Today wasn’t the greatest day. Professionally, personally, whatever… it just kinda sucked. It’s 1 AM and I’m still up. I don’t wanna really do anything besides ride my bike, which I’ve already done tonight. I don’t wanna go to bed, because if I do, then I’ll have to wake up, and right now it seems like the odds are that tomorrow will be about as good as today was.
I’m generally a happy guy. I’ve got a terrific family, a great career, amazing health, and my future’s so bright, I gotta wear welding goggles.
But everybody has a bad day, right?
So I came home and buried myself in comic books, but that didn’t really distract me in quite the way I was hoping for. So I jumped on the Xbox and tried to chase away the blues by pretending I was a Persian Prince who controls time. When that didn’t work, I jumped on the computer (even though the computer, or more accurately what I didn’t wanna see or read on the computer, seemed to be the source of most of my frustration and anxiety). Sure enough, ten minutes later, I closed the top of my laptop in anger and disgust. It was like the whole universe was working against me.
So I decided to cathartically write about it. I really don’t know why I thought that would help. Nothing like wallowing in a little self pity, I suppose.
While I was sitting here typing, unsure where this whole post was going, I heard my wife shuffle down the hall, probably to check on me and see why I was still up, and more than likely remind me that “Sons of Anarchy” was a little too loud and I should turn it down a little, lest I wake the baby.
Only it wasn’t my wife. It was Abby. She was thirsty and she wanted a glass of water.
So I stopped typing, got up, and got my daughter a glass of water (“with ice, daddy!”). She stood there sleepily in the kitchen watching me fill a glass with ice and water. When I handed her the glass, she said, “thanks dad”, smiled at me, took her glass and went back to bed.
And just like that, I realized that whatever bad day I was having, no matter how bad I felt, or how down in the dumps I was feeling, none of that mattered. What mattered was standing in my kitchen, waiting for a glass of water so she could go back to sleep.
I stopped for a minute and thought about just the last four days. A few days ago, out of the blue, my daughter announced she wanted to watch “The Real Star Wars”. You know, the one with Luke, Leia, and “Black Vader”. I gotta admit, I was pretty proud. She’s spent the better part of the last four days playing with the thousands of Legos her dad’s given her, digging through bins of bricks, minifigs, accessories, and “special pieces” to build the most imaginative, amazing things. Again, I have to admit, it gave me more joy watching her beam with pride over her latest creation than I ever really thought I possessed. Lastly, I thought for a minute or two about this afternoon when I came home from work. She was playing down the street at her cousins house and I had to go pick her up. I thought, “you know, I’ll take her balance bike with me, and we’ll ride bikes back home”. She was so stoked when she saw I had brought her bike, she threw on her helmet and I raced her from mailbox to mailbox as we leapfrogged back to the house, in 15 yard bursts of laughter.
So what did we learn today (er… tonight)? Well, we learned that everyone feels bad at some point, and everyone has shitty days. Life isn’t one of those things where every day is a picnic and everything always works out the way you’d like. Sometimes life gives you lemons. Some people make lemonade, some people enjoy a nice tart wedge of disappointment, and some people are lucky enough to catch the smile of a sleepy daughter who’s just happy you got her an ice cold glass of water.