On Bad Days

Have you ever had a day when you just want the world to go away? Like a nagging sister, the world is right there– tagging along, always needing something and making you tired and grumpy! I had a day like that recently.

When I woke up, the world had already begun its spin and I was sucked into the spin within my first hour. How can it be? I just woke up! How early do I need to get up, so that I’m not behind? Some days it seems like some time before 5:00 AM would do it. But who gets up before 5:00?–dairy farmers. I’m sure dairy farmers don’t care what the world thinks. They’re too busy taking care of cows. That’s exactly what I need, a cow.

Next thing I know I’m running out the door. Last month I wrote a song that has a line in it: “getting out the door’s like getting out of quicksand.” Yes, that’s true for me. I ran out of the door and started driving down my driveway only to stop the car and run back into the house to get the thing I swore I woudn’t forget. Ugh. Then I ran back to the car. The last time I had a start like this I drove off with my favorite red coffee cup on the back bumper of the car and you got it. It fell off somewhere and I have never seen the pieces it left behind. I drove by the area I think it flung itself into only to find high grass and a deep ditch. I didn’t check the bumper that morning but nothing would have surprised me. I loved that coffee mug.

I made it to school in time to drop boys off. It rained today, so when they got out of the car instead of the usual in the air kisses that they blow me, they blew me off and headed for the front door of the school in the rain. That’s ok. We had a plan for today. I parked the car and met them inside to deliver some slices of leftover chocolate cake to some of their teachers, past and present. As I shared the cake with Zach’s teacher, I said, “just a little sunshine coming your way!” As I headed to the next teacher– the PE coach, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a school door. I was wearing no make-up, but wet hair from the rain. All I made time for this morning was my frumpy clothes. Today would have been a great day for sleeping in. The PE coach was out sick, so we gave a piece of cake to a friend down the hall who was thrilled.

Next, I stopped off at Max’s class and asked his teacher if she had any work I could help with. Three hours later I finished organizing a year’s worth of second grade readers. I know I helped, but I was hoping for something artistic, like designing a colorful decoration for the hallway. Now, I love doing that, but organization is not my gift. But I’m sure that’s what she needed today and looking back, I’m glad I could help. When you think of me, don’t think of filing. OK, cows are starting to look better.

I headed home to make some phone calls and grab lunch. Right before I turned the car off it started making a funny sound. You know the sound, the one that sounds like money. OK, by now the world is really getting on my nerves! We just replaced a radiator. I wonder how much it costs to maintain a cow.

When I picked up Max and Zach we headed to Max’s class and decorated the hallway. A friend of mine came by and had her daughter out on the playground and asked if the boys could join them. “Are you nuts,” I thought, “how long can you keep them?” I mean, “sure that’s a wonderful idea.” Three hours later, our hallway of trees, butterflies, grasshoppers and flowers was complete.

Upon arriving home, everyone read books. Then Max did his homework. We all ate our slightly overcooked dinner together and made designs with a Spirograph. Do you remember those? We made our way to bed and read “The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash” which was a great book for today. We said prayers and I kissed boys goodnight. Then I was off to watch Grey’s Anatomy–thank goodness for TIVO. Who’d have thought time-shifting content could be so life changing and miraculous? Until the unthinkable happened–the last 5 minutes of Grey’s was not recorded. I know that I can get someone to tell me what happened, but at the time, let’s just say, it took my breath away. Now that I think about it, it’s kinda funny. I’ll bet if I was a dairy farmer, I wouldn’t have time to be interested in TV shows. I’d be waking up at 5 or 3 am to milk the cows instead, here I am with my day.

Someone was born today… someone died… someone fell in love… someone got closer to curing AIDS or a form of cancer… someone broke up with their boyfriend… someone celebrated a birthday with family and friends… someone celebrated a birthday alone… someone climbed Mount Everest… someone got lost… someone lost their first tooth… someone got their first job… someone found out that the cancer is still there…someone found out they are not sick anymore… someone else learned they are going to have a baby… someone felt loved, while someone else thought of taking their own life… all of this happened and so much more… and I felt all day like I wanted a do-over. Maybe that’s just it, we don’t get one. Max’s pre-school teacher Ms Beth used to say, “you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.” Maybe today was all the best and worst rolled together in into 24 hours, but it was my day. It just was. At the end of it, I find myself falling on my knees, thankful to God for all of it. For those who know the real “dirty-hair-pulled-on-top-of-my-head,-didn’t-take-a-shower-yet,-my-house-isn’t-clean-and-won’t-be-until-I-don’t-know-when,-got-$1.34-in-my-purse,” me. Those last five minutes of Grey’s Anatomy can be lost forever. I didn’t lose one minute of my day. Each moment I felt–the joy and disappointment. Tonight while preparing dinner…. I over-cooked a grilled cheese sandwich and I started crying. Zach looked up from the table and said, “what is it, Celia? is it just everything?” And I thought, “yep it is.” Somedays are like that even for dairy farmers.

This is the day that the Lord has made… let us rejoice and be glad in it. PS118:24

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