That’s just the way it is. Nothing anybody can do to fix it. It just sucks. No matter how grateful you are for the good things that happen in your life, or for all the wonderful people who are part of your life, it just doesn’t make it any easier to deal with the fact that on those days when everything goes to heck in a basket, there’s nothing you can do about it.
Today a friend mentioned he’d started the day out with one miracle after another and by noon, his time – which is two hours ahead of mine – his day had been filled up with crap like a sewer truck had just taken a big dump. I knew what he meant. I’ve been there.
Some days are just like that…
Those days feel as if you’re grateful for all the wrong things and the bad stuff overwhelms the good stuff until you just feel like you’d be better off to give it all up and go back to bed, pull up the sheet and hide until a better day comes along. But that isn’t the deal we get.
Every day has twenty-four hours, every hour has sixty minutes, ever minute has sixty seconds and we’re not guaranteed even one more of those. Not one second more is guaranteed to us. We could be taken away, stolen from this life in the blink of an eye, doesn’t even take a second. And anyone or anything that we’re grateful for can disappear in the same way.
So what do we do when this day sucks?
When I was in college, there was a girl named, Stephanie. She wasn’t a particularly memorable person. I don’t even remember her last name. But I remember her philosophy of life, the one thing she shared that made sense to me. In class one morning, the teacher came in from a night on the town (probably with no sleep before class started) and he spent first hour screaming at everyone in the class because one person in a different class had turned in his report with no name on his typed paper. The instructor couldn’t figure out whose paper it was, and had to wait until the next morning (that morning) to ask in class who belonged to the nameless paper. For an hour, he pointed fingers, screamed, paced the floor and tormented every single person in that class until about three minutes before class was over, about not putting a name on the paper, then… in those last three minutes, revealed that it hadn’t been our class at all, passed our graded papers back to us and dismissed class.
As we left, Stephanie said, “My, my, that hour sucked! I have to find something good to concentrate on before my next class.”
I followed her out of class and watched the next 120 steps she took to our next class.
“Jenny, that’s a gorgeous sweater. Did your grandmother make it for you?” She asked the girl who sat in front of her during both classes.
“Yes, she did. I thought I told you that last time I wore this?” Jenny responded, slightly clipped at the realization that this question had been discussed before.
“You did, I think. It’s just so pretty, I thought maybe this was another new one.” Stephanie smiled brightly, “I’m so glad you have your grandmother to make you pretty things. I miss my Grannie every single day. But it makes me smile to know other Grannies are still here loving us.”
We walked on…
“Jim, I saw your game last night. You’ve got some throwing arm there! Glad you won,” Stephanie said brightly as we passed the star of the college baseball league.
“Thanks, Stephanie,” he nodded and went back to talking with the guys.
Tomi Cant, a mentally disabled student who attended our college limped ahead of us, her constant smile and gleeful laughter a joy to every student. I mused as we walked toward her that Tomi never seemed to need a reason to laugh, she just laughed all the time. Then I heard Stephanie say what I had been thinking.
“Oh, Tomi, I’m always so happy when I find myself walking behind you down the hallway. You’re always laughing and I love to hear your giggles. It brings the sunshine to my day,” Stephanie gave the girl a quick hug and walked into class in front of me.
She sat down in her seat and I sat down in mine, placing my books and folder on my desk. I opened a notebook and wrote down the scenes I’d just witnessed in the hallway.
“Now, this is going to be an amazing good day,” Stephanie announced, to no one in particular, and I heard her.
I’ve thought about that day many times. Often, I pull that spiral notebook out and read those words, scrawled in my college note taking hand, as if I’d never need them again. I need those words every single moment of every single day of my life. I need to remember that when bad things happen and my life sucks, I only have to allow that moment to have that terrible awful feeling. Every other moment, I can decide from that moment on, forever, to make it better, to forget the bad things that happen and just enjoy each moment, each blessing that comes into my life.
I thank God for sending Stephanie into my life that day, so many years ago, to remind me that when some days suck, I can change my day and make it just the moment, the one that is passed and the next one, the very next moment, can be amazing.
Thank you Lord for making these amazing moments in my life.