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The Best Day Ruined

The Best Day Ruined

Hello and good day!

The man wakes up five minutes before his alarm goes off and jumps out of bed.

He slept deeply and well and his head his clear and sharp from the very first moment of the day.

He goes to the bathroom and splashes water on his face.

The water is cold and fresh. It invigorates his skin.

He wipes water out of his eyes and looks in the mirror.

"Looking good," he thinks to himself. He high fives himself in the mirror.

In the kitchen, he opens a cabinet and pulls down a bag of coffee.

The coffee bag feels empty. He looks inside and sees nothing but remnant dust in the corners, not enough to make a cup. He throws away the bag and walks back to the cabinet.

He looks inside and finds that his wife has bought a brand-new bag for him.

Bad news avoided.

He grinds fresh grounds and makes a perfect cup of coffee.

On his back porch, his two cats snuggle his legs.

Steam from the coffee floats into the cold morning air.

A rooster crows in the distance.

The sky is showing clear with just the right smattering of clouds to give the day character. Sunset will be beautiful with clouds like that.

A family of deer scampers through the yard, a mother with two babies.

He looks up at the tall pines and they look down on him, stately and reassuring.

The man breathes deeply.

"Today is going to be great," he thinks.

His sons wake up in a great mood and do their chores without him having to nag.

His wife is in a great mood too and she gives him a big kiss when she comes out of the shower.

At work, he remembers that today is the company bar-b-que. He loves bar-b-que.

The morning is a huge success. All of his projects are on point and his customers are happy.

At lunch he stands around a grill behind the office with his coworkers.

The owner of the company has an excellent reputation as a grill man.

Smoke from steaks smells rich with seasoning and he inhales the aroma while a beautiful breeze blows through, jittering the red autumn leaves on the maples all around.

The owner's wife says she has an announcement to make. The company is doing well.

Everybody is getting a bonus.

"Cheers!" shouts the team, banging their soda cans and water bottles in the air.

The afternoon is a success too.

The man didn't overeat at lunch and isn't drowsy.

Everything he touches is turning into gold.

There is no traffic on the way home.

On the horizon, the low, early evening sun paints the clouds red and orange, and the sky is misty blue and pink.

Instead of listening to the radio, the man rolls down his windows and lets the cool air blow in. He hears the world, the rumbling of cars on the road, birds calling to each other, children shrieking in their yards.

At home, the house is clean, and dinner is ready.

After dinner, he and his family take a walk around the lake at twilight. The kids ride their bikes. The man chats with his wife and holds her hand.

At a clearing, the family stops to stare at the prettiest view of the lake. The tall pines and Douglas firs that surround the lake reflect diagonally on the water's surface.

The last of the sun burns orange.

"We live in a wonderful place," says the man and his family agrees.

While his children and wife watch a little TV, the man straightens up, washing dishes and vacuuming.

He plans to do a bit of reading when he finishes.

After cleaning, but before sitting down to read, he goes out to his car to bring in his work gear and get organized for the following day.

It's dark out and he can't see well, but something about the way his car is leaning seems off. He goes in for a flashlight and comes back out to look at his tires.

"Great, a flat," he mumbles to himself when he lights up the back left tire.

A big nail is stuck into the tread.

The kids must have been playing construction in the driveway and failed to clean up after themselves.

God that bothers him.

He pulls out the spare from his trunk, and it is flat too.

He hasn't used it in so long. He had no idea what condition it was in.

It is imperative that his car be fixed by morning. He has a busy day waiting for him and can't be late for work.

He calls roadside assistance and then goes in to lecture his kids about how messy they are.

He tells them to turn off the TV and go to bed immediately.They mope off.

When they are lying in bed in their pajamas, he comes in and gives them a stressed and hurried goodnight rub on the head. He is still mad at them.

He waits and waits for roadside assistance, but they take forever.  Finally, a 24-hour mobile auto mechanic shows up, hours after everybody in the family has fallen asleep.

In the middle of the night, under the moon and stars, a hardworking man replaces his tire.

As he drifts off to sleep, his head on a comfortable pillow, his wife next to him in a king-sized bed, all the man can think is what a rough day it was.

I've noticed a tendency in human beings to become trapped in whatever is current. This makes good sense because we live in the present.

That is the nature of our cognition.

We can remember and think about the past, and we can speculate about the future, but our sense organs feed us what is happening now.

As such, our now is what we primarily have to contend with.

But as you can see in the story above, whatever is happening now is only a small part of the totality of experience.

This leads us into a conundrum.

We tend to discount the past and overvalue the present even though the present represents a much smaller portion of our life.

This is ironic because the present will soon become the past as well, and in exceedingly short order.

The conclusion here, as far as I see it, is that the work of contextualization is very important.

And we should attempt to contextualize in whichever way leads to more overall happiness.

If you've had a crappy past, focus on the present.

If your life is good on the whole, but the present is crap, don't forget about the past.

Like all skills, I'd assume that becoming good at contextualization requires practice. As such, I will practice this skill as often as possible.

Thank you so much for your time today.

I hope that you have a truly blessed day!


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