by Kari Diane Pike
What do you do when your morning starts like this?
What a glorious mess - a magnificent start to what could have been a mundane morning. When this happened to me last week, I realized I had two choices. I could whine and complain and be grumpy the rest of the morning, or I could take a picture and laugh about it with my friends and family on Facebook. I chose to take the picture and write about it.
Since breakfast was late, I worked on lunches in between cleaning up the mess and making more waffles. I've always been a little proud of my ninja multi-tasking skills. Except that morning my paying attention skills still hadn't kicked in. As I wrote names on lunch bags, I asked my husband if he wanted peanut butter or a meat sandwich. A few minutes later, I started to fill the bags and discovered that instead of writing "Micaela" on our daughter's bag, I wrote "Meat." My laughter must have sounded a little hysterical, because Micaela told me I needed to go back to bed. I took a deep breath and tried to gather my scattered brain. I decided to "fix" the mistake and ended up with this:
I thought it was a pretty good recovery. Plus, I had another funny moment to share on Facebook. I also thought about my need to pay attention and be more present in the moment. I even considered canceling my bike ride. Instead, I chose to leave my ear buds at home so I wouldn't be tempted to listen to the next episode of "Bones" on my phone. Call it a premonition or a prompting or whatever, but the thought that I needed to be extra careful on my ride kept tickling the back of my brain.
Eight and a half miles into my ride, my phone rang. I didn't even have the chance to stop and answer. The very second I took my mind off the road, I caught an edge (from concrete to gravel) and experienced my first wreck since the day I learned to ride a bike. No worries. I hopped right back on the bike, bloody knee and all, only to discover that my chain had broken during the fall. No problem. I was less than two miles from home. I could push the bike and still get home before the intense heat hit. Except that, while trying to take a short cut through the neighborhood, I turned down the wrong road and couldn't get through. I had to back track to the main road. Forty-five minutes later, I limped into the house. Of course I took a picture - and posted a smile on Facebook. I had to tell everyone about how I "fell" into cross training.
The rest of the day passed without incident. I babied my sore muscles and read the comments made to my Facebook posts. I had written about how great those challenges were and how grateful I was for the learning experiences and reminders to pay attention. Guess what. People "smiled" back. I received several messages from friends about how their day got better because I chose to share a positive "go-get-em" attitude. By sharing the light I felt, someone else's day improved. Despite being injured, my energy increased as I looked beyond what was "wrong" and focused on the things I wanted to do right.
During my scripture study that evening, I came across Mormon 9:14: "And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them;...he that is happy shall be happy still..." Wow. By choosing to be happy when things went wrong, my day not only improved, but I helped someone else feel joy.
Stuff happens. Stuff happens to everyone, all the time. As I come to better understand God's plan and who I am, moving through all the "stuff" becomes less of a burden. Nothing feels impossible and I can stand back and "comprehend the marvelous works of God" (Mormon 9: 21 - 25).
And...I can apply this lesson to my writing goals. When I get a rejection letter, I can choose to hide under the covers and cry and wish that I was a better writer, or I can plant my backside in a chair in front of my computer and practice writing until I get it right. I can hide my manuscripts under the bed and guarantee that I will never get published or I can put my work in front of editors and beta readers and learn from their comments. By choosing to keep going, someday I will hold my very own published work in my hands. And it will be another magnificent day.