I have been remiss

in thanking you for your kind thoughts regarding my series of Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad days earlier this week.

You are lovely. And thus, I love you. Thank you.

The next day was as decreed, much better and the day after that too.

When I took myself to bed the night that I posted my mournful lament I settled in for a session of feeling very super sorry for myself whereupon I planned to take a detailed and exhaustive mental inventory of everything that had gone wrong that day. And then I thought that perhaps this might not be the best thing for preparing myself for the following day, which had been slated to go so much better, and also, Aaron was already asleep so there was no one to whine to, which made the Sadbadthings inventory plan considerably less inviting. So then I figured that just to mix things up, I would think about all the things that had gone right that day and see where that ended up.

And so I started at the very beginning...a very good place to start.

I had woken up in a heated house, safe and healthy and in no pain
My husband had left for his job that morning
In a functioning vehicle
And had arrived there safely
I had been able to feed my kids breakfast
And dress them in warm (if mismatched) clothing
And send most of them to school
Where they arrived physically unscathed.
I was able to go grocery shopping...
With money
and so on and so forth

And I guess I fell asleep sometime around accounting for noon because it was getting really tiring counting up all those cheerful facts.

My, my, my sooooo many things go right every day don't they? But it certainly doesn't take much for me to declare it a bad day. One of my 4 kids was sick (that means 75% of them aren't-whoohoo check out that Math), 2 of my kids were sad (but most of the time they aren't and it still leaves 50% who were pretty content), to be honest I can't actually remember the other stuff that went "wrong" earlier this week but it appears that for the most part I was having some exceedingly blessed days..so then why the desperate despair?

I blame the children.

Have you noticed that things being wrong with our kids are like a drop of black food colouring in a glass of clear water? It just takes a little bit of that to make the whole thing look murky? Oh my word. When I think about the many drama filled years that lie ahead and all the different ways my children can be unhappy during their lifetimes, I die a little bit inside. I don't think I can take it. Beam me up already Scotty!

But I'm told that's part of the package and apparently other parents have survived.

Which is why I really have got to become more accomplished at taking it one day (one minute?) at a time and recognizing the great good in the midst of the relatively occasional pain. And somehow I need to come to the acceptance that we were born to suffer (right Shona? ;). Because unappreciated as it might be, the suffering actually allows for growth. And it also allows for the good days to be really, really good. (which is why, as I may have mentioned a few hundred times before, I run/shuffle. Because once that is over, most everything else in life seems perfectly scrumptious and cushy in comparison).

Anyway. I have noticed this tendency in other areas of my life. If I am criticized by one person then all is lost. I am a failure, a hateful, awful failure, who the entire world clearly loathes (how stupid am I to have missed that all this time) and why does God even allow me to take up the oxygen that some other more deserving organism could enjoy? If I have received 2000 other kind, supportive, loving or friendly remarks on that same day, well that just doesn't matter-they are all meaningless, because only the unkind things can be really, truly true, right? Even if I know the criticism is unfounded or unfair it's enough that it happened. This makes it legitimate enough to ruin my day, or even a few of them.

I have also discovered that there are often times when I can be sitting in a comfortable room surrounded by my loving family, eating chocolate or something equally enjoyable-every element in place for contentment, yet something is nagging, I can't be happy! I must not be happy! Happiness would be irresponsible right now because there is something that I am forgetting to be worried about....if I can just remember what it is...... My brain scans scans scans until it finds the thing that I am supposed to be worried or sad about, like a radio dial skimming over all the happy fuzz until it gets to the solid sadness. Why is it that the bad stuff is the right channel for me? And all the good stuff is just the filler? The static? I find that this is hormonally fed and more likely to occur at certain times then others.

But really, what a drag. My husband does not experience this. He could be sitting on the decaying deck of his house which was in foreclosure waiting to see whether the repo man or the tornado coming down the road was going to get his car first..and he would be perhaps mildly and momentarily distressed, but he would be waiting for his mental dial to move out of the unhappy fuzz and settle back onto the All Is Well Channel. And he would know that this was bound to happen fairly soon.

For some of us, like him it comes naturally. To such is given the trial of being married to the likes of me. For the likes of me, it is going to take a lot of practise. And so I am off to bed to recount the blessings of this day and envisage the faces of all the people who think I am pretty ok so far as people go. The best of whom will be lying across from me, peacefully, contentedly, happily snoring.

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Chief said...

It's so true. We have to be of a particular mindset in order to balance the scale between good and bad each day. Some days are easier than others, but sometimes I just give up and want to go back to bed and try it all again.

Brittany said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to post this. I thought I was talking for a minute...You have no idea what it means to me to hear someone else's take on feeling this way.

JUST ME, THE MOM said...

I know we all have days like this. When I get feeling really down, I start making a list like yours in my journal - I call it a gratitude journal, just so I can look back from time to time and keep reminding myself how blessed I really am.


{ L } said...

Sorry it's been rough lately, that is no fun. :( I think I've told you this before, but I LOVE your writing style.

The Redhead Riter said...

Life is definitely not easy.