Monday, May 16, 2011

A New Day

I've had a pretty cool day after all. It didn't start out so great, however. You see, I'm finally getting over a virus of the delightful "stomach flu" variety that I have had to fight since Thursday. Possibly even Wednesday, now that I reflect on that. Yes, it's now Monday. So it's taken at least five days to beat this thing. Did I mention that one of the side effects of the virus is muddled thinking?

This morning I wasn't feeling completely great. Simple things seemed difficult. You have probably experienced this after you've been sick too -- the fever makes your brain tired, and some of us get impatient and somewhat depressed. I snapped at my 5-year-old son then felt guilty (still do really) even though I apologized and told him that even mommies get mad sometimes. I explained that I still loved him and always would, etc. Probably every parent can recognize what I'm talking about. I still feel bad about it, but giving birth didn't make me instantly perfect.

Once I dropped my son off at preschool, I hesitated over whether to make a right turn and go home or to take the left turn and do the errands. After experiencing my short temper, I wasn't sure I was up to going to the post office and the grocery store. In the end, I took the road more traveled, the road toward errands.

At this point, I wasn't mad anymore, but I was disappointed in my lack of patience and had a negative attitude. It wasn't openly apparent, but the negativity was in my heart. When I opened my post office box, there were the typical advertisements. Sigh. Then I saw a package. I knew I hadn't ordered anything recently, so I wondered what it could be. I felt the heft of the Priority Mail envelope thinking, "Ah, probably just somebody trying to SELL me something again," I grumbled. I was really full of stinkin' thinkin!

It wasn't advertising. It was a book.

The book was called Bobblehead Dad: 25 Life Lessons I Forgot I Knew.

That sounded familiar, and I opened it up to a page where some papers were inserted. The book was autographed!
He meant page 179, but nevermind. :)

As author Jim Higley says in his book Bobblehead Dad: 25 Life Lessons I Forgot I Knew, "Many of the things that have shaped and influenced my life have come from simple and seemingly insignificant moments."

All I did was help Jim Higley with a contact. I helped him get in touch with a relative of Dr. W. Heartsill Wilson so Higley could acquire permission to publish the poem "A New Day." I had the email address of one of Dr. Wilson's relatives simply because I had created a Squidoo page about Dr. Heartsill Wilson.

I'm glad I could help, but what's amazing to me is that the book came to me at just the perfect time. Because only 3 hours before I removed the book out of my post office box, I posted on Twitter about my recent rough bout with stomach flu that effectively stopped my world for a few days -- "The good thing about being sick is that it helped me get off the merry go round & reexamine priorities."

Reexamining priorities in life is a main point of the book. Of course in Jim Higley's case, the illness (prostate cancer) was much more serious than my inconveniencing stomach flu, but I received the message from both the stomach flu and the book that I need to slow down and not spread myself too thin with responsibilities and things that take my time and don't add enough value for me to be trading days of my life for them.

(Formerly "A Salesman's Prayer")

"This is the beginning of a new day.
God has given me this day to use as I will.
I can waste it--or use it for good, but what
I do today is important, because I am exchanging
a day of my life for it! When tomorrow comes,
this day will be gone forever, leaving in its
place something that I have traded for it.
I want it to be gain, and not loss; good,
and not evil, success, and not failure;
in order that I shall not regret the
price that I have paid for it."

~W. Heartsill Wilson

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