Inspiration + Advice -

The Good Stuff Sticks

The chancellor of the university I attended used to say, "You have more bad days than good ones."

I love that.

Because, if not bad days, then at least blah days, right?   Or side-tracked days, or I Yelled At My Kids Again days.

But remarkably, even with all the blah, frustrating, and downright awful days, people keep on doing extraordinary things.  Dreams stay alive.  Hard work - creative work - keeps happening.  Marriages hold fast.

People keep climbing Everest and keep having babies EVEN AFTER THEY KNOW HOW HARD IT IS.  Like, they know about running out of oxygen, and excruciating muscle cramps, and pushing bodies past their physical limits,  and wondering why they thought this was such a good idea in the first place - and I've heard Everest is tough too.

Last month I took my daughter to Snow Mountain for her birthday.  It was 58° outside.  Y'all, don't hate, that fake snow was magical.  There was tubing and sledding and snowman-building.  There were Christmas trees, lights, snowballs, train rides, and hot chocolate.  It was straight out of a freaking postcard ...

until...

THE BATHROOM.

When I took the kids into the bathroom to change into dry clothes, they turned into ACTUAL WEREWOLVES.

When Madeline couldn't get her sock on, she collapsed in on herself like a dying star (name that show) and sat on the toilet, crying into her lap, half-socked-foot dangling pitifully above the floor. Sock DISASTER.

Meanwhile, I sat on the floor, in a small puddle of snow/dirt/pee-water, and tried to change Sam in my lap while he kicked me in the chest repeatedly and screamed for someone to "hewp" him.

I texted Dan the following pictures:

Can you imagine walking into the bathroom and hearing us?

"What in the holy heck is going on in the last stall?"

An exorcism, lady, so quit your judgment and leave me to it.

And yet -

If you ask Madeline what the best day of her life was, she will tell you Snow Mountain. She doesn't remember the sock DISASTER or the dank bathroom or the painfully thawing toes.  She remembers the snow, and racing her mom down a mountain in an innertube; she remembers being the birthday snow queen.

What I'm saying is, take heart.  If your life feels like a bathroom stall, and you feel like you're sitting on a cold floor, covered in everyone else's judgment and pee, take heart.   The good stuff's gonna stick.

Our brains have a way of sanding over the rough patches, kindly erasing the hard stuff and preserving the great.  That's how God operates.  "For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." [Psalm 30:5]

I'm so glad for that, because I have a lot of bad moments stowing away inside of some really great days.  Frustrations, exasperations, selfishness-es.

I think my chancellor was right; I think that if you're doing something with your life, you're going to have more bad days than good ones.  But don't quit.  If you can't remember the last time you weren't a least a little bit tired, or a little bit on edge, don't count this season as a loss just yet.  If you are beset by failures, overwhelmed with worry, or just plain sad; don't despair.

Celebrate the ever-loving crap out of anything worth celebrating, look for joy, foster gratitude.  Cram your days full of as much goodness as you possibly can, and trust that the good stuff's gonna stick.


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