Today was a day I had been working up to for a week. Don’t know why, don’t really know where it started…but a minute at a time, experience here and frustration there had finally culminated into a day Alexander would have been proud of. You know the guy I mean…”Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”.
I got up with a full slate of things to do, not only today, but really the entire week. This was my first real work day since the holidays, and I needed to hit the floor running. But discontent had become my friend over the last several days and my mood was negative to say the least. So being chipper and positive about going back to work today…even work that I totally enjoy…was not destined to happen.
Early last week I had made several sales through the resale sites. But I had also had more than my share of stand ups and real flakes I had been forced to deal with, and each one just added fuel to the cranky fire. I’d have a good talk with myself, pull up the bootstraps, and then another would bow out on their pick up or pass on an item too late for me to offer it to another person. This had not been my experience at all with the resale sites, so it was discouraging.
From there, a chain of things began to happen. I found out something about someone close to me that was upsetting and a cringe of new disappointment in this person every time they crossed my mind began a pattern for the week. A different person criticized me with absolutely no cause another day and I felt angry and fed up and had a whole lot of head talk going on, and more than once said “to heck with it AND you”. A third group of circumstances happened, and I felt taken advantage of and unappreciated. I wasn’t sleeping well, I was waking tired and anxious. I would wake feeling like a fat lady was sitting on my chest, and I hadn’t felt that in years. To top off the week, I was balancing the checkbooks and realized I somehow taken money out of my account balance as if I had paid a bill online, but then forgot to pay it, so a late fee occurred. I hate it when that happens, don’t you? There were other things, but today…well…it was the grandaddy of it all. Or at least it felt that way on the heels of all the other incidents.
I went to the shop and had a no show on a pick up, even though I had reminded the person and could see they had picked up my message, but chosen not to reply to my “we are still on aren’t we?”. I was frustrated to the hilt and mad. Never mind that the other three folks showed up just as they said they would, were happy with their purchases and complimentary of our shop. I was laser-focused on the one who didn’t keep her word.
Then, I decided to stock the floor a bit and two items I had purchased just today crumbled in my hands today before I could get them out on the showroom floor. Frustration again.
Swinging by to get a soft drink and head out to try and find costuming for my granddaughter’s upcoming theater show, I climbed back into the car. I still don’t know how, but 30 ounces of that 32 ounce diet coke came out of the bottom of the cup, filled the cup well in the van, went into my seat (you remember how cold it was today right?) and started seeping into the carpet. And no paper towels or anything to mop up the mess in the car was to be found. I had pulled into the parking lot of Goodwill, the third place to try and find costuming, and had not found one items on the list as yet, and her show is next week. I was fussing in my mind because we had just gotten the list last week, I don’t have time for this, yada yada. Then the coke thing. Sigh.
I pulled out of that parking lot, narrowly missed getting sideswiped by some lunatic on a cell phone and barely missed a monster pothole on the other side. By this time, I was getting to the point of DONE.
I pulled into the parking lot of the thrift store where my friend was working and begged some paper towels, vented a bit, then got in the car to make one more attempt to find the costume pieces I needed. As I sat there for a minute, I felt like I was going to burst out in tears, and I am not that type in most cases. But I had just saturated to the point I didn’t want to do anything, be anything, or care anymore. And I actually sat there and voiced it out loud saying “What on earth is going on????” It is humorous to say it here, but I suddenly felt like God said ” I was kinda wondering the same thing, kiddo…what on earth is going on in you?”
So I sat. I didn’t analyze, I didn’t rant and rave, I didn’t cry, I didn’t try and figure it out. I just sat and let whatever it was just drift away in that moment. And I started to laugh, just a tiny snicker at first, but then it got the point of a hard, deep laugh. Yes, Rhonda…what on earth was going on in you? Pretty much nothing that I would even remember a week from now, but I was letting it ruin and rule a potentially great day and all because I had started a stream of self-pity a week ago that I had failed to stop feeding somewhere along the way. It had grown fat and lazy and had begun to think it was here to stay. But in that one moment of laughter, I decided it had to go.
I prayed to have a good day from there forward, and even threw in a little prayer I’d find the items for the theater show. And you know, I did…in the very next store there they were. Hanging side by side were the three pieces in the correct sizes. I wasn’t in that store 5 minutes and was done with the shopping. Before the pity purge I had about talked myself out of my next item on the list….standing in the Wally World returns line….but changed my mind and took a chance since I had made the start on turning my day inside out. That return line was ginormous, long and winding around four registers and down the front aisle toward the doors. I hesitated for a moment, then took my place behind an older gentleman. Everyone before him and everyone after me in line were complaining and fussing, sighing heavily and so forth, but I was silent and watched him as he greeted each person that passed by the returns line, tipping his cap to the ladies, patting kids on the head. He was in the same yucky line as everyone else, was making the best of it, and it wasn’t affecting his personal day at all. But he was affecting mine, and I was grateful for that little old man where I may not have noticed him at all if I had been standing there an hour earlier. I would have been too busy sighing and griping myself.
On the way home I thought about that little old man. He may have had the same kind of week I had been experiencing, but he chose to allow the good parts, like sweet cream, to rise to the top and just enjoy his God-given day, and went even further to help others enjoy their day too by his pleasantries By reaching out to involve them as they passed by, he was the person who gained the most.
So, I made a decision to do the same. I picked up the phone, sent a message to my daughter and told her I was going to pick up my granddaughter for a few days. Yes, even with this really packed out week of errands and getting ready for a shop sale this weekend pending on the schedule book, and a house that is way messy and needs my attention. I did it because Lorelai needed time with me, but I really did it because I needed time with me. I knew reaching out to someone else was one of the best ways I would get that Rhonda time. I needed to reach out beyond myself, my feelings and my frustrations and just enjoy myself and the gift of “today”, and if someone else reaped the benefits, well that was ok too.
I picked Lorelai up, and we got in the car. She looked at me, put her soft little hand on mine, and said ” GiGi, I am so glad I got to see you today.” I teared up…that is what I always make a point of saying to her when I see her…”I am so glad I got to see you today”. And I think probably God said the same thing to me today, too…and maybe added the word “finally” at the end…