I had such a bad, bad day. It sucked. After one particularly God-awful, horrible phone call, I decided to stop at 7-11 for a Big Gulp. On my way into the store for a much-needed Pepsi, I decided to throw away some trash from my car. I was so stressed out, and flustered, and upset that I accidentally threw away my car keys along with the trash. From what I understand, the cost to replace one of these keys is several hundred dollars. That wasn’t the biggest problem, though. My car was locked. Unless I found that key, I was stranded. So there I was, as if I my day wasn’t already bad enough, I had to dig through a damn trash can like a bag lady to retrieve my keys, the keys I had absently mindedly, idiotically thrown away. Yeah, my day wasn’t so great.
I drove home feeling stunned and kind of beaten up, not at all looking forward to another night of wandering around aimlessly trying to figure out what in the heck to do with my time (besides clean.) I threw my bag down and headed upstairs to change clothes and scrub my face with Noxema. I scrubbed away while the tears that I had been holding back dripped down my face. When I was finished washing my face, I felt strangely improved. I was able to breathe again.
When I walked into my room to change clothes, I caught a glimpse of the computer and saw that a couple of emails had come in. One email was from a friend who was just touching base. It felt good to be thought of and remembered. The other email was from a friend who works in the Chicago area. I had talked to her last week, and at the time had told her that I was considering a trip to the city in a week or so. I need a few days off, and I need some time to myself. I want to see Andrew, wander around the City, and simple BE. I want to get lost in the crowds and come home refreshed and recharged. My friend wondered if I had firmed up my plans. She wanted to get together and invite a few mutual friends to dinner. Suddenly, I felt optimistic. I had been reluctant to make reservations. I was afraid. I imagined myself wandering around alone and feeling lonely and sad.
After I changed clothes, I went outside to water the plants, and T joined me. He followed me around and told me about his day. We decided to have a quick dinner of salad and head out to take a long walk. The weather was perfect, and we wandered the streets of our childhood yet again. As always, he pushed me up and down hills. When I wanted to turn right and head home, he said, “Left. Nope, we’re going left.” We talked as we were walking, too. He needs a vacation, not just a day or two, but he wants to go somewhere far away. I agreed, and we’ll be figuring out a date as soon as possible. The summer is slipping away. It’s almost July.
When we walked in the house after our walk, my phone was ringing. It was another friend. Another person, in another place whose job is the same as mine. We met as work colleagues, but we have become good friends. He is hosting a state event in the fall. I had emailed him several days ago offering to help in any way possible, and he called to thank me and take me up on my offer. We had a nice, long conversation catching up on each other’s lives and jobs. It was good to hear his friendly voice and booming laugh. It was good to catch up on mutual friends, and I was still smiling long after his call.
Luke and Shannon were here tonight, and I joined them in the living room. Before long, T joined us. Shortly after that, both Luke and T were sound asleep. Shannon and I hadn’t been particularly interested in what they were watching. It was a documentary on Absinthe done mostly in French subtitles. Once we realized that they were asleep, we felt free to talk over the show. It was nice to have a little girl talk. After a bit, we decided to head into the kitchen for a snack. We looked around, and while there was plenty to choose from, nothing jumped right out at us. Eventually, after eyeing the box of Ghirardelli brownie mix, we had no choice but to make brownies. Delicious, and we topped them, warm from the oven, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Yes, life is strange. Some moments seem almost unbearable, but when we wait it out and wade through the muck to the other side, we see yet again that life is precious. Good things are all around me. I thank God that this evening was filled with small kindnesses. An email from a friend, a phone call, a walk, and making brownies with my son’s girlfriend turned my day around. I felt a part of a larger whole. I lost my sense of failure and isolation.
My problems have not been caused by other people. (Although some people have contributed!) Most of my problems are coming from within myself. My choices, my lack of , lack of SOMETHING, but I’m not sure what, has allowed stress, negative people, loss, disappointment, and simply LIFE to get me down. Like a record that skips over and over in the same place, like wheels stuck in the mud, I am the one who has been failing to push forward, let go of the past, and trust that life can and will be good again. I keep waiting to find a big, boulder to climb up on and shout “Here I am. I’m better now!” Instead, I have to realize that it is the little pebbles piling up and up that will accumulate into something large enough to lift me back up.