Today was the quintessential spring day. Temperatures were in the mid to upper 60s, nothing but sunshine as far as the eye could see. It's also the height of the blooming period for the cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. Tomorrow is my mom's birthday so my siblings and I thought it would be a great idea to take her down there to see them [for the first time!]. As it turns out, the forecast tomorrow is beans compared to today. Low 60s, showers and thunderstorms all day long. So my siblings decided today would be a much better day. The only problem with today was that I had an all-day lab for one of my grad classes and wouldn't be able to go. I really really wanted my mom to get to go on a gorgeous day and experience the cherry blossoms at their best, so I encouraged them to go today even knowing that I would have to miss out -- as heartbreaking as that was.
So if it wasn't bad enough that my whole family was taking my mom for her first cherry blossom experience while I sat in class on a gorgeous-beyond-words spring day... I arrive to my lab early by about 20 minutes. No one is there, and that's fine. But as a few people start to trickle in, they say that they were told our instructor called and is running late. SUPER. We were supposed to begin at 10:00, which I knew was unreasonable to begin with because if everyone arrived at 10, we certainly wouldn't be instantly closed in our little counseling rooms practicing therapy. So the teacher finally arrives around 10:15, but the doors to the counseling rooms are locked. Someone asks a security/building service person to send someone to unlock the doors. We wait. We wait some more. The teacher doesn't want us to just be idle, so she turns on some video from our last lab and we start critiquing a classmate's counseling abilities [that's what these labs are for :-D]. Half an hour or so passes and no one has come to unlock the doors. Meanwhile, all the students who are supposed to start their counseling practice at 11:00 are showing up. We explain to them what's going on, and at this point no one has still come up to open the doors for us. The teacher decides that all of the people who were supposed to counsel at 10:00 will now be bumped to 1:00 and sends us out. Go find something to do for two hours. SERIOUSLY?!?! I seriously got there at 9:30 this morning only to find out that no one bothered to set things up in advance enough that now our entire day is rearranged and I didn't have to be there until 1:00??? AND I'm missing a very important family outing? I was incredibly sad and crushed. I went to sit in my car in hopes of at least being able to take in some sunshine and fresh air. Soon my friends who had wisely signed up to counsel at 12:00 arrived and they were told they actually weren't counseling until 2:00 so they came to Chipotle with me to eat some lunch. I went back and got my stupid counseling out of the way and left.
It was easily one of the most frustrating days I've ever had. Even if we had been on time I wouldn't have been able to go with my family, and I get that. I just had a really hard time being there today 1- because it was gorgeous outside, and 2- because I wanted to celebrate my mom's birthday with my family. That was made even more annoying by the fact that everything about this lab was a holy disaster and there was nothing I could do about it. I think almost as disappointing as missing my mom's birthday celebration was the fact that my sister was taking a picture today for Stellan's Name Gallery, and it was my idea that I very much wanted to be a part of :(
However, all that being said, following Stellan's story has humbled me more than I can say. I realize that no matter how irritated I get with dumb everyday life type things, I really have nothing to complain about. How can I be mad that I missed the cherry blossoms? Is my baby fighting for his life in a hospital that has no answers to offer? Heck, is anyone I know fighting for their life? Stellan is a great reminder of all that we have to be thankful for and gives me the perspective I need to look past the little things [even when they seem big] and realize that things could be worse. I should be grateful that my mom is celebrating this birthday whether I was there or not. I should be grateful that I have the opportunity to work on a master's degree even if it means making small sacrifices. Stellan helps me to see how very little my problems and complaints are. In the words of my 5th period class of comedians: "Things could be worse, you could have one leg." That is their response to any and all complaints, and they think it is just hilarious. So I kept that in mind today and it made me smile a few times.
I'm off to count blessings.....