One morning I woke up happy and enjoyed playing with my kids that day. At lunch I got a phone call that a loved one had died. It was the most horrible day. 2 days later I woke up having just spread his ashes and facing going through his things and watching his life get parted out and walk away. I woke up sad and dreading that day wishing it would end quickly. But that night found me with my husband on a mountain making camp and celebrating the life we just said goodbye to. We were happy and full of a profound peace.
Who could have known when I started each of those days that they would have ended in that manner? And if these things are possible then why not others on days where I wake and follow the script society has left by my bed for me to act out. Up all night caring for a sick child and the kitchen is a mess? Do I have to wake up deciding that I’ll be miserable and tired? I choose to start over. What if I forget I was up all night and act as if I had a good night’s sleep? Been cleaning out the closets and you have awoken to stacks and boxes? Start over.
I faced being one of the families who endured a foreclosure. And as it got closer and I lived out each day, each month, each night of anger and pain, when the day came that it was no longer mine, who could have known the freedom and joy I would feel on knowing it was no longer my problem? Why did I have to make it so horrible? Because society says it’s a bad thing. But what if it’s a good thing? Then I just look crazy, but I feel good. And I have no regrets, start over.
I had a fight with my lover and went bed angry and woke dreading the talking it out. What a beautiful day outside I thought. I started over. My happiness was contagious and after coffee we found ourselves on a river in a canoe watching birds and rocks and fishermen go by. And the day was beautiful. Start over.
I had to buy groceries and pay bills and the day started with coffee and dread. Yet this was to be the day my son would tell me he loved me. One for the books to be sure. Start over.
What are these things we agree are bad? Why do we buy into them so easily and let the groups, the masses, say to us, this is who you are and this is how you shall agree to live your life. You shall mourn death and be very sad and if you feel happy too soon, surely something is wrong with you. You must dread paying bills and hate the grocery store and changing poopie diapers. You must fight with your teen and hate housework.
If you wake up and know that today you must clean out the garage, it will be hard and boring and you agree to get up wishing you could be doing something else. But what if you started over? What if in cleaning out the garage you also travel down memory lane and relive times that make you cherish the few years you have left with your teen? And what if you find items that neighbors could use and you see them smile when you hand it over? And what if after that hard work you soak in the tub and feel your muscles ache and you feel alive and like you accomplished something? Would you say that’s a good day?
Last night I went to bed having lived 2 days in one and my work incomplete, my husband recovering from surgery. I was up all night with him and then my son. Then the alarm went off.
Because when the messy den is the first thing I see and the phone is the first thing I hear I start over. Because those toys were put there by a boy that one day won’t live here anymore and that phone call will be someone who will probably earn me money. And those eggs I have yet to cook will remind me that I can feed my family good food and that I am a good cook. And when my husband is gone to work and I sit down with my coffee, to write and hear the silence in our home as my babies sleep, I know it’s a good day. Any day writing, any day with coffee and any day that begins with my husband’s face is a good day to start over. And after all, I wrote this article today. And you are reading it. And who knows how it may change you. So I was right when I woke up today and said, wow, I’m starting over. It’s a good day.
And you are now reading this because you were busy working or looking for something and then you found me. What happened to you today? Did you sit in traffic? Are you running errands, planning a trip or another day that will be good? Now you can start over.
Did you eat something you shouldn’t have, skip your workout and not drink enough water? Tonight you can start over. And tomorrow you can wake up knowing that today is the day that you are filling your water bottle and preparing to drink more water. And today you can take a few hours and take the kids to the park and run and play with them. You can make an extra lap and you can say no to a donut. And when you go to bed you’ll know you turned things around. And you made it yet another day closer to feeling sexy and beautiful.
So if you woke up today and knew you wouldn’t get to the laundry again, why not start over? Pile it up and put it by the washer. Write a note to a friend and draw a heart on a piece of paper and slip it into a lunch. Those alone are good enough reasons to celebrate that today you started over.
Teresa Bondora counsels others on the realities of losing weight, and support in the sciences. Check out her book and web site online at www.HowToTeachScience.com