Life Badge Earned: Survived a Bad Day

I want to wake up, someday beyond my halfway marker of this life journey, and know that I tried. Meaning, I want to wake up and  know that I didn’t just let life happen but I was active and a part of every single moment that shaped me. I want to be able to brush my long, thick, gray hair and know that I earned every single strand and didn’t just watch the color change, that those laugh lines on my face exist because I was busy creating them all my life.

Let me back up.

Yesterday was by far the most stressful day I have experienced since moving cross country. Dog was sick, AC broke, credit card misplaced, first cold of the new school year in full swing and my partner in crime out of town-unable to help. The fact I made it until 7pm to have a breakdown was a win in itself. I had a to-do list (mostly catching up on school work and cleaning house) that didn’t have a single check mark next to a task. I felt like I had accomplished nothing but raising my blood pressure. Instead of following the script I PROMISED myself I would follow yesterday, life threw an obnoxious curveball my way (definitely earned at least one gray hair). But I handled it- I complained more than a couple times but I handled it. I made phone calls, took the dog to the vet, and popped a few more milligrams of DayQuil than recommended.

Then I laid down for five minutes thinking about how much on my own to-do list was not accomplished and how I could break it down further to feel like I did something meaningful. That was followed by a few tears, and some scribbling with a purple highlighter. I googled the nearest brewery and got myself a draft. Needless to say, I woke up today with a full list of things to do but I can’t even be upset.

Too often, I see how bad days become a person’s answer for their mood or their source of stress. I see how one bad day can quickly become a bad week or a bad month, snowballing into a chronic cranky mood and I can’t help but wonder if it has something to do with the passive stance we take when something is not going as planned.

I was stressed and bloody exhausted yesterday. I cried and I screamed but I also took the time to admit weakness and rather than forcing myself be better, I gave myself a break and found a new Belgian White brew that is to die for. I pushed myself outside of this new house in this new city and drove until I found a new place to explore. And I liked it! I pushed myself to be active in my life yesterday and although it didn’t overpower all the BS I had to deal with, it did help me relax and it did put a smile on my face watching a middle aged couple talk about the kids they left at home so they could play Connect4 and drink beer. And if that is not how I am spending a Friday night with my baby daddy in 20 years, we’ll be having a different discussion about bad days ha ha.

The point is, I would not have seen that admirable couple if I had let the bad day win. I told myself when I moved here that I would not stay in the house, glued to Netflix or my homework. I told myself that I would push my comfort level and explore as much as this city has to offer as possible. That was not the plan yesterday but hey, our idea of timing rarely means much when life has its own script to follow.

What I am getting at is the pretty well-known quote by Alice Morse Earle that says “Every day may not be good but there is something good in every day.” I want to be active in finding that good moment, even if there is only one. I do not want to let life happen and I sit there passively trying to find out where and when the good things happened. I want to be an active participant of those things happening and yesterday I was. Scouts (girls and boys) earn badges after they have accomplished a range of tasks, proving they are proficient in a certain skill. I earned this one: Life Badge: Survived a Bad Day.

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Just a lost soul trying to make sense of the world

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