Need an “assist” from life?

Do you have a cynical side like me?

Mine can get pretty intense, and when it flares up like a crotchety old man, I feel disconnected from everyone and disillusioned by everything, as though a grey little raincloud is parked over my head, misting me with ennui.

My cynical side is impervious to chipper advice, gratitude practices, or lavender baths.  I don’t know exactly what has it ease up and let the sunshine and bounce of my optimistic side take a turn at bat.

I’ve got no tried-and-true formula for that one, but I do have a good story to share about getting a recent “assist” from life that had my cynical side perfectly happy to go take a nice long nap.


Last week I traveled to the San Francisco Bay area for my final book launch event.  (It was amazing, by the way!  We packed the joint, sold the bookstore out of my books, giggled together, cried, and really propelled my new book into the world, in style and with heart.  Thank you from the sole of my soul to all who helped, came in person, and showed up in spirit).

Anyway, after landing and lugging my bags out to ground level, I puzzled over which option to choose from my Uber app — X?  Black?  Pool?  huh?  — and finally settled on “Assist” since it was an inexpensive option and would still get me fairly quickly to my friend’s car, which I was picking up for her.

I chatted with my driver, epically named Euripides, who revealed himself as the kind of person who is impressively happy and grateful for his life on a daily basis, even though he drives people’s cynical sides around all day and only sees his wife and two beloved teenage daughters a few times a year since they live in Brazil.  I miss my own kid after a few days away, so I can only imagine how these circumstances could dull his shine.  But they didn’t.

He also revealed himself as the kind of person who waits a few extra moments to make sure your key works and you get in your house safely, especially when it is late at night or wretched weather — or, in my case, to make sure that I got safely on my way, settled snugly in my friend’s car.

Which wouldn’t start.  Battery totally dead.  With a tire so flat it wouldn’t be drivable even to a nearby gas station.

Euripides, without blinking an eye, drove me across town to get his tools and then back again to the stranded car so he could jump start the battery and fill the tire with air.  Which gave us some time for him to tell me about a book he is writing full of stories shared with him by riders in his car — including heartbreaks, divorces, miracle babies, and cancer remissions — and also his own advice, especially for single people, on “how to spot a loser.”  (I hope to read it one day, Euripides).

As my friend’s car tire slowly filled with air from Euripides’ magical, miracle, portable battery/air compressor, he told me he thought it was weird that my request for a ride came through as “Assist”, since that is a designation for folks who can’t walk or need help with their multiple oversize bags, wheelchairs, and the like, and I didn’t fit any of those descriptions.

I told him it was just another one of my random choices, and we both had a little laugh.  Because he is one of only a handful of specially-trained drivers to “Assist” and because if I hadn’t unwittingly chosen “Assist” I would have been waiting for many freezing hours for a tow truck in the San Francisco late-night fog.

Along with Euripides, I have been visited by a string of such meaningful and kinda funny synchronicities in the past week or so.  Regularly-dressed humans showing up as angels.  Serendipitous “assists.”

These synchronicities feel to me as though the intelligent connective tissue of life itself is wrapping itself around me, affixing me to you, and my need to your gift, and my answer to your prayer.  These synchronicities allow my cynical side to take a hike.

My friend Sera calls these synchronicities “divine winks” — which makes me think of the Divine mischievously parting the veil between this world and the “other world,” poking her eye through and letting us know we are very cute and right on track and it’s all going to be okay.

I have to wonder, are those synchronicities always there and I’m just usually too busy — or I’ve got my head too far up my you-know-where — to see them?  Are they little “rewards” from the universe gifted to me when I slow down, look up, and make some space?  Or do they come and go like everything in life, seasonal, like summer fireflies or winter snow flurries?

I can’t say for sure.  Although I can celebrate the heck out of them when I am visited by them.

Synchronicities remind me that simplifying and savoring needn’t stop our productive momentum, but they can instead restart the flow of ease and well-being.

They remind me that we are always connected, even when we don’t feel it or believe it.

And they remind me that life is always happy to assist us, even when we don’t trust it or remember to look for it.

Would you share a recent sychronicity in your life?  I think they are better than bedtime stories.  😉  Big or little, all are welcome.  I’d love to hear yours.

PS:  In case you are also following the troubles and transitions with Uber as of late, do know that this is not an endorsement for Uber.  I’m a big fan of Lyft and taxis and limos and mass transit and rides from friends, whatever.

I haven’t gathered the full story for myself on all that is tarring Uber’s reputation, so I don’t have any official comment to add to my little story here, but in case it’s important to you, do know that I steer as clear as I can from companies that are racist, misogynist, or otherwise neglectful of their employees.

And, I’m pretty happy in this case that my dollars went toward Euripides’ college fund for his daughters.  Wink, wink.