As I sat completely frustrated that the internet was down a couple of weeks ago, it occurred to me how much things have changed in just the past 30 years. I was at the shop. I was being productive. Answering emails, filing invoices, organizing and most importantly paying the bills. I was moving right along until suddenly the dreaded “No internet” message appears. *HUFF* Now what? I have got to get this done, I mean what am I supposed to do now?!?!?
My mind started wandering. I remember riding to town with my grandparents to pay bills. It never seemed strange at the time. We would travel here and there. They would go in, pay the bill and head to the next location. Now it seemed so foreign. What on earth do I do, where would I go? I gathered the bills and looked at them. Sure enough, as I figured out where each place was, they were all within walking distance. I could literally go out and PAY bills. I mean, who does that? Nevertheless, I remembered the basic principal so I was certain I could pull it off.
With my checkbook and bills in hand, I slipped on my tennis shoes and sat out to pay bills. I started down the street. The first thing I noticed was that the morning air was beautiful! I breathed deeply and was overjoyed to find we were getting a welcome break from the summer’s heat. Where should I go first? I started with the rent, the power bill, the water bill, the bank, the post office. It was so ENJOYABLE. I talked to a dozen people about various things. I didn’t rush, I didn’t say I was in a hurry. I asked people how they were and updated them on all things Alabama Sunshine. I saw a stray kitty. He was orange and wonderful. I talked to the lady that feeds him every day. He meowed and rolled at her feet although he stills shies away from human touch. She joked that I should take him. “he seems perfectly happy with you, I said smiling back at her.” She shared that he usually comes later in the day, but she was so glad he came early today because the homecoming parade later in the day was bound to scare him. I passed the flower shops and local clothing shops. All proudly announce upcoming showers for those getting married or having a baby. I talk to a person about a recent death in their family. I watch as the local female inmates decorate the streets with Fall décor. They do a WONDERFUL job. I say hello but somehow wish I had time to hear their stories.
My heart was smiling as I strolled back toward the shop. I decided, since I had extra time, to make a couple of extra laps through downtown. It was a truly enjoyable journey. I thought how blessed I am to live in a place where I could walk and pay bills. I connected with my fellow human beings. I didn’t stare blankly at a computer screen and furrow my brow at my dwindling bank account. In fact, I paid the bills without much worry at all. It was people I thought about as I headed back to the shop. Life and REAL people. It reminded me that some of the old ways were probably a pretty darn good idea. So, my advice to you is this. Step away from the computer. Take a walk. Talk to a human. It is completely refreshing and I almost forgot.
Somedays I forget how perfectly lovely it is to live in a small town. Walking to pay bills certainly reminded me of that.