days like this
Monday morning my alarm went off as per usual. Except this time instead of heinous beeping it played the luscious voice of Jose Gonzalez. It made 4am lovelier.
I got out of bed and could barely walk for the 8th day in a row. (I always liked routine.) All because of a water slide. Not a water slide accident, just a normal ride down a normal water slide. Actually it wasn’t really a ‘normal’ ride or a ‘normal’ water slide. We were at a nica-made wannabe water park with basically no rules. We drank beers and did whatever we wanted all day, including sending people up and down the slide at the same time, chasing deer around the compound, and making trains of people to send down the steepest slide. It wasn’t until the boys mounted the kiddie carousel to film shots for their rap video that the administration shook their finger at us. Go kill yourself but don’t let the grown men near the children is kinda what it seemed like.
Anyways my back hurt and it was 4am. So I made coffee. Typical. Then I made a hot compress and sat in my hammock sipping coffee and warming my back in the darkness of the pre-dawn hours. Relaxed. After 20 min or so I could move my shoulders without shooting pains and I easily convinced myself to go run.
It was extra cool that morning. I found myself throwing my head back and flinging my arms out to the side to thoroughly enjoy the breezes. I sang out loud. I enjoyed the sunrise behind the volcano and smiled into the blinding sun. When I got bored and wanted to be done, I started pep talking myself through the last 3 miles. You know all those embarrassing remarks like ‘you got this’, ‘keep at it laurel’ and the like. Yup. Out loud. There may have been fist pumps involved. It just felt right that morning. It felt weirdly right.
I got home, opened my back door, picked a mango off one of our 9 trees out back and ate it like an apple. Mmmmm. I played with my dog, chatted with my counterpart, and pumped water from the well without a sour face. OH and I found the BEST pancake recipe.
Then I went to work.
But as I was getting dressed I realized how many small victories I had already had before 8am.
After a few lousy, discouraging weeks, it felt refreshingly weird to be unshakably positive.
I know they say that we have full control over our attitude and livelihood but I’ve had a lot days where survival mode was the best I could give. Sure we can choose not to act on feelings of frustration or to always act graciously but can we control the fount from which those actions flow? Can we really choose to always FEEL joyful?
None of my circumstances have changed this week, in fact some of them got more frustrating, but it all feels different. I feel stronger than it all again. I find pleasure in the details of life and steadiness in my position in the community.
I will have many more discouraging months and trying times in my life. I will again tell people that ask me how I’m doing that I’m just truckin. I will have more fallouts with my bosses and may be far away from loved ones. I will struggle and fail and want to complain. I won’t be able to shake it. But you never lose sight of goodness or hope. Because one day-maybe even a Monday-it will FEEL good again and you will jam out to some Van Morrison singing about how there will be days like this. Just like my momma told me.
And it will feel right to let your dog tackle you and to get up at 4am to clean your house for a surprise visit from your boss. It won’t cross your mind to complain about an injury or an inconvenience. It won’t feel childish or embarrassing to celebrate everything. It won’t seem necessary to take a break or vent. It will be a peaceful love for life that fills you. And it will be glorious.
Who says? I do. After moving to another country and losing my entire identity and working a job I didn’t know how to do with insanely minimal support, I feel like I can say.