There'll be days like this, mama said."
Monday, if I recall correctly, started out sunny. We had breakfast and I went on to my newly found routine of sitting on the back terrace, drinking a cup of coffee and watching the sunrise.
As I listened to my favorite classical music station on my Kindle, I jotted down a brief, thoroughly unambitious to-do list for the day.
|Ralph W. Emerson, dressed up for|
Concord H.S. prom.
Then small snafus crept in, which combined with the miraculous process of "catastrophizing," I allowed to ruin my whole day.
"Catastrophizing"—and I'm one of its leading practitioners—is the old practice of letting molehills turn into mountains.
My secret formula is to start out with one or two firecrackers to which I add a half-cup of imaginary napalm, some made-up dynamite plus a pinch of uranium and presto, I have a hydrogen bomb ticking inside my head.
In retrospect, Monday's triggers are embarrassing to mention. Félix showed up in our pick-up that he had borrowed for the weekend, except the gas tank was quarter short; the remote for the garage door opener was missing; and the headlights, fog and tail lights were doing some sort of winking dance that could only be controlled by disconnecting the battery.
Félix had no plausible explanation except that things went bump in the night at a car wash where he took the truck to be cleaned.
There went my to-do list—and my whole day—by first trying to fiddle with the garage door opener and failing that, looking for a repairman. Meanwhile, I forgot to transfer to the car three bags of gravel I needed for gardening, plus the shovel, all of which ended at the mechanic where we took the truck to be fixed.
No garage door opener, no gravel, no truck, no gardening. A catastrophe brewed.
With my head still on a spin cycle Tuesday morning, I did my usual navel-gazing on the back terrace and a note fell out of my notebook.
It was a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson who, even in Concord, Mass. in the 1800s, seemed to be familiar with days like Monday:
Finish everyday and be done with it. \
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities
no doubt have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day:
begin it well and serenely
and with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with
your old nonsense.
This day is all that is
good and fair.
It is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on yesterdays.
Or as the Shirelles paraphrased Emerson in their 1961 single:
Mama said there'll be days like this,
There'll be days like this, mama said.
Couldn't have put it better myself, girls.