I love to celebrate achievements. Ok, fine, I love to celebrate EVERYTHING! Today my husband ran his 17th marathon in Buffalo, NY and we came along for the journey to cheer him on.
As many of you runners know, race morning is crazy, especially when it’s a sold-out city race. Race organizers encouraged spectators to skip the finish line and meet their runners in the convention center. Many roads were blocked off and traffic was rerouted.
We were 479 miles from home in an unfamiliar city with three children in tow. Not an ideal situation for waiting 4 hours to celebrate a 26.2 mile finish. The kids and I decided to stay back at the hotel, while my husband ran the race with his buddies who had also traveled from Virginia.
Even though we weren’t at the actual race, we still wanted to celebrate this accomplishment. 17 marathons? That’s insane!
We made posters in the room using the tag board and markers I proactively packed in my backpack. I wanted to display the signs on our hotel door, but quickly discovered that I forget to bring tape.
The futile search through my purse resulted in a stack of post-it notes, mints, lip balm, ear buds and two Hot Wheels cars. Being creative, I decided to use the post-it notes as adhesive strips to attach the signs to our door. Genius!
The signs stayed on the door a grand 23 seconds before dramatically falling to the floor in a fluorescent heap of hard work.
“If you need some tape, you can borrow some from the front desk.”
I turned to see the hotel housekeeper, her friendly smile observing my disastrous decorating. I returned the smile and thanked her for the suggestion.
We chatted a bit more; I gave her permission to skip cleaning our room and she graciously gave me new towels and trash bags. I returned to my room to put on my shoes, then headed down to the front desk.
She beat me there.
When I approached the hotel entrance, there she was, pieces of tape hanging from each of her fingertips. “I was going to bring these to you for your signs. Here’s more tape if you need it.” I nearly squealed from my joy!
(Ok. I’ll be honest. I really did squeal. I was so excited!)
We both returned to our stations, me at my door, her across the hall cleaning someone else’s room. We chatted while we tended to our separate tasks. I learned that her name was Stacey and she wasn’t much of a runner. Her dad raised her to play softball and somewhere along the way she discovered a natural talent for bowling. We both agreed it was much more enjoyable to play for fun and let your talent shine versus playing with vengeance and spite.
My door was finished and we parted ways. The tape not only held the signs securely, but looked a lot better, too.
A while later, I passed Stacey again as I was taking my children to the pool. She recognized me and waved, holding out two sets of stickers for the kids. How thoughtful and kind! I couldn’t resist the opportunity to thank her again and take a photo to post on this blog.
When was the last time you stopped to chat with a stranger? Maybe you feel awkward, or haven’t had a really good reason to share more than casual pleasantries. That’s ok; no judgment here.
The next time you’re traveling however, take just a few moments from your busy day to thank those who make your stay a bit nicer. Greet hotel workers with a smile. Show your appreciation with kindness or a monetary tip. You might find yourself being blessed just the same!
If you are traveling to Buffalo, you might consider staying at the Airport Comfort Suites. I know of an awesome housekeeper named Stacey who can help you with anything you need.
Even locating tape. 😊