Today was NOT a good day. I woke up exhausted because I spent the night tossing and turning trying to determine how in the world I was going to complete parent-teacher conferences from 2-6 when my daughter’s sitter closes at 5 in one city and my son’s aftercare closes at 6 in another…
Less than 5 minutes into my second period, one of my students punched another student in the face for pulling his hair with a binder clip….
On my way in from lunch, I found $300 cash in the parking lot. Unfortunately, the my good fortune weighed on my conscious so I mentioned the find to the front office “just in case anyone was missing a large sum of money.” The front desk clerk alluded to an empty bag of drugs also found in the front parking lot, and within the hour an officer and school administrator made their way to my room…
As I kicked myself for not keeping what I now knew to be drug money, I wondered if it would ever make its way back into my possession. When I spotted the administrator later, I laughingly asked if I could have the money back if no one claimed it. My smile was met with a harsh, “it’s already been claimed. Next time you find money of any type, you need to take it directly to an administrator.” When I tried to explain that I told the secretary, she cut me short and reiterated that I should have turned it in to an administrator immediately. Her tone infuriated me. I was being scolded for being a “good” person. While I understand, one cannot always expect a pat on the back, chastisement was certainly an unexpected extreme.
As I marinated in my anger, I of course entertained the notion that she must also be having a terrible day. To think it a good idea to “correct” moral behavior with a better way to be “more moral” in the future…was unfathomable…leading me to three take aways.
- Everyone has bad days. You live life long enough and you begin to realize that “today is [not] the best day of my life” as I so eloquently ended my last post. Some days are pretty rotten. And as soon as you begin to mantra how situations are not as bad as they could be and today can still be a great day, reality hits you over the head with some other catastrophe.
- Your bad days do not have to create bad days for others. When my students come in moaning about how they are going to fail a test, they are met with a quick, “that’s fine. Just be sure you fail in the corner in silence while the rest of us pass.” And it abruptly stops the belly aching. As though they did not realize that maybe just maybe not EVERYONE was going to share in their pity party. That perhaps their failure would indeed take place alone in which case they would need to start learning. In other words, frustration of one did not equate to frustration of others.
- Even bad days have great moments. As I sat outside in the 70 degree weather and fumed on a bench near our school pond (yes it is as beautiful as it sounds), my husband called. He NEVER calls in the middle of the day. His observation went wonderfully, and I could not have been happier for him. Secondly, I had to cheer a kid up in my last class, and I found that in making her laugh I had exponentially improved my own mood.
My day did not get any better. I was at the bank in the neighborhood of my daughter’s babysitter trying to withdraw her weekly payment when I realized, I left my purse at school (another 30 minutes added to my already small window of time needed to pick up my son from aftercare). I am typing this blog from my phone because my computer crashed. My son destroyed his school shoes just in time for the uniform stores to close.
The reality is that bad days will come, but life could certainly be worse. There are people out there praying for a job to work their last nerve, kids to make life inconvenient, and a bank account with money to access later. I think, though, that because we convince ourselves that things could be worse, we never truly acknowledge sometimes things are tough and that is okay. The occasional pity party never did anyone any harm. Just do not stay there. For every tough day, there’s a smiling husband, a laughing student, a listening best friend, an inspiring morning devotion, and an understanding coworker to give you fake money to replace your police evidence. “Think on these things,” because these are the things that make ordinary life – even on bad days – extraordinary.