I wanted to keep stretching myself today, to stay focused on giving. It wound up being a day with lots of small gifts. This morning, I gave a toonie to a man sitting on the street with a cap out in front of him. In thanks, he pulled out a harmonica and began playing "Frère Jaques" - which is his entire repertoire :) It was a good reminder to me that gifts aren't necessarily about who "deserves" them most, but about the act of sharing.
Later, I placed another toonie on top of noodle bowls in the grocery store. I didn't actually buy anything; I just went in there to get warm!
I remembered M's post about sending cards to Frank, so I decided to send a postcard of a cute sea otter, with cheerful wishes.
Then tonight brought another opportunity: Last week, I'd been at the bus stop with a woman who usually takes my bus, but that day, she was supposed to take a different bus to her sister's - and she missed it, which meant she had to wait another 70 minutes for the next bus. During that time, I learned, her sister became extremely worried. This woman is a former addict who lived on the street, and she doesn't have a cell phone; she's very sweet, and also very vulnerable. Tonight, I saw them both at the bus stop, and the sister recounted the story. I told her that I hadn't known how to help, but that if it happened again, I could call her. At which point she took me aside and gave me her name and number. (The former street woman had always struck me as funny and laid-back, but I got the impression tonight that perhaps there are additional issues.)
I also said no twice today: once to a young woman who is visibly a junkie and, on a daily basis, asks for change "for the bus". In the past, I've tried to give her food, and she's refused. She's not hostile, and it's not a case of judging her addiction - who knows what I'd do if I were in her shoes? - but something about the situation makes me uncomfortable. I've kept in mind that I may be known as the lady who gives out money, and among junkies in general, that reputation could jeopardize my safety.
The second time was to one of the men who I felt overstepped boundaries with me - not in any physical way, but he says things I'm not comfortable with. He's another street person who has been the recipient of a couple of gifts - and even tried to repay me $2 once. So I felt a bit guilty walking by him, but an incident a few months ago really, really angered me, and I have to set that boundary.
The work search continues. I am extremely grateful for my friend's offer, and I'm also aware that we're rapidly coming up on November, and I have moments of freaking out. I'm trying to stay in the moment; I know anything can happen (and we're not at November 1 yet), but I want to at least be able to tell my landlords when they're going to get the rest of October rent. Right now, it's not looking like that's going to happen before the beginning of November. But... anything can happen. I've certainly experienced enough amazing grace (including just yesterday) to know that.
I hope you all had wonderful Tuesdays. Cheers!
p.s. A few days ago, I mentioned that I'd placed a loonie among the leaves. What I didn't mention is that how well the loonie blends in with the colours. Today, I checked, and it's still there! (I actually had to hunt for it, because it was so well camouflaged). I'm curious to see how long it takes someone to find it.