Everyone has a bad day sometimes. Not the worst kind where something major happens that turns your life upside down.
I’m talking about the regular kind of bad day where nothing seems to go right and people aren’t nice and stuff seems kind of pointless. That kind.
I had a day like that last week.
Maybe I was due for a bad day. I’d just had an amazing vacation in Italy and was feeling energized, ready to buckle down and get stuff done. The sun was shining and all was right with the world.
I scheduled a long overdue pedicure appointment for later that afternoon and got to work.
But my upbeat mood and momentum slowed almost as soon as I started working in the not-so-user-friendly Photoshop application. I’ll spare you the details except to say it’s like losing your car keys when you’re running late for work and you can picture them in your hand. Frustrating.
What I thought would take just a few minutes was taking more than an hour. I felt my jaw clench and the muscles in my neck ball up, but I couldn’t pull myself away.
Then I remembered my pedicure appointment. Perfect. I could get away from the computer, take my mind off Photoshop, and relax in the massage chair.
The owner/nail tech was on the phone when I walked in and she stayed on the phone instead of speaking to me. Instead, she directed me with gestures like pointing to the nail polish rack to pick out a color and patting the chair where I was to sit.
But worse than that was when she finally got off the phone and proceeded to complain about people who don’t get regular pedicures and then expect miracles on their feet, blah, blah, blah.
I knew I was overdue for a pedicure. Then I realized she was complaining about me to me! I should have been mad, but I just felt bad in a couple of different ways.
I didn’t say another word, just sat there in pathetic silence.
Later I thought I should have stopped her, gotten up, and left because that was uncalled for. But I didn’t. I let her do her job which she did well, except for disregarding courtesy.
Is it me?
After that, I stopped to pick up a pair of pants that hadn’t come in in time for me to take on my trip.
It seems petty to detail the sales clerk’s rudeness, so I’ll just say there was so little communication, verbal and nonverbal, between us that I didn’t know when she was done with me and expected me to leave. Never said thank you, didn’t smile.
I walked out without saying a word, but thinking, “Is it me? Am I invisible?”
Even though these were stupid encounters with people I didn’t even know, I felt a little beat up.
Maybe it was just the process of getting back to reality, but why do people have to be so rude? As much as I tried to shake off that crappy feeling, I had let them get to me.
I felt invisible and like a major loser — an unproductive, invisible loser.
Then something amazing happened.
When I got home and walked in the door, my dog ran to greet me like she always does, with her tail wagging and a smile on her face.
I had to smile back. She delivered exactly what I needed at that moment — a reminder that I was loved.
And not just by her.
At that moment I thought about the people in my life who love me and who I love and about how blessed and lucky I am and it doesn’t matter that I couldn’t figure out Photoshop or that the nail tech was a meany or that a store clerk was rude.
Those are small things.
Having people in my life who love me and care whether I’m there or not…those are big things. Way bigger than the petty stuff I was letting get me down, even though it’s tempting to get tangled up in the petty crap.
It’s still a choice.
They say it takes ten positive statements to cancel out one negative statement.
But it can be hard to blow off negativity and pettiness and even a hundred positive statements won’t be enough to shake off a rude comment.
There was a time when I would have hung on to the negative vibes instead of choosing to focus on the positive and embrace the love that surrounds me.
It’s a life lesson I know, but sometimes still need to be reminded: Life’s too short to get bogged down by pettiness. Better to count your blessings, know you’re loved, and move on.