Some days are just weird. Nothing makes sense or happens like it’s meant to, and the whole day is just one big jarring cognitive dissonance. Today was like that – just when I decided that something was ‘good’ it would go ‘bad’ and vice versa.
I wrote a blog post that I was more excited about than any writing I had done in months and months. I was buzzing while I wrote it – and hardly anybody read it. I was surprised, but totally felt lucky because I had missed that writing spark so very much, and was happy to have her home with me again. Plus, I’ve been writing long enough to know that its impossible to know what will resonate with people, and what matters the most is that it resonates with me.
My phone is full of notifications from a group message about a community Halloween trick or treat that my neighbour is organising. I want to be cranky at first, because you know what I’m like – Halloween in Spring, in the Southern Hemisphere, meaningless, lollies, plastic crap, blah blah. And then I see how much effort everyone is putting into it, and I think about how much my daughter will enjoy it, and, well, it takes more effort to be cranky than not, so I stop.
I waited for the scheduled power outage to activate at 9:30 this morning, and nothing happened. I found out later that it was actually yesterday, and had been cancelled because of bad weather. Lucky, because I received a short notice copywriting job that was due in by close of business today. Unlucky, because that three hour job took four hours because my brain worked like a lump of playdough. Lucky, because I was paid an extra hour to compensate for the short notice.
I finished that job just in time to make the spinach and cheese mix for some filo rolls to celebrate my daughter coming home from camp before I dashed out to pick her up. I was stopped by every red light, sat behind every slow car, and got the slowest, worse service ever – luckily, because I got to the school to find out the bus was 20 minutes late.
When I arrived home, my son came up to me, hugged me, and whispered “I’m sorry Mum,” and then kissed me on the cheek. I had cussed him out this morning for being rude and disrespectful and told him to make his own lunch, because I wasn’t making it. So an apology from him is classed as a minor miracle, and I tell the Universe that as I walked into the house.
I went to light the oven and found the igniter didn’t work on our brand new oven. And neither did the light or the fan. The Bear came in and found that a rat had chewed through the wiring. Can’t find the lucky bit about that yet, BUT I did discover that you can fry spinach and cheese filo pastries, and they taste just fine.
We ate late after all that, but when my son asked me if I wanted to go for a walk, and reminded me that I hadn’t been for a couple of days, I said ‘yes’. Duh – if your 13 your old son wants to walk with you, then country road darkness shouldn’t stop you. In case it sounds too perfect, he jogs, and I walk, but he loves to leave at the same time as me 🙂
I hastily put my shoes on and step onto the road. The sun is setting, and the sky is pink after days of rain. I notice my son’s bus pass on the driveway and put it in my pocket. We walk together for a bit and then he shoots off, leather clad feet pounding on the tar. I wonder at the miracle of growing bodies and running boys and walk on.
I have my iphone in my pocket ready to listen to a podcast, but it stays in there, along with my headphones. My dog, who I have been worrying about for the past week or so, trots along ahead of me, with no sign of her earlier lassitude. In all the years I have been living here, I have never gone for a walk in the dark. I decide that this is my very favourite time to walk. When I get home, I show my son his bus pass. He is amazed when I tell him I found it near the mailbox – he has been looking for it for two days and has walked right past it several times, retracing his steps. Weird.
As I walked, thoughts about my day arranged themselves into little ideas and insights, and then into words, just like they used to before I stopped seeing the value and reason for my writing. They sat there in my brain, jumping around like corn in a hot saucepan until my daughter went to bed, and then I wrote it all down. It feels like a stream has been unblocked, and I can only feel lucky about that.
I think sometimes we’re a little bit quick to decide if something is good or bad, lucky or unlucky – when really, if we just let things play out, things may not be either, but may be something way more interesting or illuminating or rewarding than our rather childish binary categories. Perhaps we would be better served by not labelling things at all, but just to pay attention and see what we can learn.