As we part, I tell Loren I’m headed out to the shoe repair shop. “Which one?” she asks. Although I always go to the same one, there are two shoe repair shops near where I live, the two within a block of each other. I’m always surprised they both survive, given the rising cost of rent in Los Angeles and the small amount they charge for each repair. I tell my friend that I always go to Harut’s. She makes a face. “The other guy is so much nicer,” she says. “I like getting the curmudgeon to smile,” I say, “it’s my personal challenge.”
A few days passed before I actually made it to Harut’s to present my claim check. He takes it and asks simply, “what color?”
“Black. A black bag,” I say.
“A BAG? Hmmmph.” He shuffles to the back, while I contemplate the heaps of shoes, some of the styles dating back several decades. I’m wondering how he ever manages to find anything, when he promptly reappears. He shows me the claim check and points to the date. “10-25-2007?” I say, “No, that can’t be right. I just dropped this bag off a couple of weeks ago.” I prepare myself for another of his lectures about how long it takes some people to pick up their repaired items.
When I look up, he is grinning ear to ear. “No!” he says, “I found this in the bag when I fixed it!” Then it dawns on me what he is saying. I brought this same bag in to Harut for repair nearly five years ago, and the claim check is still in the zippered pocket. I am a loyal, if rather infrequent, customer. We both laugh, and, Harut high fives me.
It’s not until I’m out the door and halfway down the street when I remember my conversation with Loren. It occurs to me that I’ve realized a personal best. Not only did I get Harut to smile, I made his day.
Thinking about my encounter with Harut today, I have to say that the Universe does have a sense of humor. Lately, I’ve been chastising myself for not doing enough to realize my business and personal goals. I set the intention, I can see the desired result, and I can feel it, but if I don’t see it happening, I start laying into myself for not doing more. Today, the Universe has shown me just how unnecessary and unproductive all of this chastising really is. Although this is a simple example (“my goal is to get him to smile”), I achieved it with flying colors without fretting over the details, wondering how it would come to pass and beating myself up for not doing enough.
I am reminded what I’ve often heard “Abraham” (as channeled by Esther Hicks) say: “It is important to understand that it is not by virtue of your action….that you are creating. You are creating by virtue of the thought that you are offering.” I do think about making Harut smile, whenever I have something to be repaired. I drop by his shop, whenever I’m nearby, at a time he is open. I don’t schedule a time for it, I don’t make a plan for how it will happen, or even put it on my vision board. I just set the intention and go about my business. I realize now that’s how easy it can be, when I stop making it all so much more difficult. So I’m putting the whip back in the barn, and I’m enjoying the much more pleasant task of noticing all of the many small miracles in my life. Today, getting a curmudgeon to smile is at the top of my list.