Often when I know I need to write about something, I keep saying I’ll do it tomorrow. Tapping out my internal drama for the blog sphere is both cathartic and hard. Who wants to hear about my day that was a 2? How much do I need to really feel my feelings before I can properly let them go?
We have a joke in the Alton family. I read our horoscopes out loud from the newspaper most mornings. We have noted that the days are always rated between a 6 and a 9, even though we are sure the scale ranges from a 0 (dead) to 10 (unmentionable for purity reasons). So the kids, Chris and I make up “Your day is a 2” scenarios all the time. “Your day is a 2: you will slip on someone’s sweat during hot yoga.” “Your day is a 2: crazy runner lady will pound on the hood of your car while cruising by and everyone will think a plane fell out of the sky and fell onto your automoibile.” You get the idea.
So Monday was a 2. Here’s a little back-up information. I’ve been working at a temporary gig for a company I have edited and wrote for on and off for more than a decade. I though the job would be lovely. I was wrong. I rewrote my first story 4 times. I became intimately acquainted with this fine business’ office politics. Don’t get me wrong. I love this company. They have been good to me for a long time. This new position was not a good fit. Most of me wanted to quit, but I am nothing if not tenacious. And our family could really use the extra income. People laughed when I said I thought they might fire me.
But, as humor would have it, I received an email Monday morning asking me to come into the office for a meeting. I immediately knew the main topic. My body knew. I began to sweat prolifically. I surfed the web and took a Meyer Briggs personality test just for fun and to see if the job actually fit my personality. I started to say mantras to calm my racing mind, changing them to suit the minute’s needs. I am still. Breathe. I am capable. What is the worst thing that could happen, I asked myself. I could get fired and I would be relieved. I will be able to spend summer enjoying my kids, sleeping in, and doing my normal freelance work.
Keeping up the mantras and the sweating in equal measure, I drove to the office, parking 15 minutes away and walking and sweating and mantra-ing my way into my boss’s office. I was let go, canned, fired, and asked to finish up my rewrites first. There was an audience. I handled myself OK. I mean, I’m human. I cried. My boss complimented me on my hat that matched my eye color and my cool shoes. It was weird. It was a 2, but really it was a 10 because I will be making up comedy routines about the entire experience for the rest of my lifetime.
Still, you ask, is that all you have got? Doesn’t it take more to make a 2? Yup, that happened on the drive home. I received a fantastically not what I wanted phone call about a family member who is facing a health issue, but is not terminally sick. But still and yet. The older I get, the more of these calls ring through the universe. And they throw me for a loop. They throw me for a double loop on moments following sitting through a gentle we are firing you conversation.
So my day was a 2. Are you looking for the silver linings? Can you tell I can’t resist? So much of any day is a 10, no matter what. If I look hard enough, the opposite side, the open window, the grace note, it’s there, waiting for me. I know myself well. I cried. Yup, my eyelids were swollen fairly quickly. But better than that, I reached out. I knew my neighbor would offer me lunch if I called her and told her the news. Lunch was delicious. I texted and facebooked and called and talked to my nearest and dearest and they had some helpful input and some hilarious humor.
Here are the nuggets, for your pleasure and growth needs:
My brother Mike, in reply to my Facebook post “Hello Monday. I should have stuck with Sunday”: “But then if Tuesday or Wednesday is awesome you would miss it! Today the Universe it not for you, but in the future it will love you.”
My mom: “Write what you want to read.”
Professor Mary Fran: “You can choose your emotion.”
Guru Matt, after I told him about the writing style I couldn’t seem to write in: “Of course you can’t write like that; you are a Midwesterner.”
So there you have it. My day is a 2. Stories make the world bearable. Tell me about your day that was a 2. I guarantee some laughter, and perhaps a bit of Buddhist-soaked wisdom alongside Midwestern sarcasm.