Wednesday, July 14, 2010

An Ordinary Day

“What’s up?” “Not much. What’s up with you?” “Not much.”

For most of my adult life, this is not a conversation I could have had. There was always some aspect of my life in upheaval, in crisis, in dramatic transition. Not all of it was bad. Some of the transitions were sought after. But much of it was hard. Kids with special needs, relationships ending badly, foster kids in crisis, moving often, loved ones dying, injuries and illness.

Much of what was hard was hard because I made hard things harder, by trying to control events and people, by trying to make things other than what they were, by never asking for or accepting help, by magical thinking and massive denial, by debilitating guilt and shame.

I used to wish for an ordinary day. A day like any other, when nothing major happened, when there was no crisis to handle. A day that was unremarkable, with no surprises, a day easy to forget.

I had a day like that yesterday. I savored every moment. I delighted in running errands and even going to a meeting. I wanted to run up to people and shake them and say, “Are you having an ordinary day? Do you know how lucky you are?” And I said a prayer for all the millions of people who were having a day like the ones that used to be the norm for me. And for the many more who were having a day much worse than the worst of mine. (On my worst day I had so much to be grateful for if I had only looked at things differently.)

If you had an ordinary day today, then count your blessings.

What’s up? Not much. Thank God.

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