I introduced Thor to the music of Don Williams recently, and said something about it to Mom in front of him. Thor nodded and said, “Yes. And he has this song where he says ‘God, make my day good.'” (If it has God in it, Thor is all over it. He has been assimilated by Larry the Cucumber.) The song is actually, “Lord, I hope this day is good.”
I was thinking about that this morning.
Listen, last week was ROTTEN! Car trouble with both cars (fixed, thankfully), landed gentry trouble (that’s going to take some time and money to repair, but that’s what I get for having made slumlord jokes), and assorted semi-serious issues combined to make me feel like wallowing. And I did wallow. But you know what wallowing gets you? Dirty.
This morning, I was humming Don Williams. I stopped to think about the lyrics of the song. “Lord, I hope this day is good. I’m feeling tired and misunderstood. I should be thankful, Lord, I know I should. But Lord I hope this day is good.”
I’m not the kind of girl who waits for things to happen. I am impatient. I’m not wishin’, and hopin’, and prayin’. I’m doing. I’m going. I’m getting. If it is important to me, I am on the move. This does not always work to my favor because every good hunter knows that there is a time to lie in wait and a time to go crashing through the underbrush, but it’s who I am. I do. I go. I get.
I don’t expect God (or anyone else) to give me a good day. I expect that I have been given all the tools with which to command my destiny, and it is up to me to use them. When I feel tired and misunderstood, it is up to me to put it to bed (withholding sleep is a way that I punish myself) and explain the misunderstanding. When I know I should be thankful, you better believe I am thankful. That’s probably the one thing I have down pat. Gratitude.
I will tell you that at the bottom of my heart, I will always be able to be thankful for what I have had. Even if the day comes when I have nothing at all, I will always have what has been, and I have had such love and goodness in my life to date, that I can always be thankful for that. Even the smallest spark makes a light in darkness, and sometimes that’s the best you can do.
I realized that I haven’t been on top of making sure Thor understands that happiness is his choice and his decision. I want him to understand that his attitude is his to command, and his temper does not have to be a reaction to the world. I never want him to wait for someone, or something else to make his day good. So, when we got in the car this morning, I asked him, “What are we going to do to make this day good?”
He wasn’t sure, so I told him what I was going to do.
“I am going to find something good to say about everyone,” I told him. “I am going to tell people nice things. If I think someone looks nice, I will tell them. If I think they do a good job, I will tell them.”
He smiled and intoned, because it was an imitation of some vegetable he’s been watching, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. That’s Proverbs.”
Good old Proverbs. Proverbs and Romans are my stomping grounds. Another Proverb says that you should not only get wisdom, but that you must have understanding of that wisdom. Knowing the square root of pi doesn’t mean you know how to apply it to anything useful, and what good is knowing 1.772453850905516027298167483314 if you don’t know what it means, or how to get there?
So, I said to Thor, “That is the truth.” And I asked him, “How are you going to use that?”
He still wasn’t sure, so I offered some understanding of the wisdom. “You can use your words to make people feel good, and seeing that you have made someone happy will make you happy.
“How about you tell one of your teachers thank you for taking such good care of you? And, how about you tell one of your friends what you like about him? And, if you think someone is good at a game, why don’t you say so? Then, you’ll make someone else’s day good, and that will help make your day good.”
He liked that. I like that.
I’m not telling you I am always on top of this. I’m telling you that I let life get to me last week, and I ignored a lot of opportunities to turn my attitude around because it felt better (or at least easier) to wallow. But I have it back on track this week. I started with apologizing to someone for an overreaction I had. As I explained to Thor, “Sometimes, you realize you were wrong a few days later. You still have to bite that bullet and go say so.”
The goodness of my day=my responsibility