Yesterday I was headed on the Frontrunner to SLC (intended destination: airport) and somehow mistook the North Temple stop for a stop further south. When the train started moving again and I looked up from my phone to see that there were very few passengers still in our car, I asked a fellow passenger which stop that had been. When he confirmed that it had indeed been North Temple, I jumped up hoping to find a way to get off the train. Not possible, a Frontrunner employee told me (she’d just walked into our car): “Once the train starts moving, it doesn’t stop until the next stop.”
I tried to not panic. Knowing I had some flexibility in my schedule, I would just go to the Woods Cross stop (10 minutes to the north), switch sides of the track, and take a southbound train to North Temple.
When I checked the UTA Trip Planner to get an estimated arrival time at the airport under such an arrangement, however, I began to worry. The southbound train wouldn’t show up for another 45 minutes–putting my arrival time at the airport within 30 minutes of my scheduled flight to Denver. If the security line was long, I’d miss my flight.
While not happy about the thought of having to pay $30-35 to Uber to get a ride to the airport, I was relieved to think that at least I had that option (which would provide me more peace of mind than the cutting-it-close train schedule would).
I went to the Uber website and quickly got frustrated that I couldn’t remember the password I’d created a year or so ago when I’d last used their services. At this moment (as I’m typing this), I realize that it would have been very fast and simple to request a new password from Uber. But yesterday my brain was flooded with Cortisol and I was not thinking clearly. Feeling anxious and antsy, I was afraid I’d waste a bunch of time trying to remember the password only to have there be no Uber drivers around (since the Woods Cross Frontrunner station wasn’t near any major roads). I wanted to start heading south NOW.
I decided I’d try to hitchhike. Maybe someone would at least take me to a freeway onramp, where another someone would pick me up and take me to the North Temple station . . .
Walking from the train station to the closest city street, I tried practicing emotional intelligence to manage my anxiety: “What am I feeling right now? I’m feeling anxious. Frustrated. Worried. Self-critical. Curious if I’ll get a ride. How do I WANT to feel about this situation? I want to find the hidden blessing. Let’s see . . . This experience will help me be more empathetic and understanding the next time someone I know makes a similar silly mistake. I’ll be able to say, ‘I know how that happens. Frustrating, though, isn’t it?! Hard to believe you missed something so obvious.'” I smiled to myself then, thinking, Erik is going to laugh and shake his head when he learns that I’ve hitchhiked again!
This kind of thinking brought me a measure of peace, and I felt slightly more relaxed as I stuck out my thumb to ask for a ride. Look confident, not pathetic, Shaunalei, I told myself.
The third car to pass pulled over. I briefly explained to the woman what had happened. Then–feeling my emotions well up–I warned her, “I may cry–this is so stressful.” She was patient with my tears and reassured me that she was happy to help.
As she began to drive, she told me that she had left her job in Woods Cross early because she wasn’t feeling well. (She is 37 weeks pregnant and suffering from kidney stones, poor thing!) She said she lives in Eagle Mountain so would be taking I-15 south. “Oh, you’re not feeling well. I don’t want to inconvenience you!” I told her. “You can drop me off wherever is convenient for you.” She again reassured me that she was happy to help and would be able to take me to the airport. I couldn’t believe her generosity! To make small talk, I asked her about her pregnancy, if she has other children, about her commute, where she intends to give birth, etc.
Within ten minutes or so we were nearing the airport, and I turned to her. “I don’t have any cash to pay you, Amy, but I’d be happy to send you money right now via PayPal.” She didn’t want me to pay her. I tried again. “Do you need anything for the baby? I could order something on Amazon for you,” I offered. “I’m fine,” she said. “You don’t need to give me anything.”
“Would it be all right with you,” I asked her, “if I allude to your kindness today on Facebook? We’ve had such sad news recently that I would like to share the story of your kindness with others. Not only have you helped me today, I think your kindness will help others, too, to remember that the world is full of good people.”
She smiled and consented.
Today I honor and share the Good News of Amy’s kindness! May her influence for good radiate out from this moment to bless and inspire others with the truth that there is an ocean of love to be shared–drop by drop in small acts of kindness.
Thank you, Amy of Eagle Mountain. Thank you for helping make the world a kinder, friendlier place. My heartfelt wishes go out to you for a safe, healthy delievery of your baby in the coming week(s). Your children are blessed to have you as their mother!