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.