Well, bonjour mes amis! It has been far too long since I’ve talked to you…nearly 3 weeks to be exact….. which happens to be my longest blogging hiatus ever! Believe me, I have felt obligated to blog several times, but to be quite honest, I have just not been feelin’ the love. Truth be told, had I written anything uplifting over the past few weeks, I would have been faking it. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of blog worthy moments, like Susan’s fabulous visit to Newfoundland last weekend, for one.
However, I digress. Despite there having been many blog worthy moments over the past three weeks, I have been feeling just plain down in the dumps. (Hey, what can I say? Even us Psychologists sometimes have a bad day!) Oh, don’t worry; It is nothing that you said or did. It is just how I get this time every year. When the clocks turn back, and it gets dark before supper time, I start to feel my spirits slip. I suppose it’s because I am so in tune with nature and my garden that I think I too should be able to just pull a blanket of snow over my head and sleep until the spring. But alas, I must face the darkness. And face the darkness I have done.
As the early night closed in around me, I found myself conjuring up old hurts from the past, and re-living them as if they were fresh new wounds. Often it was silly stuff, like, “I can’t believe she didn’t invite me to that party in 1988!” And then in my mind I would re-live the experience, sometimes creating a new and improved version of the event in which I told her right where to go! Not that that helped me to feel any better. Then, when I tired of living in the past I would project myself into the future: “What if the cancer comes back? I can’t bear the thought of going through chemo again.…….and what if…..how can I be sure???????”
So that’s how it has been for me for the past few weeks, kinda Jeckyl and Hyde-ish. But I’m back! What brought me back, I think in part, was having a “perfect day”. Hmmmm……I guess I should stop you before you let your imagination run wild! After all, a “perfect day”, for you may conjure up images of jetting off to Tuscany on a wine tasting tour, making love to a tall dark stranger, or even eating the best cheesecake ever. Well, my day wasn’t THAT kind of perfect, it was just perfect for me.
It all started with a surprise phone call one morning. I set the alarm for 6 a.m as usual, stumbled down the stairs to grab a cup of coffee, when lo and behold the phone rang. I grabbed it quickly, wondering who could be calling at such an ungodly hour, when I heard the recorded voice of my vice-principal: “Due to slippery road conditions, school will be closed for the morning.” SNOW FRIGGING DAY! And I was not even aware that it had snowed over-night. What an unexpected and pleasant surprise! It is amazing how much you can get accomplished around the house when you have 4 surprise hours added to your day! By lunchtime the sun was shining and the snow had melted so it was off to school for me and my sidekick/son Ben. I went to my office and examined the piles of files sitting on my desk. Where to begin? But I dug in, and for the entire afternoon, I did not get one phone call, no one knocking on my door, and no troubled kids sent to see me (I guess they were all on a high from their snow day). So once again, I got LOADS of work done!
Feeling a great sense of accomplishment, I decided this would be a good day to get back on track with the exercise portion of my “Survival Plan”, so I dusted off my sneakers and went for a 5 km walk. I could actually feel the negative energy pass out of my body as I pounded the trail. Next it was home to cook a delicious veggie stir fry, worthy of making love to, it was that good. Finally, the icing on the cake: My 16 year old son, Donovan volunteered to watch Ben for a while so that I could take a bath. A rare treat when you are the single parent of a little boy with autism. So that pretty much concluded my perfect day.
Hey, who said that? Did I just hear someone suggest that I must be living such a boring life to find happiness from these simple things? Well, I’ve learned a few things in my 46 years on this planet. One of the most important lessons I have learned is that true happiness is found within. Given the exact same set of life circumstances, one can find either happiness or misery. As the old expression goes: two men looked through prison bars, one saw mud, the other stars. I think there for a while I was seeing mud. I was getting weighed down with pains from my past and worries about my future, and I forgot to live in the present moment. When I “got out of my head” and just enjoyed each moment of my simple day for what it was worth, well, then my simple day became the perfect day. So go on then, you go out there and enjoy YOUR perfect day today, my friend!