I quickly pressed my finger on the largest coffee cup size on my Keurig as I ran to grab my green grass jacket. Once I heard the familiar purring of my caffeine savior I exhaled slowly, becoming fully aware that I was running short on time to get to work. I started to grab my purse and head out the door when my husband, Dan, cleared his throat and exclaimed, “Why do you have a tail?”*
“A tail?” I asked again, thinking that I must have misheard him.
“Yeah,” he got up from his spot at our kitchen table. I rushed to the bathroom to inspect the situation for myself. I turned around, and sure enough, I had a little piece of maroon fabric dangling down underneath my taupe cardigan and jacket. Right by my butt. This little tail also had a button snap on it. It dawned on me. The brand new shirt that seemed flowy and cute when I first picked it out, and since threw on that morning for the first time on way out of the door, was more than a little more snug and, in fact, an adult onesie. Well, not technically a onesie, but an adult bodysuit. I realize that this is entirely my fault. I should have either: 1.) Tried it on in the store before I bought it or 2.) Tried it on when I first got home after purchasing it and not when heading out. My bad guys, my bad. Looking at the shirt now, I have NO idea how I didn’t realize it was a bodysuit. I don’t remember any snap contraption when I bought it. I swear it changed on me. Such is life.
“Oh my…umm….I don’t have time to fully change. I’m just gonna tuck it in….”(I know. I know, I’m quick on my feet, hey?) “…Does this look okay?” I asked Dan.
He smiled and managed to squeak out a, “It looks fine,” before our eyes connected and he started laughing. I raised my eyebrow at him before looking back into the mirror. I had my shirt tucked into my high-waisted black work pants and officially looked like I had no torso at all. “It’s just going to have to do. I’ll fix it at work,” I sighed as I grabbed my coffee and keys, kissed my husband goodbye, and headed out of the door.
Once inside of the van I opened our garage door and then started to back up, trying to avoid the garbage cans to my right that I almost tapped daily with my passenger side mirror. That’s when it happened.
I slammed on the breaks and slowly leaned over to my left to see, much to my dismay, I had fully smashed into our snowblower. I gripped the wheel. Tight. I closed my eyes for a second and let out a long breath. I opened my eyes and saw Dan run out in front of me with his hands up in the air thrashing wildly.
Oh…so he heard that….
“BACK UP!” He waved his hands so that I would move the van.
“I’m fine. Thanks for asking.” I said to my fully rolled up window before I started to inch backwards again.
I immediately stopped.
Now the snowblower was really pinned. I was contemplating my exit when I cranked the wheels to face the opposite direction and heard the snowblower drop down. Dan and my eyes met and then I slowly backed away and headed to work on the verge of tears.
Driving to work with the radio full blast helped me calm down and I began to see the pieces of humor. I called Dan to make sure the snowblower was okay. It started up fine, for all of you that were concerned. haha
For the others of you that were worried about my appearance that day: Once I got to work I excused myself to snap the onesie…ahh…I mean bodysuit, together. At the genius suggestion of one of my coworkers I pinned my cardigan together with a binder clip so I wouldn’t fuss with it all day and worry about my short looking waist. It was like it never happened at all!!**
Little did I know that this was just Day 1 of what I’m not referring to as: “Anna and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week.”
Let’s fast forward through the boring details, shall we?
The exhaustion of the week set in as I was coming up on hour 2 of waiting to see a doctor at the Walk-In Clinic near my house. 9 hours prior I left my house for work (with plenty of time to spare I might add…or so I thought) and my van wouldn’t start. At all. Not so much as a spark. I think it was mad at me from earlier that week. I, of course, panicked. This had never happened to me before and I did NOT know what to do or how I would get to work.
Once I texted my co-worker, Hayley, she graciously offered to give me a ride to work. Thank you! I was still pretty panicked as my lunch consisted of calls from my husband who had to have the van towed from our driveway to a local shop to fix it, calls to my mother asking if I could borrow her van in the meantime, and calls to my brother to see if he could pick me up from work since I didn’t have a set ride home. Once that was finished I started to feel a little better about the situation, although the looming and mysterious price of the fix was consistently in the back of my mind. (Side note: Big money things that come up unexpectedly right before Christmas can just suck it.)
After I acquired my mother’s van I headed to the doctor to figure out why I hadn’t been feeling well again and, like I said, hour 2 while waiting I was ready to pass out in the waiting room. My mind kept wandering to my family, who was out of town visiting a family member who ended up in the hospital all last week. It wasn’t a good situation. I was worried and felt like throughout all of the many things that happened this week, there was barely a light at the end of the tunnel. Looking back, I know things could be much worse and I am so thankful that they weren’t, but I suppose when you’re in the moment it’s hard to tell yourself anything else sometimes. I also realized that I unintentionally wrote my last blog for MYSELF this week. (Step away from the [insert personalized stressor here])
At the heightened moment of my cynicism I received a text message from Dan. It was a picture of a package that came in the mail of some Christmas presents that I had ordered. He knew that would cheer me up!!!
Once I got home I ran over to the package and was ready to tear it open to see how the picture gifts turned out. The first gift was perfect and just what I wanted!! I opened the second one and it was not quite what I expected. I had ordered a little calendar with pictures of my friend and I, documenting our adventurous year together. What I received was a calendar….Of. Another. Family.
I was torn between laughing and crying. I actually think I did a little bit of both. Until it occurred to me that someone else might have received MY pictures and that just didn’t sit well. I pictured the moment I would tell my friend, “Merry Christmas! A complete stranger has a years worth of pictures of us in calendar form!! You’re welcome!”***
Everything else was so serious for me and stressful that I just had to laugh at this. The matter has since been resolved, but at the time it felt like the straw that broke the camel’s back.
We all go through terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days and very bad weeks and this seemed like just that for me. Now that’s it over and looking back on my week, there were so many moments where I was helped out or someone made me laugh or someone asked me how I was, and it meant the world for me to hear. It made me conscious of moving forward and expanded my ever-growing empathy toward others that might be having bad weeks. A little kindness goes a very long way. Humor goes even further. Especially if you can see it still in the bad. Humor ended up being the light at the end of my tunnel and for those of you that are struggling, I hope you find yours too. In the words of Alexander from the movie “Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”:
“I think that you just gotta have the bad days so you can love the good days even more.”
*Side note: This was the moment of last week that I should have realized the misfortune would continue and just thrown in the towel right then and there. ha!
**Bonus: The bodysuit made me feel secure and all cozy. I didn’t hate it.
***Once I did tell my friend we laughed our butts off about it.