My body feels like it’s been through torture. A few days ago, I fell down the stairs. The Dude says that I did so with perfect slide form. He half-expected I would pop up to a stand at the end, just like Jacoby Ellsbury. Instead, I splayed across the foyer floor like one of my cats. I have an enormous bruise on my right hip, and have been unable to exercise (or sleep) ever since.
I’m also having a bizarre allergic reaction to something, so my skin is covered with red, itchy welts. The discomfort makes me grouchy. The antihistamines make me sleepy. I have various appendages packed in ice for most of the day. I’m playing a wedding Sunday, and I’m wondering how I’m going to get through four hours in pantyhose. I need to wear them to cover the red welts. Speaking of which, I have to buy pantyhose.
My husband is out paragliding, so I am home with the Dude and a group of his friends, which means we’re having Domino’s for dinner. I despise Domino’s. Yup. The worst effing day.
That being said, I’ve gotten a lot accomplished. I’ve edited another chapter of my novel, tossed it out to four betas, and queried a really cool indie mag about some quirky poetry ideas that will expand my reach and repertoire. The weather is looking great for the wedding, which isn’t a given this time of year.
The Dude and his friends are happily hanging out around the dining room table eating pizza, dissing each other and laughing about the stupid, wonderful stuff that teenaged boys laugh at.
I had the presence of mind to order a salad, although I’m enjoying a piece of deep dish pizza. I’ve made a pot of chamomile tea, and I’m reading a really good book. Because my husband isn’t home, I didn’t have to cook, and pizza involves almost no clean up.
The boys head outside to play basketball. I can hear them cheering each other on. The Dude is happy. I get myself a glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc. It’s bright and citrusy and has a touch of effervescence. I plow back into the book.
And I say it out loud. “What a great day.”
WTF? Wasn’t this just the worst day? How can it be?
The welts hadn’t disappeared from my skin, I was still limping around with a bad hip, and Domino’s hadn’t suddenly improved their menu overnight. But amidst all the crappy stuff, there was some good stuff–enough good stuff to make a difference. It didn’t suddenly appear. It had always been there.
I have always said that you can’t find happiness, because happiness is. If that is true, the only difference between a crappy day and a great day is what I choose to look at. The power is mine. Like Dorothy’s shoes, the ability to go home has always been with me. Telling myself it’s a bad day, with bad things, warranting a bad mood, brings me nothing but more bad.
This week, I will see the good among the bad. I will be grateful for Benadryl, good books, and a chamomile tea. I will thank the universe for producing beautiful days, beta readers, and fermentation. I will smile more and scratch less. And it will be a good day. I am glad to be sharing it with you.
Words by J. B. Everett
Photograph “Dorothy’s Shoes” by SpecificallyJane © 2011 Creative Commons