06/02/2016

If I was to be perfectly accurate, I should really have backdated the title of this post by forty-eight hours for a more accurate timing with my response and reflection to the events of that day.

This is another post about welcoming personal gratitude and achievement for the small things.

Three days before that (on the Monday), I loaded a long-overdue parcel in to my car with the intention of dropping it off at a post office on the way home from work. There is a lay-by of sorts for car parking outside but its availability is often limited. With that, once again, being the case on this occasion, I turned off and continued up the road running behind and in to a residential area. However, there was no clear space to park here either (without blocking someone’s drive or parking illegally, as many still do, on zig-zag lines). So, I took the opportunity and excuse to avoid the situation entirely and head straight home (had I truly been determined, I could’ve used the supermarket’s car park and walked a little way).

Arriving home, I discarded the parcel in to the boot of my car, where it would remain for almost seventy-two hours. Being of an anxious mind, of course, I never once forgot about it and, each time I left work and proceeded to drive through that village, I did momentarily contemplate parking up to post the parcel. Yet each evening, I simply drove home and continued in through my front door, bearing only the guilt I had manifested.

I live in a small village where the Post Office was recently downsized and relocated to a place within a local convenience store. Everyone here is surely grateful that we have not lost such a vital facility, where other hamlets and villages may be far less fortunate. This building is even closer to my home and yet, in over two-years of living here, I’d never set foot inside.

That fear of the unexpected, the unknown and the potential for faces who might ‘recognise me’ (as a local) was a strong influence in my decision to avoid the relocated Post Office. I thought I’d be okay with the plan of stopping off at a known location with a familiar layout and faces. But still, the ultimate issue here was my social anxiety and not the fact that my local Post Office had moved.

Thursday afternoon, on a day away from work, I returned home having done what I’d needed to do beforehand, with a quantity of spare time on my hands. That brown paper parcel almost ‘ticked’ in the boot of my car, like Martin’s Diorama in that episode of The Simpsons where Lisa’s jealousy overrides her actions…

I saw a couple of people going in and out of the ‘new’ Post Office. As I left my car, I grabbed the parcel under my right arm. I had told myself that it was now or never. It wouldn’t be healthy to hide from and avoid the place forever. I reminded myself that people in a customer service role are there to help you… You, as a customer, more often than not, have the easy part to do, often simply asking questions.

Before you knew it, I was in there, queued up and awaiting my turn. I was a little disappointed and surprised that the man behind the counter didn’t verbally recognise me (we often cross paths with a brief greeting as I head to or from work) but he was extremely helpful, willing and even entertaining. I even got to scan my payment card for the very first time – he was as eager to see if it would work as I was!

Receipt in hand, I then left the store, feeling pleased and satisfied that this long-time-promised parcel would now be on its way to the intended owner. Then yesterday, I received a private message via social media, confirming that the recipient had indeed received the parcel and was extremely satisfied with my gift. It had been much cheaper to send than I’d expected as well! I felt good in reading his message, not to mention the brief tale of how both he, his partner and the cat had each expected it would be something different altogether!

I’m proud of myself for having overcome the fear on this occasion. Knowing what to expect the next time I’m due to venture inside that building, I’m more confident that I can do it again.

Thank you for reading.

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