I had a long hour chat with a friend last Saturday. One story I told her was about another friend. A friend that was a super busy person with quite a complicated life, to say the least.
I referred to her as one of my greatest teachers. And a dearest friend.
Whenever we wanted to meet, there was always something. Her meeting was extended. The restaurant in which we were supposed to meet was closed and her mobile was not functioning so she could not contact me. She had sudden assignments from her boss(es). She had to run some errands for her family. Etc etc.
So one or two hours delay to her arrival was “normal”. It was actually good, compared to the three or four hours delay. Or a no show. Or a no show with no notice.
Needless to say, I–who practically uphold the sacredness of promise and punctuality–was almost always upset when she was late. Yet, somehow, I kept (or keep, present tense) making appointments with her, and she with me.
I did not realize the lesson that I was undertaking until one day, we made another appointment. I visited her town and we were supposed to meet after work. When I SMS-ed her once I had arrived at our meeting point, she responded by saying, “Sorry, got to buy something for my daughter.”
Amazingly, all I said (and felt) was “ok”. Then I picked up the phone, called another friend, and said “looks like we can meet after all tonight.” Life went on. With little resentment, if at all.
As I was praying and contemplating after that incident, I realized that I have passed an important lesson. That lesson of being (un)emotional when somebody changes her/his mind, when somebody suddenly has other plan, and when somebody does not keep their promises.
I started to view this from her/his perspective. She has complicated life. And so has everybody else to different extent. It might be selfish for me to be upset. Perhaps it was just not meant to be.
Last Saturday night, I was supposed to meet another friend. Funnily enough, that friend too did a no show. No phone calls. No nothing. And I felt fine. “Ok, I can take some rest and finish my book then,” I thought. Turned out that the friend was sick as a dog, or so the sms in the morning said.
The story I told my friend that very afternoon now seems to be a refresher course of what to come the evening that followed.
I was reminded of my past lesson and the milestone that I have successfully passed, just before a similar incident came along. A kind reminder to not fall into the same trap twice. Thank you.