My office is next door to Pleased To Meet You, a Gin Bar in the centre of Newcastle.
Yesterday, when I walked past at about 6.30am there was a man cleaning the inside of the windows.
He was concentrating hard, frowning and focusing at the exact spot on the inside of the window that his chamois leather was wiping.
The thing I noticed most though was, his tongue was out. His glare didn’t shift from the movement of the leather. And as he wiped left, then right, then left again – his tongue wiped in the air too.
Left, right. Left, right. His pointy tongue swept in time with his hand.
It was funny. I am glad I noticed it. It really made me smile.
What I didn’t notice yesterday (even though I imagine they were there – they’re always there) were half eaten kebabs next to bins instead of in them, selfishly parked cars without parking tickets, nice (but forgetful) people’s cars with parking tickets and maybe even a discarded empty purse or two, stolen then discarded by last night’s pickpocket.
I didn’t notice them because, yesterday, I wasn’t looking for them.
Where all this is leading is to a very short but very poignant thing that I read recently. You have probably read it too. I just wanted to point out that, well, it’s true.
Whatever you look for – you will find.
Opportunity. Dead ends. Kindness. Cruelty. Flowers. Dog shit.
Look closely enough. And of course – you’ll find it eventually.
Today, I will notice what I notice. And I will choose wisely.
I’ll listen to the people I meet as well. I will listen whether they choose to tell me about the last thing they complained about in a coffee shop, or a funny man with a wipey tongue in a bar window.
I will notice what you notice. And other will, too.