Since I don’t have children, am not in school, and do not care for elderly parents, some people wonder what I do on the days when I’m not working.
Today was a day full of strange experiences – and yet, this is also a semi-accurate reflection of how a “standard” day in my life often goes. The specific events and occurrences tend to change from one day to the next – but the randomness of them all is a common theme I experience often. Now, as it’s currently the end of the day and I’m tired, I’m not going to spin this post into a lovely literary tale; instead, I’ll give you a bulleted list of the highlights:
- 3:30 am: One of our puppies insists that he must go outside – RIGHT NOW. Unable to sleep through his whining, I get up, put him in the yard, then bring him back inside. He then protests that he is HUNGRY. Unwilling to feed him just yet (since I know that will only cause problems later in the day), I bring my pillow to the living room sofa (so that at least my sweetie can sleep undisturbed) and catch another hour of shut eye.
- 6 am: The puppies have been fed, and seem to finally be content. I slip into the shower – and when I exit 10 minutes later, I see a large wet spot on the carpet. Yup, it’s puppy pee. Sigh.
- 8:30 am: After getting the carpet, myself, and the puppies all squared away, I head off to yoga class. But traffic on the freeway is unusually congested; after navigating through two surprise construction zones, I arrive to the studio just in time for class.
- 11 am: As I approach my car (parked a block away from the studio), I see that one of my tires looks saggy. Upon closer inspection, I see that it is flattening rapidly. Shit. Fortunately, a full-service auto station is literally three blocks away from the yoga studio – so I gently, cautiously, and slowly drive my injured vehicle there.
- 11:45 am: The incredibly kind service station attendant reports that a nail had punctured its way into my tire (thanks to the 8:30 am construction zones, I’m certain), but that he was able to patch it, and my vehicle is once again drivable. He charges me a mere $17, which I am happy to pay. Many thanks to him for helping me get back on my way!
- (Side note: When I arrived at the service station at 11 am, one woman was sitting in the lobby area, waiting for her flat tire to be repaired. She noticed her deflating wheel ten minutes before, and drove from three blocks away! Kooky, eh?)
- Noon: I stop at Whole Foods to grab some lunch. But I first need to visit the restroom – where I encounter a whiny 2-year-old girl and her mother. I can sense the mom is losing patience with the child, so I smile gently at my fellow female adult and laugh lightly. “Just remember, she’ll grow older,” I say in an effort to be encouraging, and to hopefully help the mom cope a tiny bit more. It works; the mom looks at me, smiles back, and chuckles. “You think after three kids I’d have this all figured out,” she replies good naturedly. I respond, “Yeah, darn kids and their independent thoughts and opinions!” We exchange one more smile, and I leave the mom to return her attention to her daughter.
- 12:15 pm: I have secured food, and head to a small dining space adjacent to the grocery area of the store to find a seat. A table opens up just as I arrive, and I gratefully sit down. Thirty seconds later, an older man approaches the dining space – and his brow furrows as he sees every table occupied. However, the table I’m at has two open seats, so I look up at him and say, “You can sit here and dine with me if you want; I don’t mind…” He looks at me a bit uncomfortably (most of us Minnesotans simply don’t eat with strangers), but seeing that this space the best option available to him at the moment, he hesitantly accepts my offer, and slowly sits down. He thanks me for being willing to share “my” space with him, and we each turn to our respective magazines and dine in a shared-yet-comfortable silence.
- 2 pm: I take a break from some writing I had been doing, and scan my Facebook feed – where I see a link to an awesome webpage that details out very creative steps a mother/father pair have taken on behalf of their two young girls. I laugh out loud at some of the images – and quickly draw attention to myself as the other patrons in the otherwise semi-quiet coffee shop turn to look at me – the girl who has the audacity to laugh out loud in a public venue. Eh, whatev. I’m having too much fun to care. :)
- 2:15 pm: The coffee I have been sipping for the past two hours has arrived at my bladder; I pack up my things and head to the restroom – where I see two odd-yet-cheeky signs:
- 3 pm: I drive to a discount store to do our weekly household grocery shopping. (While I love Whole Food’s products, I am unwilling to pay their exorbitant prices for ‘standard’ nutritional fare.) As I walk from my car to the store entrance, I see three huge seagulls dive-bombing the spaces between various parked cars. I live in a land-locked state in the Midwest, so I have no idea how sea gulls even found their way here; why they are out in a metro parking lot is even more peculiar…
- 4:30 pm: Having returned home, I put away the newly purchased food stuffs, then take our puppies out for their afternoon walk. We approach one of our pup’s nemesis, a shaggy mutt who lives on the corner of the block. The big dog starts barking, to which our smaller pup starts yapping in return. The owner of big shaggy mutt quickly approaches, looks at her dog, and sternly says, “No bark!” I laugh out loud, and before I can stop myself, call out, “Yeah – good luck with that!” The woman looks at me, and I smile – which helps her to not take herself so seriously, and she smiles and laughs in return. Whew!
- 7 pm: I load the dishwasher with the various pots and plates that were used to make supper, drop in some soap, and turn the appliance on. Two hours later, the ‘time remaining’ display reads: “1 minute”. (The normal wash cycle is 90 minutes.) At 9:15 pm, the display still reads: “1 minute”. I give the appliance ten more minutes, but it continues to tell me that 60 seconds remain. I manually power it off, ending its perpetual state of almost-doneness.
- 9:30 pm. I slip into bed, and listen to a talk for a few minutes before preparing to surrender to sleep. The speaker’s discussion focused on accepting everything that comes to each of us; that life will happen, and that at times we will experience gain while at other times we will have to face loss. We will receive both “pleasant” things and “unpleasant” things; we will see beginnings and witness endings. But all/none of these things has to be a “problem”, persay. Pain is unavoidable in life – but suffering is option. I realized that through each of my crazy experiences today, I didn’t fight or judge, but simply went with it. I lived what the speaker described. Whoa. Cool.
Hopefully this satisfies some folk’s curiosity. For me, this is just a day in the life, kids. Just a day in the life.