I think the definition of good depends on your circumstances. For example, a bad day for me now would have been a good day for me two or three years ago – and what I call “boring” now didn’t exist then. Life was more hectic and dramatic then. It just goes to show how what you call “normal” can shift over time.
This time of year it can get especially tough. The kids are out of school and by golly, we want our summer vacation too. I told Rick this morning that the biggest shock of adulthood was living the reality that not only does your workplace stay open in June – August, but that might actually be your peak time of year, depending on where you work. It always has been for me, from day care days to license renewals now. I’m not sure what genius thought making things due in the summer and Christmas was a good idea, but a lot of people thought it, because it’s peak time for a lot of things. The good news is that you only have to do this for thirty years or so, and then you get back all of those Christmas and summer breaks that you didn’t – it’s called retirement.
But is this bad? It depends. I meet a lot of people that think the worst thing in the world is working, but I can assure you that it isn’t, because I’ve been doing it for eighteen and a half years, and I’m still alive and healthy. I remember struggling to find a full time job when I graduated college and got married – it was definitely more stressful to need a job and not have one than to be busy with a steady job. Then on my drive in to work today, I remembered a conversation I had with a coworker at my last Department that came out of retirement to help us out part time. I was so shocked when she said “don’t be fooled. People say retirement is wonderful, and it is if it’s time that you’re missing. The problem is that you don’t have the money to go out and do things all the time, so you sit around and do nothing, which makes for long, dull days.” God bless her soul, she actually continued to work for as long as her health would allow. So while many of us fantasize about what we’d do if we weren’t chained to the workplace all day, the fact is that having nothing to do apparently is just as frustrating. What's right today isn't what's right everyday.
I think this is where the gratitude I mentioned in my last entry comes in. I learned the hard way in 2010 that there are always blessings in life, and they can vanish with little notice. I was so glad to break free of the rut I was in at that point in my life that I didn’t realize how many little things gave me comfort in day to day life until they were gone. Suddenly, those Friday afternoon conversations with friends in the hallways, sub sandwich day in the canteen, and being able to choose my daily work shift without having to do scheduling gymnastics with the rest of the staff were privileges that were gone, and too late to not take for granted. I learned to open my eyes and give thanks the hard way and believe me, I am much more attentive to the blessings that life offers now.
Take a look around, and I’ll bet you can find a lot to be grateful for. I’ll start by urging you to be thankful for your health. If you were able to get up and go about your business without pain or illness, that’s a grand privilege (take it from somebody that lost her hearing in one ear to an infection last summer, and then hobbled around in an orthopedic boot for six weeks last fall with a broken foot). From there, I’m sure you’ll find plenty, and the good news is that it’s self perpetuating. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel about life if you substitute gratitude for complaining for just a few days. Make it a lifestyle, and you’ll be further amazed at the opportunities that open and how your life improves. Why not try it? You have nothing to lose, and it can’t hurt?
That’s all today. Take care. Have a Happy Friday tomorrow and a wonderful weekend.