on. I'm still in the shaking my head part. But I don't feel the tears pinpricking the backs of my eyelids every minute anymore, so that's progress. The gifts go both ways.