At the End of the Day
We Have All Done Our Best
Those are the days you plow through your to-do list, create a six course meal from the contents of your purse and still have the energy to play ten more rounds of Go Fish - with a smile. I don't know about you, but those are the days I feel like I am wearing a cape and am invincible.
Then there are the days I wake up with a long to-do list, delusions of grandeur and a hope disorder. At the end of those days, I take stock of my failures, add to the growing to-do list, and wonder why I can't get anything done.
But during a recent rough patch, I was reminded that at the end of each day, no matter what we have done, we have all done our best.
Several months ago, my son's orthodontist requested that his wisdom teeth be extracted to preserve his perfect smile (thanks to years in braces). I relented and scheduled the in-office procedure right before Thanksgiving. The timing was to prevent too many missed days of school.
I remembered my own wisdom teeth extraction nightmare, so I was already dreading the whole thing. And it was just as grim as I remembered. The first day, my darling son was drugged and numbed so we spent a lovely afternoon talking in the sunshine on our wrap- around porch. (Whatever drugs they gave him made him a delightful conversationalist!)
I felt optimistic and he seemed to be doing well.
By that night, we couldn't stay on top of the pain and his suffering became my suffering. I slept on the couch (okay, sleeping would be a euphemism) and I was up with him two nights in a row as he writhed in pain while I massaged his neck and back.
As the days passed, there were a few tense moments. His medication was too much and was making him lethargic and unwell. Then, his pain increased and we feared that he might have an infection or a dry socket, which required we contact the on-call dentist. Basically, I didn't sleep much, ran ice packs back and forth like a Sherpa on speed, and made enough milkshakes to fill the Nile River.
As fatigue set in, my greatest intentions waned. I had visions of eventually making a nice Thanksgiving dinner we could all share and decorating the house for Christmas. Neither of these things happened. In fact, for Thanksgiving dinner my husband and I savored Doritos and a frozen pizza. At no point did I ever think of dragging out holiday décor.
I don't know about you, but in these situations it's easy to give myself a break and let go of self-imposed expectations and to-dos.
But as the busy holiday season descends, I was reminded that it's not just these extreme experiences that call for grace. Ultimately, we deserve grace everyday because we are just fallible humans doing the best we can.
Think back to yesterday. Did you intend to run that one errand but didn't? Did you want to avoid another sweet, but snuck in a cookie or two? Did you miss that meeting you said you would attend? Did you promise to spend the evening with your kiddo but kept having to finish up just one more thing?
It seems so easy when we wake up in the morning. It should be simple to just run the errands, eat better, and do what we intend to do.
It seems easy to JUST DO IT!
But as the day progresses, we make decisions based on our motivation, energy level and circumstances in each and every moment. In the end, we make the best decisions we can with the resources we have. Maybe it's not the perfect choice you imagined making when you woke up that morning, but it's the choice you made.
Maybe you couldn't get to that errand because you overscheduled yourself - again. Hey, it's a busy time of year. Maybe tomorrow you can get a better handle on what needs to be done when.
Maybe you didn't get enough sleep last night which made those cookies super appealing during an afternoon slump.
Maybe you didn't make that meeting because you realized it wasn't the priority you imagined it to be and you were able to let it go.
During the hustle and bustle of this busy holiday season I recommend giving yourself the gift of grace.
I promise that at the end of the day, we have all done our best.
And it may not have been perfect, but it was enough.
Peace & Light,
The Busy Buddha
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
All week, when things were crazy, I made this easy, filling and comforting egg drop soup. It provided nourishment and was super quick!
Pour one can of chicken broth and a crushed garlic clove into a pot over medium heat. Let the broth and garlic come to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Lightly beat the egg and gently drop it into the broth. Stir gently with a fork. Top with fresh or dried chives or green onions.
Is it easier to give yourself grace or extend it to others? Why?