Nothing triggers an elevation in anxiety quite like a jury duty summons. There’s the invasion of privacy thought (where the hell did they get my name from?), the lizard brain fear (how the hell do I get out of this?), and the long anticipation of having to change your entire life because you know you will be selected for a case that will last forever.
That was my story today. I couldn’t even think about sleeping last night because my mind was playing out a hundred different scenarios that go with each excuse I contemplated listing that would bring me closer to dismissal.
I would have done almost anything to get out of this inconvenience!
I showed up today of course because the summons practically threatens your well being if you don’t.
The courthouse I once imagined as a beautiful architectural structure seemed more institutional, especially at the entrance.
My bag was searched as I strolled through both metal detectors (yes, one is not enough these days), and then ushered to the elevator banks, where a short, stocky woman kept repeating in a loud voice, “Follow the signs people!”.
I muffled a “moooo” under my breath in defiance of the cattle-like round-‘em-up rodeo, which I felt very much a part of.
When I arrived at the jury room it was already half filled with people who had way more coffee than they should have.
Everyone seemed to be lost in their own space, eyes locked in a downward gaze at some device, clicking away or sliding through it as the images flew by. They were scrolling quickly because the woman whose job it is to warm up the audience was lingering by the podium. Her review of rules were sure to end our connection with the outside world for most of the day.
An empty seat in the back row called to me, and I headed right for it! Privacy, a book, and a cell phone had me settled in all by myself, where I could easily hide.
Until this guy Ralph came along. My luck. Eight other vacant seats up here and Ralph chooses to sit down right next to me. He clearly doesn’t comprehend body language because he jumped into a conversation almost immediately.
Somewhere along the line, I felt my resistance drop at the gentleness of his voice. His energy was so calm, so positive, so upbeat, that I found myself sucked into it.
I chuckled at his take on the day so far, and found that we had more in common than I ever imagined. He spoke of his young adult children, his elderly mom, and the challenges of dealing with both at the same time.
He talked about his dad’s untimely death and how deeply it affected him, and taught him how precious life really is. He showed me a picture and I couldn’t help but notice that he still spoke of him in the present tense, and with such tenderness. And as we shared childhood “dad stories” I didn’t want this conversation to ever end.
As it would happen however, Ralph was selected for service today and I got to go home. I smiled at him as I slowly pulled away from his deeply captivating energy. I knew in my heart our meeting today was no coincidence.
There was a sadness I felt which I can’t explain as I wished him luck with both the jury case and with his life.
And heading to my car, I thanked the universe for this soulful experience. I hope that some day I’ll get to tell Ralph how profound an impact his presence had on me today. I just feel lighter. And I just want to go hug my dad.
The lesson for me here was that life is so very precious indeed. It’s up to us to find the good in it, find the happy in it, and then live it like you mean it!
But what happens when your life takes a turn away from the joy? How do you get back to good?
If your own life feels like happiness is eluding you, let me help you find it again. I’ve got some great ideas and motivational tips to get you going right now!
Hop on over to my Life Coaching “Work With Me” page at Lindahannett.com and book a free introductory coaching session. We’ll have you back to good and redecorating your soul before you know it!
With Love and Peace,