Monday, July 06, 2009

A Woman of My Word

Sometimes it's the little things that reveal important things.

I've gotten to know my postal carrier. She's a she and not a he, like I thought a couple years ago when I got in trouble for not getting my mail very often. I finally got the courage about a month ago to ask her if she was the one who wrote "BOX FULL REPEATERS" on the salmon-colored paper that was in my mailbox, and she said, "No, that must have been my T-6." Whatever a T-6 is--probably her weekend replacement.

I explained to her that, since I pay my bills online now (ever since I started getting ready for the trip with my mom), I don't have much to get excited about in the mail, so I don't have the incentive to pick it up every day.

Well, after my doggie-sitting adventure, I don't think I've emptied my mailbox at all. Today, as I was studying my medical coding textbook by the window that looks out the front of the house, I spotted the mail truck drive by and park next door, so she could deliver a package for them. So I went outside and asked her if she had taken all my mail back to the post office, or if she was still shoving it in there.

She said it was still there, so I told her I'd empty it today, and she thanked me.

This evening I took a break from studying to put gas in the car, get groceries, and pick up a salad at Jack in the Box for dinner. On my way back home, I thought about stopping at the mailbox, but my front seat was filled with grocery bags, so I just came home, telling myself I'd get the mail in the morning before I left for work (she delivers the mail in the afternoon).

But sometime after 11:30 pm, it occurred to me that if I waited until morning, I would have lied to the postal carrier. Not that she would even know, of course. But I would know.

It's a bad habit to fall into, letting yourself do "good enough," or get "close enough" to what you've said you'd do. And I haven't really done the introspection yet to see if that's become a habit for me. All I knew was that, even if it was just this once, if I didn't do what I said I would do, I would make myself a liar. Just between you and me and God, that's not what I want to be.

I left the house and got the mail and kept my word.

It feels good.

"Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."
-- Matthew 5:37


Bekah said...

Ohh I'll come check your mail for you!! It's one of my most favorite things to do ever in life! (Not sure what sort of pitiful thing that says about me, but it's true!)

janice said...

Great post, Skye. And yes, it says a lot about ones character.

Checking the mail feels like opening a present, I like getting the mail too.

SkyePuppy said...

Bekah & Janice,

I don't know what kind of mail you get at your house, but mine is: that big wad of ads wrapped up by the Pennysaver that goes directly in the trash, that little postcard that tells me I got my Pennysaver today, bills that I don't need because I pay them online, joyful notifications from my maxed-out credit card that I could do a balance transfer (don't they check my balance before they decide to send that???), and all the miscelaneous ad cards for closet organizers, realtors, and car insurance.

I do look forward to the monthly newsletters from my church and the missions we support. Toward the end of April and in mid-December, I get some lovely cards, too! But sometimes I get them out of the mailbox after the fact.

You're welcome to check my mail for me, so my carrier doesn't have to work hard shoving stuff in that little, teeny space.

Christina said...

Skyepuppy, I am much like you in the "getting the mail" department. I have gone days before and let it stack up, partly because it's only junk and bills...but mostly because of my fear of spiders that like to wedge themselves between the pieces of mail and hitch a ride into my house.

I hate sticking my hand in that black box and hoping nothing crawls on me. (I am seriously considering spray painting it white for this reason alone.)

I do much better in the dead of winter...when the spiders are dead.

SkyePuppy said...


You're lucky you have the dead of winter to kill the spiders. They never really die around here.

Malott said...

It's a small thing, but sometimes small things define a character.