How The World Works


More specifically, how my world works.

Yesterday was a weird day. I was out of sorts and I couldn’t figure out why. I hadn’t been feeling well for several days. I wasn’t particularly interested in getting out of bed, but I did. I had to because I promised myself I would show up for class every day no matter what.

It was the same thing this morning. This was more than an attitude brought on by normal aggravating stimuli. This was like a full on assault on my senses. Everything within my line of sight irritated me and as I sat at the traffic light, the top ten reasons everything I’m doing is a mistake began to appear. It’s a sinister trick my mind plays on me sometimes. I tried to distract myself by turning on the radio. Reason number ten – Listening to an interview proposing the cause of corruption in state governments is due to the location of the state capital was a bad idea.

I crossed the intersection wishing I could call my friend Donna. She’s so great at talking me through these sorts of mean streaks. Nobody knows how to pull me out of crazy head space better than Donna. Reason number nine – That’s impossible; she’s dead and that’s that dammit! I eased onto the highway among the commuters and truckers and texters telling myself to pull it together.

As I approached the parking garage and rolled down my window to take the ticket I thought, five dollars! I reminded myself how that adds up over the course of a semester, a year. Reason number eight – This back to school thing is costing a lot of money. A quick cost/benefit analysis didn’t make it any better. Reason number seven – This degree is no guarantee of anything. There are no guarantees.

I walked across campus passed a construction site and wondered how much those guys wearing hard hats make per hour. One worker on a forklift was sitting there staring up into the window of Sage Hall. I wondered if he was wishing he had a job inside that building, in an air-conditioned office with a comfortable chair.  I reached the building where my class meets and took a seat on the bench outside the door. There’s a math class going on inside the room for another twenty minutes. Calculus or trig or some other god awful math I haven’t dared to take. Reason six – I’m not learning anything new.

The door opened. My fellow students and I filed inside. I tried to keep my mouth shut. It didn’t last. Reasons five, four, and three all have to do with answers given by my fellow students to a single question posed by the instructor. What causes poverty? After an hour, the instructor had enough. Class dismissed an hour early. Reason two – It’s a waste of gas to drive all the way to campus for that.  It was turning out to be a crappy day. I came home more irritated than when I left and then, reason one, the reason everything I’m doing is a mistake hit me like a ton of bricks. My attitude sucks. I need to pull myself together. When I’m irritated and I can’t figure out why it seems like everything I’m doing is a mistake, even then, maybe especially then is when I need to remind myself I have a lot of reasons to be grateful.

27 thoughts on “How The World Works

  1. It is only when we fail to remember that things always get better that we have an issue instead of a low period. Sorry you are (hopefully, were) having a hard time.

  2. This has been my month. Thank you for putting numbers to all the reasons I have been in the toliet thank everyone for not flushing.

    Attitude is everything. I wish they sold new ones at Central Market, I would pay just nearly anything for a new one right now, I truly would.

    Gratitude is wonderfully embracing.

  3. Aaah, this post seriously struck a chord with me. I’ve been feeling “out of sorts” all day every day almost, for quite a while. The attitude change is the biggest damn challenge ever, but I’m trying. Reading this made me feel a lot better about the whole thing–and I hope things look up more for you too!

    1. I’d like to say something profound like “what a difference a day makes” or “try switching from briefs to boxers” but really, what Carrie said sums it up. We all go through these kinds of days. It’s what we do on the other side of them that counts. Being encouRAGED is better that being outRAGED or enRAGED. From where do you draw courage? I’ve been trying peanut M&Ms. I think the Red #40 is starting to affect my higher brain function. Smile lady, in two hundred years we’ll be revered as women who once were.

  4. The people that I know who have outside jobs like those construction guys, for the most part, cannot fathom ever being stuck inside an office, even with air-conditioning and a comfy chair. Chances are, Mr. Hard Hat probably wouldn’t trade places with the poor schmo in that office no matter how hot/cold/wet/dry it was outside.

  5. This sounds way too familiar! Just last week I was sucked into one of those days of an intensely aggravated state. Not quite angry enough to pick a fight with a loaded gun, but I could feel myself careening towards a cliff or giving it all up for a cardboard box with an ocean view. Every single pointless doubt that I could possibly have sets up a kiosk in my head. I just barely hold onto this tiny string connecting me to sanity. The silver lining is at this age I can at least tell that it’s simply one of those days and not spiral into depression or quit when dirt gets in my eyes.

  6. I can get right there with you on the attitude – especially when things pile up. It doesn’t take much to push me over the edge until I get a moment to take a deep breath and look at the bigger picture – take my eyes off my to-do list and look at the horizon. Thanks for the reminder – this has been one of those weeks.

  7. When I have days like that, it helps snap me out of it to consider the seven billion people in the world and what my likely Quality of Life ranking is among those 7,000,000,000 people. I figure that even among the 320,000,000 people in the USA my QoL ranking must be pretty high. About then the part of my brain doing all this figuring goes, “And you were bitching about what, exactly??” The first part just hangs its head and walks away sheepishly.

    1. For me it’s about doubt. I think I am well in tune with the reality that I have it WAY better than many people. It’s the doubt that creeps into my thoughts. Not in my abilities, but doubt that I deserve something better from a situation.Then I encounter someone who has a fresh outlook and a smile on their face all the while recounting a story of terrible poverty or tragedy that they overcame and it drives home the point that I should not doubt that I am worthy of the goodness that comes my way. I should be grateful for it.

Go Ahead, Make My Day!

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