Monday, April 28, 2014

I think I'll move to Australia

Did you ever read that children's book, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good, Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst?

It's about a little boy who has one of those days that really blows. By the end of  his horrible day, when he's forced to wear his railroad train pajamas because his favorite jammies are in the wash, Alexander loses it and wants to move to Australia.

I'm ready for Australia too.

Lately, I've had a string of Alexander days. It's really an accumulation of challenges--from small ripples to crushing tsunami waves--threatening to overturn my canoe and to steal my joy. I'm paddling through these challenging waves, but it's hard to keep paddling when your arms ache.

Yesterday I felt exhausted from paddling so hard without making any progress. I wondered when I'd reach a calmer spot in the river so I can catch my breath.

I was lamenting the trials and tribulations buffeting my boat when I popped into a grocery store and had a reality check. In an "aha" moment, my eyes were averted from my own boat and problems.

I am only five-foot-two and often have to climb up grocery store shelves to reach my cereal or other out-of-reach item. Or sometimes I seek out a tall person to retrieve my cereal from the top shelf. Never in my life have I been someone else's tall person.

As I reached for something high above my head, a voice below me asked, "Would you grab one for me?"

I turned to see a tiny woman with many, many more challenges than I have. Her legs had not fully developed. She was sitting on a motorized platform scooter.

"Sure," I said, grabbing another. "Why do they put things up here so we short women can't reach them?"

"Beats me," she laughed.

At that moment, I realized that although my challenges are daunting, they aren't as enormous as I had imagined.

I'll paddle through them, one stroke at a time.

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