Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Menacing Growl

I am not normally a list maker, but I made one out last night.  It never actually made it to a piece of paper, but it was very detailed in my mind.  I conjured up a list of six really stressful, unpleasant, sad, or irritating things that happened to me in the past week.  I liked my completed list.  It justified my grouchy mood.

I woke up this morning and ran through the list in my mind again and again and then again.  The menacing growl that ensued from my grouchiness became increasingly pronounced.  I went to the grocery store and secretly hoped I would not run into any friends.  I really hate to growl at people.  It is never pleasant.  But I ran into several friends.  And I found that they lifted my spirits temporarily…

I came back home to mow the grass.  Mowing is a great time to stew in negative thoughts.  The list popped back in my head.  I churned over the same things that were making me sad and stressed.  I growled at the grass, as I completed the mowing.

When I stopped to move the mower to the backyard I checked my email on my phone.  There was a Caring Bridge Update from my friend, Charles Siburt.  Charles has had quite the battle with cancer that has led him to places that none of us wanted to imagine.  I started not to read it. I was at my limit.  I could not take anymore sad news this week.  Ultimately I chose to read it.

The report was good.  He is gaining strength after an all out battle with chemotherapy, infections, and other related problems.  He is planning on teaching a short course in May that I usually serve as a guest lecturer for each year. At the end of the report, his wife said:  Each day is a gift…

Each day is a gift.  Even days that are chalked full of bad news are a gift.  It is on those days that I remember why I am put on this earth.  I am here to serve all of my friends facing serious illnesses.  I am here to be a mentor and encourager of struggling colleagues.  I am here to support my kids, as they face unpleasant and unexpected life events.  I am here to listen to people in my community that are struggling.

The grouchiness is slowly subsiding.  My growl is less menacing. I am finding that my twisted sense of humor is slowly returning. Life is good.  Each day is a gift. 

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