Monday, July 26, 2010

The Upside of a Down Day

Most mornings I roll out of bed and hit the ground running. Walking just isn't an option when you're trying to juggle eight plus kids (adopted and foster), one full-time job, one budding side-business, church work, volunteer work, a husband's budding business, housework, and the ever-growing network of extended family and friends. I plan speeches while brushing my teeth and practice them while folding laundry. I draft letters while cooking meals. I make mental to-do lists while driving. I start my day like a racehorse at the gates--fidgety, pumped, and ready to fly.

However, every once in awhile there are mornings when the gun fires, the starting gates swing back, the racers bolt forward, and I can do nothing more than gaze after them. I hang my head like a tired old mare while the dust hits my face and an irritated jockey hurls insults down on me. Feeling like a total and complete failure, I seek out the blessed solitude of my stall for the remainder of the day.

Over the years of up day/down day cycles, God has taught me how to better deal with them and yes, even be blessed by them. For one thing, I've learned how to predict when they're coming. I know I'm headed for a down day after dealing with several physically or emotionally taxing events within quick succession of each other. Following a difficult situation a down day is sure to appear. Sometimes new situations will also trigger a down day. As long as I am human, down days are inevitable.

But there is an upside. While I won't score major points for accomplishments done on a down day, I do get a much needed opportunity to simply stop and smell the roses. On down days, I move more slowly so I see things I don't normally see when my feet are pounding the track at 40 mph while I strain towards the finish line. The flowers look prettier. The clouds look puffier. My children look sweeter. My list of goals on a down day are also downsized. They consist of snuggling with my kids, petting the cats, reading a book, making a friendly phone call, playing the piano, or praying for no particular purpose. It's a day to put my responsibilities aside and just be. It's a day for counting my blessings.

Today is a down day, but, I'm not at all depressed about it. I'm thankful for this opportunity to rest and recharge my batteries. Tomorrow will be a new day. The alarm will ring. I'll roll out of bed fidgety, pumped, and ready to fly. Eat my dust!