Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wake Up and Smell the Routine

This is how my day was: wake up at 4am because Ozzy won't sleep. My bus is late. On Market Street a homeless man yells UGLY, and although there are maybe 12 other people standing by and the sidewalk itself is covered in loogies, I feel certain he is calling me ugly. Forget my lunch. Eat handfuls of butter cookies and peppermint bark from gift baskets sitting in the office. Feel sick. Go to the bathroom and get my period, breaking a year and a half pregnancy-induced proverbial dry spell. Zoey's school calls--she has a fever. Bryan picks her up. Feel like a bad mom. Have one of those moments in a group conversation when you start to talk but realize nobody is listening so you awkwardly look around and then trail off your sentence? Start again, but still no one is listening. Stop. Start again. Stop. On the way home the bus driver yells at me when my phone rings.
My day sucked. This is also how my day was: wake up at 4am because Ozzy wants to chat. We stare at each other and smile for 10 minutes straight, and I realize it is maybe the most intimate thing I have ever done. Zoey wakes up and we cuddle on the couch to watch Babar. The bus is warm. The barista at Starbucks remembers my name and is genuine. At work I catch a typo. Free peppermint bark. On a whim I type "Last Christmas" by Wham! into Pandora and spend the afternoon listening to wonderfully terrible holiday music. At home Zoey's eyes are two glazed donuts, her temperature 101 degrees. I kiss the hot palms of each hand and she goes to sleep at 6. Because he left work early to pick up Zoey, Bryan has to go back to his office, so I eat a dinner of five Pfeffernüsse alone in the kitchen with Ozzy. Five Pfeffernüsse, five Pfeffernüsse. I say it out loud a few times and the powdered sugar puffs a bit like a dragon. Ozzy thinks this is hysterical. He eats sweet potato and peas.
My day was awesome.

Both of these are true, the cognitive dissonance of my day. Of every day, really. What happened and what I choose to tell. Neither of them the wrong answer but both of them right. How was my day? What will I say? I believe in the value of both.
How was your day?


Kym said...

One time in San Francisco after my first job interview, a homeless man followed me down the street screaming at me "You smell like dookie! You smell like dookie!" Needless to say it made me feel like crap, ha!

krista said...

oh hell, woman. this might be the most beautiful thing ever.

A Perfect Gray said...

one of your best. thanks a million.

Lacey said...

Definitely one of my favorite posts of yours, ever. Love it. It's all in what we choose to share, choose to dwell on, choose to remember.

Nancy Fastenau said...

A great post Susannah. I think it is important to see both parts of the day and then to keep close the one you love. Too many people can only see the bad. Happy Christmas!

Gini said...

LOVED this.

Anonymous said...

How great would it be if everyone had the perspective to choose to see, to hear, to remember both the good and bad in every day?

Your genius is not just that you have that perspective, but that you are able to capture it so beautifully in words. Thank you (for the bazillionth time) for sharing your thoughts with us.

P.S. If that guy was yelling at someone at your bus stop, it was absolutely at one of the other 11.

Jessi said...

Loved this! Wonderful post. Or loved this wonderful post, whichever.

Still Life With Coffee said...

Wow....this is so incredibly awesome. You really have a gift

Heidi said...

Thanks, I needed that.

Anonymous said...


Your (latest) beautifully-written post reminded me of "Joy and Sorrow" by Khalil Gibran.

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Thank you for sharing your wise perspective and your wonderful writing.

Mr. X



TwoWishes Tara said...

Motherhood in a nutshell. Beautifully said.

Anonymous said...

OH man! This was so beautiful and so true. I just love your posts and this one hit the spot.

Michelle M in KY said...

LOVE, ADORE, ADMIRE this post. It is the same story I have every day and sometimes I am able to capture it...usually once everyone is asleep am I able to reflect on what a great day overall it was and to see it with perspective. However, as I have said many times over my dear, you have a gift for bringing it outloud. It's nice to know everyone has two versions. Thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Perspective. Brilliant.

c is for cape town said...

gorgeous. thank you.

Julie of Monkey Grass Hill said...

great post!

Tracey said...

Perfection! You summed up life perfectly.