I am not normally a list maker, but I made one out last night. It never actually made it to a piece of paper, but it was very detailed in my mind. I conjured up a list of six really stressful, unpleasant, sad, or irritating things that happened to me in the past week. I liked my completed list. It justified my grouchy mood.
I woke up this morning and ran through the list in my mind again and again and then again. The menacing growl that ensued from my grouchiness became increasingly pronounced. I went to the grocery store and secretly hoped I would not run into any friends. I really hate to growl at people. It is never pleasant. But I ran into several friends. And I found that they lifted my spirits temporarily…
I came back home to mow the grass. Mowing is a great time to stew in negative thoughts. The list popped back in my head. I churned over the same things that were making me sad and stressed. I growled at the grass, as I completed the mowing.
When I stopped to move the mower to the backyard I checked my email on my phone. There was a Caring Bridge Update from my friend, Charles Siburt. Charles has had quite the battle with cancer that has led him to places that none of us wanted to imagine. I started not to read it. I was at my limit. I could not take anymore sad news this week. Ultimately I chose to read it.
The report was good. He is gaining strength after an all out battle with chemotherapy, infections, and other related problems. He is planning on teaching a short course in May that I usually serve as a guest lecturer for each year. At the end of the report, his wife said: Each day is a gift…
Each day is a gift. Even days that are chalked full of bad news are a gift. It is on those days that I remember why I am put on this earth. I am here to serve all of my friends facing serious illnesses. I am here to be a mentor and encourager of struggling colleagues. I am here to support my kids, as they face unpleasant and unexpected life events. I am here to listen to people in my community that are struggling.
The grouchiness is slowly subsiding. My growl is less menacing. I am finding that my twisted sense of humor is slowly returning. Life is good. Each day is a gift.