I love to categorize things as “good” or “bad”. I like packing up events and placing them in boxes, the kind with thick brown tape. I like to label, to put my days and breaths under tags made with sharpie markers, to know that this is the thing that puts my life in order.
The problem is, though, that days and things aren’t usually like that. And so, to characterize them as only good or as only bad is to perform surgery on them, to dissect events and tear them apart until they aren’t even true anymore.
Because last Wednesday, I backed my car into a wall and nearly drove into a river. I got a parking ticket because my meter expired and I ordered an egg and cheese bagel that came back un toasted and cold. Wednesday, I stepped in a puddle and soaked my new shoes and showed up 45 minutes late to a Bible Study I was supposed to lead. Wednesday, I was tired and cranky and had my sharpie marker ready to put this one in a box labeled “bad”.
But at the end of the day as I sat in my bed, Laura Ashley covers tucked in around me, heat blowing through the vent on the wall and the soft glow of a lamp making the room feel even warmer, I found that it was not just bad. As much as I would like to crumple it up and throw it away into the pile of No Good Very Bad Days, I realize that to do so would be to strip the day of half its dignity.
Because Wednesday, I traded leading a study for a half hour of laughter, and while we may not have studied the Word, each of us left with our hearts a little lighter. Wednesday, I got a parking ticket because I was too entertained by the awe of a child learning to read to remember to check the time. Wednesday, my arms were sore and weary from carrying around a tiny warm body, who, squirming and giggling at everything in sight, can never keep still for long. Wednesday, I sat for two hours in traffic to read a story I’m working on to peers, and to enjoy their own work and progress as they perfect the craft of writing. Wednesday, I came home to a warm house and husband who sat waiting with a hot cup of tea.
Life, I’m realizing, isn’t compiled of “good” or “bad” days and moments. It is an eclectic, raw and unfiltered mix, of smiling through tears, of picking up the broken while holding a friend, of having your hair held back while you throw up in the bathroom. These moments, these gifts, are so much more than good or bad. They are complex, breathing, multidimensional things that ask nothing more than to be lived.
May you enjoy this day, in all its sides, and at the end of it know you experienced it all.