I had one of those days. You know the ones. I woke up feeling like I could sleep another 8 or 9 or 10 hours. My first time back on the treadmill after 11 days off felt like I was back at day 1. I was late all morning. Every kid in my groups talked back, had a bad attitude, or was simply incapable of following directions today. I was tired and cold all day. A parent was 20 minutes late picking their child up from after school tutoring and I (always!) get stuck with the kids who are waiting on late parents. I got to the high school to get my flu shot only to find (after searching the place high and low for 20 minutes) they apparently just packed up and left before my appointment. It went on and on like this until the moment I pulled through Dairy Queen’s beautiful, promising drive through and saw that glorious cup of deliciousness glide toward my hand ensuring a mood swing for the better and sweet relief from a terrible day.
I love that all it takes is a cup full of ice cream and reese’s peanut butter cups to make all that stress and irritation melt away to oblivion. But when it’s all gone, when I’m back to feeling like a rational human being I always feel a little bit ashamed.
Stephen has taught me something no one else has managed to bang into my stubborn little head: perspective. See Stephen gets enough perspective in one day dispatching for 911 than most of us get in a month. He generally has something that can snap me out of even the worst moods (even if it is riddled with a healthy dose of guilt). Today even perspective didn’t sink in until the ice cream had done it’s work, but when it did, I felt ashamed.
All I could think was, here I was, playing my fiddle, feeling sorry for myself all day long over something that was easily fixed by a Dairy Queen blizzard. There are people who’s best days look bleaker than my day today. There are people who’s only hope is to make it to tomorrow, to the day after, to next week. People who spend all their time and energy simply fighting for existence, for the ability to say their day was good or bad. Who am I to feel sorry for myself? I need to remember, especially on these dark days, to count my blessings. I have so many I probably couldn’t name them all.
Compared to the bleak outlook of a cancer patient my day was just fine. At least it ended with some ice cream. See that wasn’t so hard…all it takes is a little perspective.