Archive for June, 2011

I couldn’t resist the urge of starting up a conversation with this guy on the train yesterday…

him: sigh…

him: sigh…

him: sigh… come on, get going… sigh…

him: (mumbling to himself) when is this train gonna move?!?! SIGH….

him: sigh…

(by now I was actively trying (and fortunately succeeding) not to be annoyed at his sighs and wondering why he was sighing so much… maybe he had a very important appointment? maybe he had to pee? maybe he badly needed the cigarette he just got out of his pocket?)

me: “Do you need to be anywhere or something?”

him: “No, it’s just that I’ve been in a train for such a long time already today”

him: sigh…

me: “Ah…”

him: “I came all the way from Brabant.”

me: “Ah… so… you’re tired?”

him: “Yes, I’ve had a long week of work. And then I see all these people going in and out of the train, and I think… Oooohh! No!”

(by now he had stopped sighing, fortunately)

me: “Right. Well, in my experience, sighing always makes me feel worse and more annoyed.

(this earned me a smile from the other passenger sitting next to me)

me: “Well, I travel by train almost daily, so I’m used to it. Do you travel by train often?”

him: “Twice a week. But you know? They always do this… road work on Sundays, when I have to go get back by train. It’s always the same. Always on Sundays, when I have to go by train! And then you have to take a bus… and then it takes even longer!”

(I wanted to say that that actually is for a reason, namely that there are LESS people travelling by train on Sunday, but instead I said:)

me: “Yeah, that’s bad luck, if you have to travel on Sunday. Where do you have to get out?”

him: “Rijswijk”

me: “Well, then it’s only one stop further.”

(this earned me another smile from the other passenger next to me)

me: “Good luck!”

(And enjoy the sunshine PLEASE! AND the fact that it’s WEEKEND! AND all the other things in the world you’re ignoring because you’re annoyed at being in a train right now. I didn’t say this. Part of me wanted to, though)

I know I might sound conceited. I know it might sound like I have all the answers. I don’t. Maybe I’m just lucky that at that particular moment, I was happy. Of course it’s ok to feel annoyed in a train. It’s a free country. I just couldn’t help thinking that maybe this was his standard reaction and that, if he just understood this is a possibility, he could CHOOSE not to be annoyed and sighing all the time.

It wasn’t that I was annoyed at him. I just wanted to know his story and I wanted to see if he had a valid reason for sighing. And secretly, I wanted to show him that SIGHING is not very useful, because it doesn’t change anything about your situation.

So next time you catch yourself sighing, I challenge you to realize the sun is shining!

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He who loves life for everything it can be, may be disillusioned.
He who takes life as it is may become bitter.
He who just lives, will be neither.

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