Sometimes favors come one drop at a time

One of my goals is to learn how to be more gracious. I have this terrible trait that when I don’t want to do something, I say so.
Some might call this “sticking up for yourself” or “knowing your truth,” or even “being straightforward.”
Yet, there are many things you end up doing reluctantly.
The trick is, if I know I’m going to end up granting the request, I have an opportunity to do it willingly, even graciously.

Friend: “Could you drive to whatever place and do 12 things for me and then lend me money?”
Possible reply: “Yes, of course,” I could say, flipping my imaginary good citizen cape and putting on a genuine, good-natured smile.
Instead, I have heard myself say:
• “I’ll do it only if you’ve asked everyone else and they have said no.”
• “You can stay at my house, but only if you don’t ask me to clean it first.”
• “Yes, this one time, but please make arrangements with someone else next time.”
Recently a friend asked me to water his plants while he was traveling. He lives out of town and had already asked other people, who could not.
And I didn’t want to. I had other places to go, other things to do.
Yet, I knew I would do it anyway, and missed my opportunity to be gracious.

To further beat myself up, I thought about all the times I have gone out of town. My friend Kara graciously watered my potted plants.
My cat was fed and the mail fetched.
I should have said yes to my friend just because.
The thing about favors is that the person to whom you owe a favor is usually not the person who has recently asked for a favor.
This week I need to remind myself to say thank you, again, to all my gracious friends who have done me favors.
And to my sister, thank you for watering my friend’s plants when he went out of town.
Now I owe my sister a favor.
Supersize this
If you haven’t heard, this weekend will be the “supermoon.”

A full moon is almost always “super” in my book, especially if you have the right hand to hold.
The superlative has been added because the moon will be the closest to earth we will see this year.
I’ve heard the moon will appear 25 percent larger. Or was that 25 percent brighter?
An article in Slate’s online magazine explains, in detail that the moon will be closer, but we shouldn’t expect to be cosmically wowed.
And yet, I think we should all pretend. We should grab someone we like more than ice cream, head outside at 4:30 a.m. Sunday and bang pots and pans as if it is New Year’s Eve.

People who follow the Old Farmer’s Almanac also advocate planting under a full moon.
I found an article in the New York Times that interviewed a NASA scientist to debunk this myth.
But gardening doesn’t necessarily need to follow astrophysicists’ opinions.
If I plant seeds under a full moon, especially under a “super-full-moon,” maybe it will make a difference.
And really, is there ever a bad time to put seeds in the ground?

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