While at the US Post Office an hour or so ago, I was being served by a postal worker who asked me a very normal question. Today being Friday, and the end of the “work” week for many, she asked me a question that many people ask each other around this time of the week. Her question to me is somewhat like one of those questions many people normally don’t listen for, or really care to hear an answer. Kinda like, “Hello, how are you,” usually gets very little reaction out of the normal, “Oh that’s nice,” this question usually gets the same treatment. That is, unless, someone has something very outside of the ordinary, or one of those kinds of answers that touch the heart strings.
The question, “Do you have any special plans for the weekend?” One can think of many answers that many of us can give that would get very little to no reaction. “Gonna take it easy this weekend.” “I’m watching the game.” “Gonna take in some golf.” “Watching the kids this weekend.” “Going to a party.” These kind of answers would normally get a “That’s nice,” and then that person would expect one to ask them the same question in return so you can give them a “That’s nice,” to their answer… and life goes on.
In some cases, answers like the following would get a little bit more attention. “I’m getting married this weekend.” “I’m expecting my wife will be having our baby this weekend.” “I am sky diving this weekend.” Usually, answers like that either touch our heart or peak our curiosity and take us outside of the “That’s nice,” and we get a “Oh, how nice,” or “That sounds like fun,” and comments that might even be more inquisitive and suggest, “oh, tell me more.”
When asked that question today, during a normal Friday, at a normal post office, doing a normal task, I gave what to me was a “normal” answer to her very normal question. When asked “What are you doing this weekend?” my mind did the following. I have been busy and working all week on so many things that have needed to be done and finally this weekend, I am making time to work on things that I have wanted to move forward. The things that ran through my mind in a split second were editing the book I am writing; working our new website; going to a Conference for a few hours where I have scheduled to meet people that I am looking forward to interviewing on future shows, and arranging two songs for an upcoming performance.
When all that crossed my mind, I tried to bundle it all up and call it something. In actuality, it is all “work,” and a lot of it. So I called it that, “work.” I answered the postal worker with that simple word, “work.” She looked up at me just as I said it, and she didn’t know what to think, and I frankly didn’t know what she was thinking or why my simple statement stopped her in her tracks. She stopped everything she was doing and said, “work?” And I replied, “Yes, work.”
“You must be a millionaire,” she said, with a befuddled look on her face and then tried to get back to “work,” herself. She then continued to repeat, “Work. He must be a millionaire. Work.” I myself was now befuddled as to why my answer had made her to think I was a millionaire and caused her to be so disoriented about it. I had to think about it myself. It wasn’t as if I had told her that I was going to be spending the weekend on my yacht or flying around the world in a weekend, things that some might think a millionaire would do on a “normal” weekend. I had simply responded “work.” If anything, anyone who worked on a weekend would either be in a retail job, or a service job or something of the sort, is what I think most would think if someone told them they were working this weekend.
I finally asked the postal worker what was it that made her come to the conclusion that I was a millionaire when I answered with one work, “work.” Her answer to me filled my heart. She said, “Your eyes brightened up and your smile got so big when you thought about your weekend, and then you said, ‘work.’ You have to be a millionaire if you are looking forward to ‘working,’ on a weekend.
I had no idea that I had smiled so big when I had answered her “normal” question, or that my answer would take her out of her normal routine conversation today. But now I knew for sure that I was smiling, and her answer to my simple question took me out of my normal routine conversation with her and made me think. I said, “Maybe I really love what I do? And come to think of it, so few of us do, including many millionaires, so, in that sense, you’re right, I am a millionaire!”
By that point we had finished our not ver normal interaction and we greeted each other “Have a good weekend.”
Thanks to her, the weekend I already knew was going to be good, is now going to be a “Millionaire’s Weekend!”
Clipart courtesy of www.pdclipart.org