Bad days happen to all of us. Cars don’t start. We forget meetings. We close out of documents without hitting the “Save” button.
Since I’ve posted last, I had a couple of bad days strung together. I was tired, grumpy and stressed, and the kid chewing his gum loudly in my class did not help the cause. I was feeling anxious, knowing my breaking point was coming around the corner.
Before I knew it, the day of our bake sale fundraiser at the men’s hockey game against Harvard was here, and I, again, was flustered. From work to a meeting to the TD Bank Sports Center, I was running around all day and still had a take home quiz due before the game would be through.
As I switched from typing up about the gender roles in Orange is the New Black for my women’s studies class to putting on a smile, filling the role of saleswoman, something clicked. Men and women would walk by our spread, drop in $5, $10, $20, and walk away. No need to take a snack for the road, just donating for a cause that was greater than themselves.
This did two things for me: remind me of something I forgot and put things into perspective.
First and foremost, it was a reminder of people putting the kind in mankind. These fans came to the hockey game with full intentions of watching their boys beat the Crimson, and yet, they took the extra few minutes to hear about our trip and to reach into their wallets.
Even for a second, our trip, our group and our story touched their lives enough to help us. During a week in which I saw more flaws and frustrations in people than them doing good, I realized that it was how I was viewing people and situations, not the incidents themselves, that had me in a funk.
How I felt and what I saw were in my control the whole time.
This was reinforced when I thought back to last meeting’s activity. The children attending the Holiday Camp will be facing problems at home and in their school that are constructed by the country’s past. There are roadblocks ahead of them that will challenge every thing they do for the rest of their lives, and there is little that they can do about it.
That is when I realized my problems, in the grand scheme of things, mean almost nothing. So what a boy didn’t text me back or I failed a quiz? So what?
I, and so many others, are constantly stuck in the world of “Me.” To this point in my post, including this sentence, I have used the word “I” 19 times. With so many people in this world, why should my frustrations trump those of others? Why should I expect them to?
Honestly, I shouldn’t. And to take a lesson from Princess Mia Thermopolis, the world would be better if we didn’t.
I have everything in life I need, and rarely do I think how lucky I am. More often, I think of the things that are missing, but I’d like to think that since starting this journey, that has changed.
Thinking about where I will be in a few weeks makes me live more deliberately, and while I will always do what makes me happy, I am finding that thinking about others and caring for them is what is going to bring me the most happiness and the closest to my best self.