“I’ve always felt that life is a novel, and part of it is written for you, and part of it is written by you. It’s up to you to write the ending, ultimately. I’ve had some tremendous adventures, good and bad. It’s part of the novel, and a novel isn’t interesting if it doesn’t have some good and bad. And you don’t know what good is if bad hasn’t been a part of your life.” ― Lynn Johnston, cartoonist, For Better or For Worse
I had a bad day recently for no particular reason. The previous days had been fine. I had been encouraged at a writers’ critique group. My son had just received a job offer. I’d had fun at a party. But I woke up that day with chills and aching. I checked my temperature—no fever. I was slightly congested, but not enough to make me feel bad. The outside temperature was very cold—maybe as I get older, cold just gets to me? It was a bad day, and I was frustrated. I accomplished little and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I thought, “This is not so swift for a woman making strides, is it?”
I prepared a dinner that I later realized was food my Mom would have made—her chop suey recipe, rice, her Hawaiian fruit salad, and Pillsbury-type biscuits. Maybe melancholy was part of the reason for my moodiness (many of you know my Mom passed away last March.) After dinner I went to a church meeting early knowing that good friends would be there. I needed support on my bad day, and I told them I was cranky. Everyone accepted me as I was, and by the end of the meeting, I felt a little better.
Back home, I journaled about my day and realized it was okay. We have somehow gotten the idea that we are supposed to be positive all the time, and that if we have a bad day, it is because we attracted that by our thoughts. I feel strongly that being positive is good and being grateful is far better than complaining. Why would God want to hear us complain often? Why would He give us more if we don’t appreciate what we have? But we don’t have to be on top of our game all the time. We don’t always feel 100% fine. We don’t have to be 100% positive every minute.
If we have bad days like this frequently, we’d be smart to get professional help. But we do ourselves a disservice if we think we are supposed to be positive all the time. That is not being honest with ourselves. We do have bad feelings and bad days.
No one wants to listen to us complain unduly, but we can tell a good friend about our troubles now and then. And why not vent feelings by writing in a journal? Whatever you do to express your feelings, limit the time you complain. Reflect on your friend’s response and on what you wrote or said. See if you can do something about your troubles.
That night I asked myself, “What do I need right now?” I decided I was dehydrated so I drank a tall glass of water. I was tired, so I took a hot bath and went to bed early and read for a short time. I went to sleep early, knowing I would wake up on the “other side of the bed” in the morning. It was okay.
I slept for ten hours that night—which is rare for me, so I was either just plain tired or I was fighting an illness. The next day I drank more water so I wouldn’t be dehydrated again.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 says “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
So let’s accept a bad day when it happens. Let’s consider what we can do to make it better. And then let’s rest well knowing that tomorrow is another day.
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Are you having good times or bad times right now? How do you feel about that? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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