Last Wednesday I picked Michelle up from dance at 6:05pm, right after work. We had another event at 7 so we were in a hurry. Typical.
Michelle was standing outside of the studio when I pulled up. She climbed in the car and looked me over, “Dad. You have dark circles under your eyes. You need to get some sleep!”
“Yeah. I’m tired. Late nights this week; early mornings. It was a tough day.”
My first question when she gets in the car is always, How was your day? On Wednesday, she beat me to the conversation starter.
“Tell me about it. What made your day bad?”
“Well, if you really want to know,”
“I had an early meeting. I hate early meetings.”
“Those are hard for you aren’t they dad? It’s cause you go to bed too late.”
“Not by choice. Anyway, I had to speak to a group of about 75 people at lunch today in Durham. I was on a panel with three other folks talking about work/life balance. It took me an hour to get there, find a parking place and get to the building. And then, I spoke for five minutes. They did table breakout groups after we each introduced ourselves. An hour to get there, speak for five minutes, and then an hour to get back!”
“What else happened?”
“Then I had a meeting from 2:30 – 3:30 with these other two guys. And one of them showed up at 2. And then both of them stayed until after 4! It took all afternoon! And now I’ve got 80 emails I have to check tonight when we get home at 9:30! Oh, and I spilled coffee on my shirt this morning. It was just a bad day. I have a headache.”
“Dad, did anything good happen today?”
“Mmmm…I didn’t get shot.”
“Dad! I want you to think of ten good things that happened today. Come on. Think of something.”
I swear. I’m gonna have to do this. Think of something.
“Well, Robyn who sits across from me at work came back to the office today. She’d been on vacation. And she’s fun!”
“That’s one!” She seemed excited. “And you just made it through that yellow stoplight! That’s two.”
“Oh, and this woman who knew Uncle Matt came up to me after the meeting in Durham and gave me a big hug. She said that she really connected with what I said.”
“See dad, in five minutes you made a difference. You helped her, and then she made you feel good too.”
“Yeah. It was nice of her to say that.”
“Dad, look at the sky. I love the fall. It’s my favorite time of the year.”
I looked up. The pinks and purples were peering out from behind the clouds. It was beautiful.
“Dad. Did you eat today?”
“You know, there are people right here in Raleigh who don’t have food. That was a good thing that happened to you today.”
Good lord. I’ve used those very words on her. How dare her toss them back in my face!
At least she’s listening.
“Ok. Ok. Maybe it wasn’t so bad.”
“Yeah. Every day has some good in it.”
It’s like I’m raising Confucius.
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