"This day is a do-over," my friend Allyson says to me. We are in our swimsuits. We think it is a brilliant idea to meet at the pool to visit and share adventures of our busy summers while the kids play and swim. When we arrive we realize that the pool is closed for swimming due to a dive meet.
We've both had one of those days where nothing seemed to work out as planned. Did you ever have one of those days?
In the morning I somehow missed my dog walking friends. I thought I was behind and ran to catch up...turns out I was actually ahead. In the afternoon a simple (oh so deceiving to even think!) task of reserving airline tickets to Boston turned into a 90 minute headache of a phone call. (Don't get me started on United award miles reservations...) And now we are at the pool and it is closed.
Of course, we've all had days like this. Really, though, my question should be, "Did you ever have a day where everything goes exactly as planned?" Because that is the elusive Holy Grail of organization. Maybe just a myth, yet somehow I come to believe in it every morning. I have lists and schedules. I have a budget. I have my house divided into quadrants and my life in a daily planner and time map. Every day I wake up with the expectation that it will all go according to plan. And every day I am somehow surprised when it never does.
"Life is difficult." This is the first sentence in the book The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. Years ago, my friend Kristin and I decided tried to read this book together. "Life is a series of problems," Peck writes. "Do we want to moan about them or solve them?" I can't tell you much more--despite our intentions, Kristin and I never made it much past the first chapter. We still refer to first that sentence though, when we're commiserating about a particularly lousy day.
Besides accepting that life has challenges, I can also look back at my day with different perspective. This morning I ran three miles--exercising the dog and me at the same time. What an unexpected bonus! I accrued enough frequent flier miles to secure 4 airline tickets to Boston with no out of pocket expenses. How lucky! And now, the kids have wandered off to play and watch the dive meet. I am sitting in the shade on a grassy hill catching up with a good friend. It's not a "do-over" day. It's not even a "do-differently" day. I've got tomorrow for that.