Do you ever have those days where things just feel rough? I had one of those days last week. It seems that during our hard times or vulnerable moments we are more likely to bump into even more unpleasant things, let me explain.
I was driving to the bank last week, mind you where I live the nearest bank is 55 miles away from my house. I love music so first thing when I get into my truck is to find a good song. The very first song to come on was “Light My Fire” by The Doors. That song was my Dad’s ringback tone and every time I called him I would have to listen to that song play. He loved The Doors, Queen and The Rolling Stones, really just classic rock. I had already started the day off on the wrong foot, I had woken up feeling overly tired, I was in a hurry to go to the bank and come back to some chores I wanted to get done and then that song came on and it hit me hard. It was difficult to hear that song because I woke up with a feeling of guilt and sadness about his death. What could I have done to ensure that he would be here today? That was the kind of thinking that I had going through my head when I first woke up and that song just refreshed all those feelings and thoughts. It might seem silly but the little things spark big emotion when you lose a loved one. I listened to the rest of the song thinking of all the memories I had with my Dad. I switched through different stations and it seemed that there were only sad songs on, after about skipping through 10 of them I gave up and turned off the music. If you have read any previous posts you know I love my coffee. With no music and driving the open road alone I grab my thermos of coffee and take a big sip, the coffee had been in my thermos for almost 30 minutes but it felt as though it just came from a volcano. My tongue burnt immediately, I swallowed what felt like liquid iron and instantly my eyes filled with tears. Thankfully I had water with me so I sipped on that but the damage was done my mouth and throat was throbbing. Not the best start to a long trip.
An hour passed and I finally arrived at the bank, I went inside and completed my transactions and was on my way home. I pulled out onto the main street and I slowed down after seeing a group of children walking home from school on the sidewalk. I instantly had flash back to childhood memories and thoughts of how much I’d been missing my Dad. I look over at the kids as I am passing them because you never know if they are going to randomly run across the street without any warning. One of the older girls in the group looks over at me and yells obscene comments and makes rude gestures to me. Let me say that I am someone who has extremely thick skin and most things that people do or say carry no weight with me unless I have a relationship with them. In that moment it was a whole different story, I was looking at these kids thinking back on fond memories of my Dad that passed away and remembering how fun it was to be a young kid, only to be brought back into reality by a young lady that had no value for kindness or class. For some reason in that moment of vulnerability I got hurt by a young kid that I didn’t even know. Oh well, I knew I did a lot of stupid and pointless things as a kid without thinking of others, I shrugged it off and got onto the highway and I was headed home.
Thinking that my day could only get better from here on, I drive along the highway only to see in my rear view mirror this car gaining speed and getting closer and closer to my rear bumper. Going the speed limit, I watch for them to pass as we drive through passing lane openings. After three times of passing lanes this car is almost kissing my bumper but they won’t pass me. Finally at the fourth clear passing lane they make their move, pass me and swerve back in front of my causing me to tap my brakes. They drive at the same speed as my cruise control for about two miles then I had to tap my brakes because I had been gaining on them. They finally speed off into the distance. Luckily for me, within ten minutes they are right in front of me, slowed down by a semi truck. When the passing lanes becomes available we each go around the semi, I tend to pass things a little quick because I don’t enjoy being in the oncoming lane. I forget to set my cruise control and just motor on home. Within fifteen miles of my home I see a white SUV in the oncoming lane, I think nothing of it until the red and blue lights turn on. I look down and my speed was over the limit. I start slowing down and wait for the SUV to turn around to follow but they continue their route. I take pride in never having had a ticket in my life and I enjoy driving safely, even though I didn’t get pulled over after everything started adding up in my head I felt defeated.
Over time I have come to the conclusion that when I am having an off or bad day, the negative things going on around me tend to be amplified and just have a spot light shone on them. Instead of focusing on the bad and letting a whole day go to waste, I challenge you to take a step back on those days and ask yourself this: “What are you made of?” Your good, fun and easy days do not test or try your limits. Your worst days and gloomy or stressful ones are the times that will test your character. Instead of having the feeling of everything is going wrong or being defeated just pick yourself up, start over fresh in that moment and remember what you are made of. Being tried and tested will happen throughout your life, especially if you have had difficulties or obstacles that you have had to overcome. I know the examples of my day seems minute and insignificant but they added up to feeling overwhelming when I started my day off with a good cry from missing my Dad. We all have our ups and downs like a roller coaster over the course of our life. You would never know what you are made of if you lived at an all time high for your whole existence. We are all forged in fire like a blacksmith creating a sword. The fire and the hammering shape and mold us. Those moments are what make us stronger, we can truly take our challenges and see them as opportunities to understand what we are made of. Tried, Tested and Still a Conqueror!