Friday, December 18, 2009

sometimes, i surprise even myself.

not that i think that i really surprise anyone else, because i don't think i'm as altogether mysterious as i would like to be.

wednesday.  let's go back to wednesday, shall we, because it was one surprising day.

it was final exam day at collegetown u for this teachergirl. a 10 o'clock exam is not too bad, but it becomes more complicated when you have to pick up a volunteer exam proctor that you've never met, then truck across a rather large campus in time to be there half an hour early.

it also becomes more complicated when you don't realize how long that is going to take.

and when you forget your wallet at home.

as i approached the big campus, i realized that where i normally park for free, about a 5 to 7 minute walk from my normal office and classroom building, would be entirely too far away for this particular occasion.  no problem, i thought, i'll just park in the big pay lot right across the street from the exam.  it won't be too expensive, and the annoyance elimination factor alone will more than make up for said expense.  so i drove around the barriers on campus that they set up during business hours to quickly pick up my proctor and then was about to head over to the pay lot when i realized that i had left my wallet at home.

no wallet, no pay lot.  even though it is one of those lots where you just swipe your card to pay and so i probably could have parked there anyway and risked it, that felt deeply wrong, so i decided to risk it in the decal parking lot.

the one for which i DO NOT have a decal.  it was finals and i thought there was chance, albeit a small one, that i could get away with it without a ticket.

didn't happen.  got a ticket.

i was prepared for that, and it was not that big of a deal. it would have been a shining beacon of awesome if i had not, but i knew the chance i was taking, so it was fine.

i went around the barrier again to drop off the proctor at the building where she'd left her bike. and got pulled over by a bike cop.

yeah, i'm not kidding.

remember how i didn't have my license? or insurance information?

yeah.  luckily, said bike cop only gave me a ticket for driving in a restricted area. 

yay.  two tickets in two hours.  whoopee! that has to be some sort of record.

after this string of awesome luck, i decided that, even though i was going to go to the big discount store to finish some stocking stuffer christmas shopping, i was going home and staying there until my luck changed.

musicboy came home from work shortly after i arrived (i had soothed my soul with online crossword puzzles until then) and then we graded finals and blah blah blah.

we watched a movie and i took a nap and then just as i woke up we heard a giant crash.

(i'm not kidding. i couldn't make this stuff up.)

our christmas tree fell over.  apparently the truck got soft or something so the screws didn't hold it in as well as it should.  in the process, several ornaments, including the BRAND NEW as in we just got it in the mail that day wedding ornament we got from musicboy's mom, broke.  we think we can fix it with superglue, but still.

as pine needles covered pretty much every inch of our living room and musicboy tried to get the tree back together again (or at least figure out what the heck happened), i decided to make dinner. pancakes.  it was easy.

they burned.

at that point, we gave up and went out to eat and went to the big discount store to finish shopping. 

but what amazed me, truly, was how i reacted to everything that day.  i'll admit to being upset when the pancakes burned, but other than that, i sort of laughed it off. 

two tickets? it's just money.  it's not anything that's going to go on my record, and i was trying to do the right thing.  oh well.

christmas tree? we fixed it. we'll fix the ornaments.  it will be okay, and even if they're a little wonky, it will be a good story for the kids and grandkids someday. 

pancakes? meh. it's just food.

sometimes when i stress really bad about things over which i have no control, and when i live in fear of complaining student emails, i feel like i'm not very brave at all.  i had even said that that day--that i wasn't very brave.  musicboy said i was just taking a brave break this semester, because i'd had to be so brave for months before with wedding and meeting in-laws and getting everyone to like me and keeping everybody happy and standing up for what we wanted and getting ready to start a brand new life. 

he makes a valid point.

but then days like wednesday come along, and i realize that i'm probably a lot more level-headed, centered, and brave than i think i am.  it's in moments like those, when the world seems to be imploding around you in the insignificant but nonetheless incredibly aggravating and demoralizing ways, that you really see what you're made of.  will you grow frustrated? will you take it out on yourself, on those around you, on Heavenly Father? will the blame game be your default approach?

for me, the answer is no.  for me, the answer came in an incredibly comforting dose of perspective.  it wasn't like i asked for it.  i probably should have prayed more that day, but i sort of felt like it was okay anyway.  all was well.  i was healthy (though i did choose NOT to go to the gym that day because oh my gosh i would probably break my leg).  the people i love were healthy and happy. things are just things and they're replaceable.  all of the important things were accounted for. 

all is well.

i like those moments.  i really do.

i'm truly glad, though, that wednesday is over.  comedies of errors can only go on so long, you know?

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