As half glass full as I choose to be, certain moments are absolutely anti sunshine and rainbows.

No two ways about it, adulting is hard.

When those times arise, I think of the mother of a lifelong friend and as salt of the earth as they come.

These words – “instead of complaining, do for others” – are her words. Advice lovingly given that I’ve returned to time and again when I refused to be sidelined by a funky mood.

I especially needed them today, which was not my favorite. In fact, this whole week has been a tad short on sunshine and rainbows.

So there I sat, surrounded by half opened Monopoly game pieces at my kitchen table when it hit me. In one swift cleaning-as-therapy feng shui moment, I could sweep every last piece of this massive time suck of a grocery store promotion in the trash. Or…

I could actually be a little less self absorbed, organize the Instant Winner freebies and make good use of them.

Nine phone calls later, I’d found a shelter open on Saturdays, with room for pantry and perishables, and was on my way to Tom Thumb.

God love the people behind me in the checkout line. It took more time to zero out the total order by Monopoly coupon than it did to load up the buggy doorway to delicatessen. (Shout out here to Baylee, cashier extraordinaire, and the patient shoppers who politely understood when she closed her lane to finish my order.)

A few miles later, I was shaking the hand of the manager on duty at Union Gospel Mission and helping him unload $80 worth of what never would have existed had I whiled away the day thinking about my own worries.

If you respond to this by posting a do gooder comment or some derivative thereof, I’ll immediately know two things about you:

1.) You didn’t read this.

2.) You’ve missed the point entirely.

For me, for Baylee the cashier, for the manager I met at drop off – for all of us – there are times that knock us on our arse.

It’s how we respond that matters, and fretting never improved anybody’s outlook.

Remembering these words today, I stopped wallowing, shook off the mental fog and seized an opportunity that’s been sitting in my junk drawer for months now.

The blessing of perspective that reminds us to step outside ourselves.

For me, it’s made all the difference.