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Challenging the unfortunate

Recently I came across a list of funny “National Days”. Today is supposed to be National Repeat Day and suggested that every thing we do, we repeat over and over again.  My first reaction was “YES! I think I’ll eat some ice cream for breakfast, and then eat some ice cream again for lunch! Oh, and I think I will also take a nap on the patio in the sunshine after I work for a while, and then take another nap in the afternoon!”  Then I got to thinking about it. Some days I wouldn’t want to repeat and I am grateful for a fresh start every morning!

Last week I had a completely difficult day that started right when I got out of bed.  I stubbed my toe on the leg of my bed. Then I went to brush my teeth and my toothpaste fell off of my toothbrush and ended up all over my counter.  Then tried to make myself a cup of coffee, but I forgot to put the cup under the Keurig and coffee went everywhere. After I made my 2nd cup, I went downstairs to the basement to look for something I had stored away and found 2 inches of water covering the floor– my basement had flooded from the storms the night before. I went out to the garage to find supplies to clean up the water. I discovered a bird that had gotten in and couldn’t find its way out. It had wedged itself in the corner of a rafter.  I don’t think I need to go on about the rest of my day – you get the picture. I will just say that I was grateful when bedtime came around and I could drift off dreaming of a better day tomorrow.

I like to journal. Every evening I close my day by journaling about the events of the day that I am grateful for. After a day like this, I was certain journaling with a positive attitude would be difficult. Much to my surprise, I was able to see the positive things that came from my day. It went like this…

“Today was rough from the minute I got out of bed. Fortunately, I had a deep and restful sleep the night before which gave me the energy to respond to the challenges. Unfortunately, I stubbed my toe. Fortunately, I didn’t cut it, there was no blood, and I didn’t break it – the pain went away fairly quickly. Unfortunately, I went to brush my teeth and the toothpaste went all over the counter. Fortunately, toothpaste doesn’t splatter and is easy to clean up.  Unfortunately, my basement flooded from the storms. Fortunately, all of my stuff was up on shelves and nothing was ruined.  It also gave me the opportunity to do some cleaning that needed to be done, and my sister came over to help.  Unfortunately, when I went looking for supplies to clean the basement I found a bird caught in the rafters in my garage. Fortunately, the bird found it’s way out after a while and didn’t appear to be injured. And…it didn’t make a mess. Unfortunately, I had an important errand to run and was strapped for time. Fortunately, a perfect stranger told me the funniest joke and made me laugh so hard that for a brief moment I forgot about the challenges of the day.”

When I reflected on the positive outcomes from my challenges, the support I received from my sister, the productivity these challenges brought to me, and the cheer brought to me by a perfect stranger, my entire attitude changed.  Would I want to repeat that day – probably not, but I am grateful for the reminder of the positive things that came from it and the gentle surprises it had in store for me.

The next time you have a difficult day, I challenge you to consider the fortunate in the unfortunate.

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