It Was A Very Good Day
For the last couple of days I have struggled to find a subject I wanted to talk about. I had lots of ideas, but I just couldn’t seem to pull the trigger on any one of them. This week, I tried to find the right inspiration over and over, but for some reason, I was distracted. I had nothing, and I continued to have nothing, until about 10 minutes ago.
I just couldn’t seem to drag myself out of bed this morning. Some days are just like that. Miles, the middle child, had a nightmare—at 2AM—and he let the rest of the house know about it. I couldn’t go back to sleep. That is, I couldn’t go back to sleep until 5:30 in the morning, just minutes before the alarm clock exploded and vibrated all the way across the dresser. By this time though, Miles was fast asleep. I love that boy.
I awoke in a bad mood, and I stayed in it. I didn’t brush my teeth right away because I wanted everyone in the house to ask me why, and I wanted to tell them, because I didn’t get any sleep. Have you ever had a day when you were in a bad mood and you wanted everyone to know, and you wanted then to know why?
It didn’t work. In my house, no one pays me any attention. Besides, everybody else was in a bad mood. I’m not sure if anybody brushed their teeth on this morning..
I decided to to only interact with the cyber world. I opened up my laptop and switched it on. The screen was cracked. Great. Most probably, like you, everything is on that laptop. Its how I start my day. I check e-mails, visit my favorite sites and I even plan my day there. All of my passwords are saved by my browser. I can’t use a different machine because I don’t have a clue what my passwords are. I can’t even check my bank balance or check into a flight. Aw man, this was a no good very bad day, I thought.
It was 6:45 in the morning. Ryan, my 12 year old, had forgotten to complete her homework assignment the night before. She frantically scrambled to complete it before the school bus came at 7. She didn’t make it. It wasn’t even close. “Can you give me a ride to school”? I haven’t even had coffee yet! Coffee tastes even better before you brush your teeth, and I was looking forward to it.
Unfortunately, I was impatient. I scolded Ryan for being late to complete her homework. She took it hard. She is the most lovely of children. She is a sweet and sensitive child, who really tries to please her parents and her teachers. She takes everything to heart. Now, my bad start to the day had made her bad start even worse. And I felt bad about it. This was a no good very bad day, I thought.
I went to the Sony store at the Woodfield Mall. Of course, I didn’t call first. And, of course, it was closed—out of business. I learned that fact from the gleeful people who work at the Apple Store. I decided to call the Old Orchard store on the way. It would be a 30 minute ride. After 20 minutes of holding on the phone, I was told I couldn’t buy a replacement screen and that the $400 repair would be ready in 10 to 15 business days. 15 business days without a computer? They were not kidding.
I found a place that sells replacement screens and I bought one. (I actually bought two, I broke the first one) I rushed home to pull up the youtube video that showed how to replace a computer screen. Then I remembered, I didn’t have screen to watch the video. I tried the self-repair anyway. I think you know that this did not go well. Right now, My computer is still sitting on the other side of the desk. Man, I was in a funk. It was a no good very bad day, I thought.
My wife had a meeting downtown, so it was just the kids and me for dinner. It was an early dinner. I made a chuck eye roast, sweet potato fries, and broccoli. The kids sat down at the table and shouted, and sang, and fought and ran all around. I had wine, they had grape juice. I thought about slipping them some of mine, in the interests of quiet. Instead, I just looked down at my plate, so I would not get angry. After they played with their food for what seemed to be a sufficient amount of time, I told them they could go to the basement and play Wii, IF they all ate their broccoli. They didn’t have much time because their mother was on the way home. They all knew when she arrived, it was going to be bedtime. She’s mean like that. They wanted to play Wii, right now. When Ryan dawdled in eating her broccoli, Chase, the 3 year old, angrily screamed at her to stop “bullsh%$#ng”! I figured it was a good time to raise my head.
He said, “I heard you said dat on da phone, Daddy”. I couldn’t think of anything to say. I told him to stop listening at the door of my office. I sent them all to the dungeon, er, basement. Man, this was a no good very bad day. I put my head back down and thought about the day.
And then I decided to be still.
I decided to be quiet and to listen to the voice inside. Its the voice that is always there, but that I don’t always hear because so much is always going on. The voice gently reminded of two very simple things. First, I was looking at the situations of the day all wrong. I was equating myself with a local being, a body—not with my true nature of spirit. I was making the situations real to me—not the ephemeral fleeting notions that they were.
The second thing I heard from my voice was that there are really only two ways to look at anything that seems to happen in this world—expressions of my true nature or calls for it. Today was a series of calls.
I thought for awhile. Thats right! Today had been a chance to me remember my true nature, a chance to overlook and forgive what was right in front of me. And I decided to take it. And I felt a peace and a joy that changed the whole of the day for me. I decided to forgive what had happened and it had no effect on me.
As it turned out, the day gave me an opportunity to show that external events and the demands of the world do not define me. Overcoming had nothing to do with actions in the world (after all, my computer is still broken) but it has everything to do with thoughts. I didn’t change the day, I changed how I LOOKED at the day. And this time, I could see that it had been a very good day.
Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend!