Everything happens for a reason.
This is probably my biggest catch-phrase in life. Everything happens for a reason.
Yesterday, it was a gas station purchase in the afternoon that saved someone else's day by evening.
Today, it was a misplaced cell phone that led us to a few things we'd been looking for for quite a while.
Let me explain. Everything happens for a reason...
I hit the grocery store to do our weekly shopping, without hitting the ATM first like I usually do. My whole routine was out of whack because Kiki was having a hard day. Again. So, instead of using the ATM, I was stuck getting cash back at the register. $100. The cashier asked if I had a preference as to how I got it, and I told her I didn't care. Normally I do, I hate carrying anything larger than a $20, such a pain to break large bills some days. But, at that moment, I was just in a hurry. So she handed me one $100 bill.
A few hours later, I hit the gas station with my husband and we purchased a few drinks. Normally, I would have paid with a smaller bill (I had some on me), but instead I felt compelled to hand them the $100 for a few drinks totaling less than $5. Followed promptly by me wondering why I'd just done that as we left the store.
That evening I went shopping alone. I ended up dawdling on going toward the cash registers due to some very rude and obscene customers that were at that end of the store. I'm the type that tries to avoid confrontations. So I killed time. About fifteen minutes, until they left. At that point, I get in line. Two people in front of my. The guy that's front in line gets ready to pay, and realizes all he's got is a $100 bill. At the Dollar Tree. He asks if they can break it. Nope, they just gave most of their change to that rowdy group ahead of him. Discouraged, he apologizes to everyone else in line and the employee for wasting her time and heads for the door. Suddenly, I remembered the stop at the gas station. I pull out my billfold to double check. 20. 40. 60. 80. 100... I manage to quickly utter "I can break a hundred" just as the guy is grabbing the door handle to leave. It takes a second to sink in before he turns and comes back over. Yes, I broke his hundred. Yes, he finished his purchase and left while thanking me repeatedly. The cashier thanked me to, as she'd felt bad to have to turn the guy away for not being able to make change.
If it weren't for skipping the ATM, or the stop at the grocery store, or breaking the bill at the gas station, or the rowdy kids that I killed extra time to avoid, that guy wouldn't have been able to finish his purchase. Some times that one little thing you do can have a much greater impact than you can imagine.
We decided to head down to a museum in Arkansas on a drive today, and stopped at an Arby's en route. Once we get about five minutes from the museum, I find the "no guns allowed" signage on their website and we decide not to bother with it. So we re-route and head for Eureka Springs instead. Lovely city, and we haven't been there since our wedding 5 years ago.
Well, a while down the road, our daughter mentions that she left her purse in the Arby's restroom. Back in Missouri. Then she tells us that her cell phone was in her purse. First off, the phone isn't allowed to be with unless we tell her to grab it, which we didn't because we weren't going to be away from her at all on this trip. Second, it definitely had no business going into an Arby's where we'd all be seated at the same table. Third, she'd been reminded not to leave things in restrooms repeatedly. So that turned into a bit of a lecture. The trip to Eureka Springs was cancelled, about 30 minutes away from our destination.
I called Arby's (thank you for giving us a receipt with your phone number on it), and they said they'd found the purse already and would hold it. Okay. So we drove back to Missouri and got the purse.
After getting the purse, there was no point in trying to go back to Arkansas - nothing would be open by the time we got there. So we talked for a few minutes, and decided to check out The Bunker surplus store in Oklahoma instead. It wasn't that far of a drive from where we were.
At The Bunker, we found three windshield wiper blades for our trucks. Ones we've been needing to replace but didn't want to pay online prices and shipping for. Ones that we've never come across locally before.
After we left The Bunker, we headed back to Missouri and hit a bookstore on the way home. There we found three books in the bargain section that had been on our wishlist. They all came home with us.
So if our daughter had followed the rules and left her phone at home, or if she'd left it in the car, or simply remembered to bring it back out after our stop at Arby's - we wouldn't have found the windshield wiper blades we needed or the books we've been looking for. Yes, she still got in trouble for breaking the rules. But some days, it's helpful to be able to look at it and realize that even things that appear wrong or bad can still turn out to be good.
Everything happens for a reason.