Dec 11, 2007

On Bad Days that Turn Around

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It was one of those days I would prefer to forget, and it started with the predawn misery of my residual influenza symptoms. I crawled out of bed, slugged down some coffee, and trudged out into what would be a miserable day.

My car decided that the heavy rains were not to its liking, and my many errands today were spent coaxing my sputtering Hyundai along the still-icy roads of Lucas and Monroe counties. I was stuck for five miles behind some twit driving 30 in a 45 mph zone, and I could not seem to get my car out of its apoplectic third gear. The hundred percent humidity also meant that my windows remained coated with mist all day.

Given my laryngitic throat, I decided that I would mix in some video during my lecture, and chose an interesting film on the medieval trans-Saharan gold trade. As I arrived to my class, it dawned on me that I left the film back at my home, some 30 miles away. I now had 17 minutes to pull a lecture out of my arse, and to hope my voice would last long enough to teach.

And yet, bad days do not have to stay that way.

I made it through the lecture relatively unscathed, and my car behaved in a less-disruptive fashion on the trip home. The rain also let up, making my trip a bit less white-knuckled. Walking into the house, I saw that my youngest daughter - without prompting, I might add - had cleaned our train-wreck of a house to the point where it looked, well, pretty decent.

We then gathered the kids together and drove to find a Christmas tree, an annual family tradition. For one evening, my whole family was together, and we also managed to eat a lasagna dinner without any bickering between siblings.

And lo and behold: my angst-ridden teenagers actually laughed in the process of tree decoration, the house filling with a collective mood that approached joyful in a month that has been filled with stress and crisis. As I write this post, my kids are singing along with Karaoke Revolution at a level that would have grated on my nerves a few hours ago, but which I now find to be pleasant. Truth be told, I even scorched my aching vocal chords by jumping in with renditions of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" and a-ha's "Take on Me."

Even rotten days can turn around.

3 comments:

Tim Higgins said...

Michael,

Thank you for reminding us that optimism is always the best way to handle difficult days. Far too many times in my life I recall the old saying, "It always lookes darkest, just before it goes completely black".

Robin said...

Yay, for days that turn out to be not as bad as we thought they would be!!!

microdot said...

My, burrrrp, stomach virus is getting better...uurrrppp!
Perhaps today I will, urrpp, get a christmas tree....