There are days when you’ll be cut off in traffic and when you’ll get a ticket because of the photo radar system. Chances are, it’ll be at the intersection you never, ever, ever run except for that one day when you were just a little too preoccupied and you didn’t gun it or break it in time. If you’re really unlucky, you’ll get twice of those in the same week (but different intersections, of course, because you’re not stupid).
There are days when you realize you’re unhappy and missing out on life’s best moment but you have to because you’re a slave to a paycheck.
There are days when you look at your most important relationship and realize, “There’s nothing wrong — but there’s everything wrong.”
There are days when you sit down to play the piano and you’re just a little off tempo, or you go to dance and you’re just a little behind the beat. Those are probably the same days you try to tell a joke and you screw up the punch line or you try to explain something to a co-worker and wind up offending him or her.
There are days when you’ll go to your usual coffee shop and there will be a new barista and she’ll charge you for that extra shot of soy milk even though you’ve never been charged for it before. And you’ll notice that extra sixty cents, and you’ll feel irate and embarrassed: Irate because you were charged (those cheap bastards!) and embarrassed because you’re irate (you cheap bastard!).
There are days you’ll finally be offered the promotion you’ve sought forever but you demur because you realize that to take it would be to take on risk in an already risky world.
There are days like today that really started last night, when your headache is so bad that all you want is a couple Advil and a glass of wine to make it go away. Maybe a glass of wine becomes two.
There are days when you feel the surge of adrenaline and the impatient burning in your chest and the only thing you can think of is “I want to run.” Maybe even you hunker down to put on your shoes because in that desperate feeling of urgency, of just wanting to do something, you blindly feel that you could run 500 miles into a headwind if you must, but you could do it, and once you did that amazing, blind feat of exertion, it’d all be okay. And then you lose the burn before your shoes are even double-knotted and you realize that what you really feel is the paralyzing inertia of despair because you’re afraid you’re not good enough.
And what’s worse is you know that really, there’s nothing wrong. You’re not sick, you’re not old, you’re not broke, you’re not disadvantaged and really, neither is anyone in your immediate or extended circle. But that doesn’t keep the demons away.
There are days when you work hard for a manager or an organization or a group of people and you pour everything you have into the project and maybe it’s even successful – but in the end, there are no laurels to rest upon because success is what is expected of you. And there’s always another challenge.
There are days when you’ll lose a parent and you realize you’ve lost possibly one of the few people in the world, maybe the only person, who’s known you since your time began. And you wonder if you’ll pull through.
There are days when you’ll be rejected, either forcefully or passively, pushed away or never let in. It doesn’t matter how it happens because it hurts all the same and you realize you’re just not important enough.
There are days, probably today, when you just want to wallow in self-pity. It doesn’t matter whether you’re right or wrong to feel that way. You just want to feel that way and hope that it’ll be better.
Those are the days when your children are there for you, unconditionally loving and beautiful. And those are the days when you can lie next to them, and hold them, and feel the whisper of their breath against your cheek. The simple sensation of their closeness, of their dependence, of their love and warmth and joy in the smallest things is enough for you.
And those are the moments that even though you know they won’t last forever, even though the love a parent has for a child is the greatest unrequited love affair ever, it’s all you need to get through those days.