Monday was kind of a bad day.

Although after sitting here for a while with a cup of hot homemade soup, poking around the headlines and getting a few reminders that there are far worse things in other people’s lives than I had to deal with.

Everything in perspective.

Forgive me for sounding like the proverbial Pollyanna.  It really isn’t about that.  I actually did feel like this was the worst day ever for a few hours.

My Bad Day Monday included the following bad things:

  • lack of adequate sleep Sunday night
  • listening to Kidzilla and Fab Husband struggling to get ready for the day’s events on lack of adequate sleep
  • general feeling of soreness most likely resulting from the spectacular fall I took in the front lobby of the restaurant where we ate lunch on Friday (Not. Cool.)
  • postponement of morning shower until later in the day due to lack of adequate sleep
  • no clean yoga pants
  • an irritating meeting (by irritating I mean one that was not my idea and was not scheduled for the time I would choose)
  •  a changed meeting time that was not communicated to me until I arrived at said irritating meeting
  • bad traffic
  • hot summer weather
  • the realization when I arrived at irritating meeting that I could have participated in said irritating meeting from home, thus not having to worry about what to do with Kidzilla during said irritating meeting
  • a whiny Kidzilla (In her defense, she’s four and it was hot out and she was tired.  I would whine, too.  Oh, wait, I did.)
  • an unhealthy lunch
  • a nuclear-scale Kidzilla Tantrum
  • crabby Fab Husband (likely the direct result of no sleep, whiny Zilla and whiny Me)
  • takeout dinner because I was too tired/cranky to cook or engage in the What Do You Want to Do About Dinner? debate
  • Cat Three licking my egg roll at dinner (Fab Husband said cats do not lick food.  I disagree; I saw him do it.)
  • a whiny Kidzilla in Bedtime Tantrum Mode
  • lack of ability to fall asleep, despite being completely exhausted

But later I actually did get a full-blown in-my-face smack upside the head.  In two parts.

Part One came in the form of today’s headlines.  You know what they are; I don’t have to remind you what’s going on out there.  And while I did not necessarily read every story, I did scan the full gamut of the headlines and they made me feel every possible way there is to feel in about five minutes.  Sad, angry, incredulous, amused…and so on.

Part Two came in the form of an e-mail from an Angel I like to call Mom.  As is customary, there were several from her with subject lines indicating various topics and levels of importance.  One boasted the subject line NICE.  I just knew this was a disguise for one that Mom got that originally began with something like FW: in the subject line.  (I believe Mom uses such subject lines because she knows that there will be untold harassment from all of her children for sending things that begin with FW: to any of us.)

And so, with the requisite eye roll, I opened it.

It was nice.  First, it cracked me up.  And then it made me cry.  And then I suddenly wanted to get out of my chair, hit the floor on my knees, and thank God for my “Bad Day.”

My Bad Day Monday did NOT include the following things:

  • my own untimely death
  • the untimely death of anyone I love
  • a fire that destroyed my home
  • a life-threatening illness
  • any form of abuse from any person I trust
  • a car accident that left me paralyzed
  • a senseless violent act that claimed the life of innocent people
  • the absence of adequate food, water, clothing, or shelter for my family
  • the absence of the financial means to provide the items above
  • the loss of employment (OK, half-true on this one.  Unfortunately, this did happen to us just a few short weeks ago, but Fab Husband did have an interview on this very same day, so we’re better off than someone who had no interview at least.)
  • the lack of a sympathetic ear to whine at (Thanks, Weez.)
  • the lack of a sympathetic cell phone to text-whine at (Thanks, A.)
  • the lack of a Mom to ask what was bad about my day (Thanks, Mom.)
  • the lack of a Fab Husband and Kidzilla who love me completely, even when I’m as cranky as a Disney Villain
  • a divorce or a child custody battle
  • an absence of beauty

So that’s why I cried.  And also because I remembered what I had already forgotten happened on our way into the house a few short minutes before I saw the headlines and Mom’s e-mail…

On our way home, it was raining and sunny and thundering all at the same time.  I pointed this out to Zilla who laughed a bit and said “that’s not right.”  I agreed that it was pretty weird.  I did not miss the metaphor for life, however…little rain, little sun, little thunder to scare you all at the same time.  We talked about that for a minute.

Moving on.

When we arrived at the house and got out of the car, I saw a rainbow just starting to appear right across the street.  So we all stood and looked for a minute because rainbows are just cool.  Of course, there is the obvious Biblical symbolism as well.  So we stood and looked for a minute longer.  Then Zilla got distracted by something and I barked at her for missing the rainbow.

She explained very matter-of-factly that she had moved on to observe an ant crawling in the grass by her pink sneakered toe.

“But the rainbow is kind of a big deal…” I protested.

“I see it, Mamma.  OOH!  Look, Mom, there’s a little snail crawling here, too!

Kind of hard to argue with that.  In his essay Nature, Emerson discusses that childlike wonder.  He suggests that most adults do not truly see nature or only see it superficially.  The “lover of nature,” however, sees nature through the eyes and heart of the child.  We lose our ability to be awed and fascinated by even the smallest details of the natural world.  He suggests that we might all be better off if we spent a little more time in appreciation of nature.  That’s why we were looking at the rainbow.  But that was obvious; the ant and the tiny snail were less so.  Duh.  She totally gets It.

But then I forgot It for a few minutes until my cleverly disguised forward from Mom.  It came unattributed in the e-mail, of course.  Like any self-respecting English major, I searched the Internet to find some attributable source.  I found it buried on a site called The Board of Wisdom at this page.

Take a minute and read it.  I’ll wait.

See?  Not such a bad day after all.  We get Rainbows when we really need them.

Thanks, God (and Mom).  Let’s do it again tomorrow.

Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

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