“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
A few weeks ago, I had a really bad day.
Now that some time has passed, I honestly can’t remember what seemed so bad that day (do we ever, really?) but I know it must have been super bad because I was majorly grumpy. It was just one of those days where I was stressed to the limit and if things could go wrong, they did. You know those days…we all have them.
Somehow, though, I managed to survive said Day O’Crap. I went to bed fully expecting all to be well when I woke up.
Morning arrived and I was still grumpy. Usually that doesn’t happen – usually a good night’s sleep tends to solve every problem I have ever had. But for some reason, it didn’t work this time.
I grudgingly got up and stumbled my way to the kitchen.
I grudgingly fed the cats (stupid needy cats…), I grabbed a Coke from the fridge (stupid Coke addiction…I’m a fat slob), I slammed the fridge door shut (stupid dirty fridge…someone needs to clean that thing. And by someone, I mean me because who else is going to do anything around here??), and turned around to see my non-morning-person teenage daughter standing there watching me.
“Why are you so grumpy?” she asked.
Oh, boy. Here we go. A typical morning fight with my ever-sullen teenage daughter, just what I need to pep up the ole spirit.
“Because yesterday sucked, that’s why.” (That was my mature parent answer….like it?)
And then, as is often the case these days, that redheaded daughter of mine surprised me. In her typical, no-nonsense manner, she replied, “Well, mom, that was yesterday. This is today.”
This is today.
Her words stopped me in my tracks. Such a simple statement, yet such a powerful punch that little booger packed.
She was absolutely right. What was my problem?
All of that crap (whatever it was) was yesterday. Did it really matter today? Was it really going to follow me into the future and change the course of history as I know it?
(Uh, no. Obviously not. I don’t even remember now what all the fuss was about.)
I composed myself, put that calorie-bearing Coke back into the fridge [That’s a total lie, I didn’t do that. I drank it. Every poison-filled drop.], took a deep breath and headed to the stairs to send up an apology to that precious cherub who had retreated to her room.
“Sorry I was being so grumpy!”
My tear-filled, heartfelt apology was met with a muffled “whatever” from behind her closed door.
Ah. She of all the hidden earthly wisdom had returned to her natural state.
Regardless, that momentary display of wisdom that broke through the teenage veneer of disgust with all things non-boy band managed to resonate with me. And I’ve thought of it many times since.
Crap is gonna happen, man. It just is. So, do we dwell in it? Or do we just move on and let it go? I think maybe I should start going with the sullen teenager philosophy.
That was yesterday.
This is today.
Just thought I’d send this wisdom out into the interweb world as a short little reminder in case you may have needed it like I did.
Teenagers, man. Give them a chance to survive their teenage years and they may just end up surprising you.
I can hear you saying this. Too funny. Too true.