Is it really only Thursday? In this house, we've been asking ourselves that question every day this week. It's been a long week. Good, even great, in so many moments, then in the next, challenging in ways that can only be coped with by the maniacal laughing that comes when stuff is so ridiculous you don't merely walk the line, you actually live on the line between fist-pumping fierceness to overcome and the strong desire to go hide in your closet.
It is a week that calls for the kind of sentence I just wrote, thank you very much. This will be nothing new to my 6 patient readers, because I feel like I write mostly about these kinds of times in my life. The rest of the time, no, most of the time, I'm sitting in a chair reading or knitting; or I'm out digging in my garden, and those reports just aren't as interesting or fun to write.
I'm not going to tell the full stories here because some are truly personal and aren't my stories to tell, but the good news is that we actually did make it to Thursday. Right now, all is well. The carpet is drying (again). Money is just money and criminals who steal can be pitied and then forgotten. Heartbreaks can heal. People can amaze you with their patience and steadiness. Being utterly humbled and broken leads to increased wisdom and an ultimately stronger character. Learning that you can focus on your work when your brain is so full you can actually feel stuff seeping out your ears is a good lesson in priorities and choosing the right attitude. Having family and friends who witness you at your worst and still stand by you turns the bitter into sweet in the time it takes to send a text or laugh maniacally right along with you.
Yes, I personally just went through all of those realizations and experienced actual things that would cause such realizations...all in the last 72 hours. The answer to your question is yes. Yes, you can be happy you're not me.
I'm strengthened most by remembering this: I consciously believe (so much that I really do know it for sure in the smartest parts of my brain) that these kinds of days are not wasted, but instead form the root system from which joy eventually blooms. It's true. How could I know how peace really feels if I didn't have the contrast of some minutes in utter chaos to teach me? I don't think I could. Or if I did never have the chaos, would I really be free to choose the peace? Because you do always have to choose it. It will just never, ever land in your lap.
This week I for sure got to choose. About 9 million times. "Fall apart or hold it together?" Hmm. Is that a trick question? But I held it together. Or was held together. Anyway, I'm all here and during one hour in the previous 72, when I needed it most, while the sun was setting brilliantly in the west, the clouds darkened in the east and there was rain. Sun shining through rain is my favorite thing because it means this, if you can find it:
I grabbed an umbrella and ran out in my bare feet to stand in the pouring rain and look for the arc in the east. There it was, right over my house if I stood in the right spot. I'm sure the neighbors thought I was nuts (really, they should be used to this by now), but it felt good to be free of all the thoughts and worries for a few minutes and stare at the sky in wonder. The sun reflected off the road, the grass and the leaves so beautifully--everything shimmered. Light has to have some kind of contrast in order to be beautiful, at least in this world. I don't know how it will be in the next world, but right now, I will continue to be grateful for the light and the dark.
I learned a lot this week.