I had plans to be efficient and productive all day yesterday, and instead, almost everything felt laborious and stressful. It started out well. Jude had his first dentist appointment, and not only where we early (what?!), we had fun waiting to be called back for the cleaning. There were arcade style video games in the waiting room, and Jude and I had a blast playing one called “Rush 2049,” a driving game. I held him up so he could manipulate the steering wheel while I operated the brakes.
It was awesome.
The appointment went well, and we were out of there earlier than I expected (what?!). I dropped Jude at school and arrived at work just in time for a productive meeting.
Yes, it was all going along so well.
I’m not sure what happened after that point. Maybe I chatted too much, or I waded through my work at too slow a pace, or I might have even spent too much time worrying about a few unknown variables on my schedule. Whatever the case, I didn’t accomplish what I hoped I’d might, and by the time I left work (too late) and set out to pick-up Jude, my hopeful mood soured. By the time I made dinner later in the evening–a frustrating recipe because of it’s reliance on precise timing, made more challenging by an ornery nineteen-month-old–I was frazzled.
Between leaving work and getting home to make dinner, Jude and I made a stop at one of our favorite places: the mall. But unlike our usual afternoon strolls, we were there yesterday to purchase shoes for my buddy because I had a coupon that expires today and because, well, it’s time for a new pair. Before we headed to the shoe store, we made a mandatory visit to pick-up a soft pretzel. It’s become a habit, a treat that we both adore, one that also helps get us through those afternoons when one or both of us are in cranky.
Whenever I am having a particularly awesome day, I find myself reflecting on how lucky I am to be enjoying whatever good fortune has befallen me.
“Life is spectacular,” I’ll think, head cocked, smiling to myself in a way that says I’ve figured out the secret to the universe.
When I’m having a lousy day, I do the converse. I pile every miserable thing on top of the last one until I’m convinced that happiness is a distant acquaintance with whom I might never cross paths again.
Once in a while, on one of those bad days, I’ll try to take notice of the bright spots, and though the video gamess at the dentist’s office and the constructive meeting yesterday were nice, sharing a pretzel with Jude at the mall while he babbled and laughed and danced–that was the highlight of my otherwise mediocre afternoon.
And I loved every second of it.