Finding Joy

Today was a bad day.  My Aunt N told me not that long ago that the first 20 minutes of her day dictates how the rest of it will go.  She likes to start her day off with the quietness of her coffee.  I should have known today was going to be a sh!t show the moment I walked out the bedroom door.

SQUISH

I literally stepped in doggy poop.  Damn that Zoey.  She is always pooping by my shoes.  I know she does it on purpose because she’s secretly hates me.  After cleaning it and myself up, I went to work.  My McDonald’s large-unsweetened-iced-tea-in-a-styrofoam-cup treat ended up being sweetened.  There was a wasted $1.08.  I subbed in another classroom–all good kids, great lesson and everything.  I just wasn’t paying very close attention apparently and couldn’t find the materials left right in front of my face.  Then I heard it…the ear piercing scream of one of my students.  Nothing was wrong really…but for her nothing was quite right.  The day just went downhill from there.  As soon as one student was calmed, another went down for the count.  I snapped at my fantastic classroom aide–I did apologize but it doesn’t change the fact that I did it.  She stepped up and took the reigns while I had a small breakdown–God bless her.  At one point after a loud tussle, I literally stayed on the floor of my classroom and let a few tears fall for just a moment.

 

After school I stopped by J’s house.  I tutored J for about 2 years–up until my mom got sick and I took some time off.  I heard he had been doing such a great job at reading that I arranged with his family to spend a little time with him.  WOW!  What a great kid.  To think how far he has come in just a couple years makes me so proud of him and his family.

 

I had told my Thursday buddy that I wasn’t up to stopping by today.  I was just too beat.  Then she left me a message encouraging me to just call her to talk.  I stopped by anyway and was so happy that I did.  She listened with out judging, gave advice without being preachy, and reassured me that things will get better.  Then she said something that just stuck.  FIND THE JOY.  EVERYDAY.  That’s it.  It’s the only thing you can do.  If everything else is out of your control all you can do is find the joy…at least a little slice of it.  I drove home thinking what f-ing joy was there to find today?  Then I remembered dear, sweet J reading to me.  He read me the riveting Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss.  For those 10 minutes, I forgot about my bad day.  I didn’t think of screaming kids or doggy doo-doo.  I reveled in the pure joy of a child reading a book to me for the very first time…a REALLY REAL book.  He was so proud.  I was so proud.  Even though my visit only last 15 minutes, it really changed my outlook on the entire day.  I wouldn’t have realized it without my buddy reminding me to FIND THE JOY.  Thank you C.  And thank you J.  And I’m sorry JBE.  I promise to try better tomorrow to check my crankiness at the door.  Tomorrow will be a better day and I will actively LOOK for the JOY all throughout.

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