Today was a good day, generally. I performed well enough at work. I was generally awake and well fed. I got along with my friends and family. I had some fun and created some stuff.
It was a good day.
But it wasn’t.
It was a bad day.
Today I couldn’t shake the feeling that I am out of place. I don’t belong. I’m not doing as well at my job as I should. I should be doing better. I haven’t written anything since Sunday, a week ago. I am not a good friend. I haven’t been a good husband. I made my daughter cry.
Yet those are all lies, and I know it. I do belong. Maybe I could be a better worker, friend, husband, and father. Yes I could be more dedicated to my writing. But in all honesty, I’m not doing so poorly at any one of those things that I should feel bad about it.
But I do.
Well today the feeling was pretty constant. I went to console my daughter for making her cry. But I didn’t really make her cry. She was crying because I told her the ugly truth of what happens when she doesn’t do her homework. She gets behind, and then she loses privileges until she gets caught up, including possibly losing her electronics for the entire weekend. I didn’t hit her. I didn’t scream or threaten her. I simply told her the truth, a truth she knew but did not want to face. And she cried some more.
Then I asked her if she wanted me to hold her like a baby and rock her. To my surprise she said, “yes.”
So I did.
And then we talked for thirty minutes about how we were going to 1) keep her from getting further behind 2) get caught up and 3) not fall behind again. This plan includes me writing while she does her homework. It also includes contingencies for what happens when we get behind. Then we had a plan. It was a simple plan, and it was good. That moment, that simple wonderful moment of knowing what was the problem and how we were going to fix it was a good thing. It was a single beautiful good thing, in a day that wasn’t bad, wasn’t ugly at all. Yet it made all the difference.
Today was a good day.
© 2016, Joe Little. All rights reserved.