We’ve all had them. In my job, to confess this is like confessing that you drink alcohol when no one’s looking or watch movies with lots of cursing in them. Bad days. It’s hard to be cheerful some days. On days like these you do what you can. You get up, get dressed, get in your car and go about your day. Somewhere along the way, you wait for the tide to shift and the stars to realign themselves. But alas, no such luck. It’s just a bad day.
It’s often the little things that make us relish in just how bad our days are. You’re out of creamer for your morning coffee. You stub your toe on the side of the tub as you make your way into the bathroom for your first-thing-in-the-morning routine. You grit your teeth, use a little creative adult language, and hope things turn around soon. You might even convince yourself that good luck and rays of sunshine are just around the corner. That is, until you find that the shirt you wanted to wear that day has a stain in it. The dog has decided it’s easier to just do their “business” on the rug inside this morning. Never mind that you wasted 15 minutes standing outside using your best coaching phrases to convince the dog to do what you know good and well it’s just about ready to burst over doing. Looks like it’s still just a bad day.
You’re now 15 minutes late for work as you speed down the road and try to balance that bitter cup of coffee because, at this point, you’d trade the effects of caffeine for your first-born child, much less for savoring a decent tasting cup of coffee. You get to work to find out that yesterday’s good decisions have become today’s problems to fix. Nothing is going right, your coworkers irk you more than usual. Especially that one-you know the one. The one who comes to work humming or whistling or doing whatever it is that nauseatingly cheerful people on their way in to the office. Yep, it’s still just a bad day.
You leave work with more to do than you came in to find. Frankly, at this point you consider turning the desk over or seeing how long it would take to burn up if you “mistakenly” dropped a lit match on the paperwork. Before you get carried away you realize it’s time to pick the kids up from school. “I have a science project to work on.” Ugh. “When is it due?” you ask. “Tomorrow morning.” “How long have you known about this?” You now feel your blood pressure climb point by point to some ungodly high level. “Um, 3 weeks or so.” Well that’s just great. An evening doing a science project. You wish they wouldn’t put things off to the last minute. And now you know that you’ll be up all night doing this because, frankly, you don’t trust the crap they may come up with on their own. For all you know, they’ll try to pass of a few glued toothpicks, gum, and string as the solar system. So it’s science project time after dinner for the rest of the night. Yep, still waiting for the winds to shift because it’s still just a bad day.
As you climb in to bed after midnight. The science project is done. The kids are asleep. You lie there and think about the day and just how rotten it’s been. You start to laugh. Maybe a giggle at first, but then you begin to laugh out loud. You catch yourself so you don’t wake up the little monsters. Um, I mean kids. Maybe it’s the glass of wine you had that’s making you feel a little silly. Maybe it’s laughter in the place of tears or whatever else sort of irrational reactions that seem appropriate. The work is still there for the next day. Last minute projects will inevitably come up again. Come to think of it, you forgot to go get creamer for the coffee. But you go to bed with the knowledge that tomorrow might be a good day. If nothing else, after a rotten day like today, you like your odds a little better that tomorrow will be a little brighter. And that’s enough for now.