As I was saying, my trip to Kansas City was great. I had a terrific time: Fun travel partner/roommate and worthwhile and motivating workshops. The best part was the speaker during the closing banquet. I’ll have to get to her in another post.

For now, I’ll write that I was very moved by the workshop on handling conflict. There is a lot of conflict in everyday life and how you handle it has a huge impact on your quality of life. I’d like to think that I’ve gotten better at handling conflict since Conal was born. Well, sometimes. It’s tough to handle conflict. So, I want to share this poem with you — you may be familiar with it already, but I wasn’t when it was read at the workshop:

The Cookie Thief, Valerie Cox

A woman was waiting at an airport one night
With several long hours before her flight
She hunted for a book in the airport shop
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop
She was engrossed in her book but happened to see
That the man beside her as bold as could be
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene
She munched cookies and watched the clock
As this gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by
Thinking “If I wasn’t so nice I’d blacken his eye”
With each cookie she took he took one too
And when only one was left she wondered what he’d do
With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh
He took the last cookie and broke it in half
He offered her half as he ate the other
She snatched it from him and thought “Oh brother
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude
Why he didn’t even show any gratitude”
She had never known when she had been so galled
And sighed with relief when her flight was called
She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate
She boarded the plane and sank in her seat
Then sought her book which was almost complete
As she reached in her baggage she gasped with surprise
There was her bag of cookies in front of her eyes
“If mine are here” she moaned with despair
“Then the others were his and he tried to share”
Too late to apologize she realized with grief
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief

We make a ton of assumptions in life and we’re quick to think the worst. I’m not trying to be preachy, but I do think the sentiment is worth sharing: We shouldn’t be so quick to judge others or to be annoyed with them. I’m trying to practice a little more patience, in order to model it for Conal. Wish me luck!