- Mental Health
Banking Good Times
Mother Said There Would be Days Like This
When life hands you a lemon, do you make lemonade? We all (well, most of us) have heard that expression before. It means that you look at what good can come out of misfortune. And some of us (depending on the size of our lemon tree) have gotten pretty good at it.
For example, you are running late one morning and in your effort to catch up, you rush out the door and spill coffee on your clean clothes on the way to the car. This causes you to stop dead in your tracks, turn around and go back inside the house to change. You quickly go back to your closet and hastily pick out clean clothes, change, and start to head back out the door when your cell phone rings. You hesitate, but decide to at least look at the caller ID.
You glance down and see that it’s your boss. You pick up, and the voice on the other end of the line is tense and emotional. “I’m stuck here at the airport,” he says. “My shuttle reservation is completely screwed up, I lost my wallet, and I can’t reach my wife. At least I have my phone, and you’re the first person I thought to call. Can you come get me?”
Wow, your boss is having an even worse day than you are. And had you not stopped to change your clothes, you would have been on the road, where you always let calls go to voicemail when you’re driving. “Sure thing. Just tell me your terminal number, and I’ll be right there.”
“You’re a Godsend,” he answers. You could, of course, see this as yet another set-back to your awful day. Or, you could realize that you’ve just built up some serious good will with your boss. You jump in your car, and head for the airport. Your lateness and coffee stains are the furthest thing from your mind. Congratulations! You’ve just made lemonade.
The Rest of the Time
Then there are the other times. The “normal” ones. Which, let’s face it, is about 80% of the time or more. Days when you get up on time or within the first snooze alarm. When you have a nice, refreshing shower. You take time to have a bit of breakfast, and watch a little news on TV. You head out the door on time, wave at your neighbor, and drive off to work. You arrive on time, get your usual parking spot, pick up a fresh coffee and head to your desk. Nothing unusual. Just a perfectly normal day.
Allow me to describe your normal day one more time. Only this time I will paint an entirely different picture.
First of all, you wake up. You were not disturbed during the night, and you have an alarm clock with a snooze button that works reliably. Check. You get out of bed, and you walk to the bathroom. You don’t need a cane or a crutch, you just get up and walk under your own power. Everything is neat and tidy, so there is nothing to trip over.
The water in your shower is clean, and you don’t question the fact the temperature is just the way you like it. You have plenty of your favorite soap and shampoo, an exfoliating brush that works perfectly, and a fluffy, clean towel to use when you’re done.
When you go to your closet to get dressed, you have at least 10 different outfits (probably many more) to select from. They are all clean, and in good repair. They are probably all less than two years old. You have all the necessary accessories – a functioning watch, comfortable and stylish shoes, and so forth.
There is plenty of food in the refrigerator to select from. Coffee comes from a single cup coffee maker that is ready in less than a minute. You have a TV in the kitchen, one in the bedroom, and one in the living room to choose from for your morning news. You have an automatic dishwasher where you put your breakfast dishes.
Your neighbors are friendly and helpful, and you have two cars parked in the driveway. You have plenty of fuel in the gas tank, and the car you drive this morning is in good repair, with almost new tires. You turn on the radio, which has dozens of stations to choose from, and when you arrive at your job (that you’ve held for over five years making a good salary), the parking spot you usually select is available (the one that gets shade in the afternoon).
The abundance is mind boggling. You don’t think for a minute about all the choices that are available to you, or the safety, security, and freedom you live in every single day. And we haven’t even gotten to the weekend!
What I am suggesting here is that you bring all of that abundance up to the conscious level. Be grateful that you have a comfortable bed, food for breakfast, and three TV’s at home, and two cars. Some people in the world don’t have any of those things. In fact, for some it’s just a struggle to have enough food to eat every day. Think about your abundance “out loud” from time to time, and “bank” the good times in your mind for those days that don’t go so well. Our Mother’s told us there would be days like that. And they were right.