Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up feeling pretty good, excited about the possibilities of the day ahead only to be hit with a cloud of discouragement, worry, fear, regret, confusion, and anxiety? A literal rain on your parade kinda day.
It is not that there is necessarily anything wrong or bad that occurs….it just happens.
And now….you are stuck…. in what I call an Alexander Day.
Alexander is one of my favorite children’s literary characters in Judith Viorist book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
From the moment Alexander wakes up things just do not go his way. As he gets up, the chewing gum that was in his mouth the night before it ends up in his hair, he trips on the skateboard and drops his sweater in the sink while the water is running. Alexander found no prizes in his breakfast cereal at breakfast time. Poor Alexander goes on to have bad day, right up to time to go to bed. Several times he announces he is moving to Australia, where presumably, no one has bad days.
I like Alexander. I can relate to Alexander.
Sometimes we allow ourselves to be our own worst enemies…or at least I do. I spend too much time looking at others and comparing myself to them, and when I don’t like what I see…I’m ready to move to Australia.
-They are skinny…I am chubby.
-They are in better shape….I huff and puff.
-They look like they just stepped off the cover of Cosmo, and I look like I am the cover model for Spazo Magazine.
-They buy things they want….I pay for gas with the spare change out of my car.
-They eat two pieces of pizza at the buffet, and I need a wheel barrel to roll me out to leave.
-They have the husband with the kids and the minivan… I live alone and eat cereal for dinner
Does anyone else feel me?
I tell myself that something is off…. my Melody must not be in tune with the rest of the world. I sit, and I stew, and I moan, and I groan, constantly comparing my life to those of others. Then…just like Alexander….I have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
The day wears on and I get even more and more frustrated.
Why am I not good enough?
Why am I not smart enough?
Why am I not pretty enough?
Why am I such a screw up?
Why am I just a disaster?
For so long I wasted time looking at and listening to everyone else’s life song. I could not appreciate that even though my melody is different, it is no less sweet.
Sure, I am a little chubby, but I am still beautiful.
Yes, I am 41 and single….that does NOT make me any less. My life is full.
I don’t hike as fast as you….but I STILL get to the top of the mountain.
I am clumsy, awkward, and moody….but I still give it my best.
My song my be different….but I still sing just as sweet.
Eventually Alexander goes to bed….sad, frustrated, and a little dejected with how life has been this day….but his mom offers him this advice….
Friend, maybe you are struggling today. Maybe it seems the rest of the world is out basking in the sun and you are caught in a downpour. Life is coming at you hard, and it looks like others are sailing through with no worries.
Don’t be discouraged.
You are strong.
You are important.
Just remember….sometimes you’re gonna be a little off key and have a bad. And sometimes you’re gonna want to run away…but don’t give up. Tomorrow will be better. Bad days can happen anywhere…..
Even in Australia.