The self-help gurus say that our lives are not shaped by what happens to us. Instead, apparently, we can become more EVOLVED by analyzing the quality of our reactions to life's events. Knowing this, let's take a look back at my reactions this week:
Mom's biopsy. Partial lung collapse. Instant overnight hospital stay.
My reaction: Panic
"My mom's going to die! B will never know his Grandma. Who will help me with child care? What will I do without a mom?"
Find out details about B's school holiday show. B is an elf, supposedly, for "Rudolph" number.
My reaction: Indignant.
"An elf? Really? Which child is Rudolph? Who is Santa? Our family has so much musical talent...Aunt J revived Carnegie Hall in her day, Uncle R plays for the Met, Cousin E pals around with Yo Yo Ma when they're not in concert together, well that's the other side of the family, actually, but...really, an ELF?"
The announcement comes home in the backpack: Lice outbreak!
My reaction: Shock (with, perhaps, a bit of ignorance), obsessive compulsion
"Lice?! But this is Montessori. I thought that Montessori schools were immune to lice. We need to re-think private school. B, get your backback, your jacket and your lunchbox into the washing machine NOW. In fact, why don't you hop in there too? Just for a short cycle. Never mind that the water's scalding hot. Wait, wait, what are you doing? Are you scratching your HEAD?"
The school holiday show makes its way into a third hour.
My reaction: None, really. Just a slow and tortured death.
"Can you hear everyone coughing in here? If you didn't have a cold before you got here, you're certainly going home with one. Every grade is performing tonight? The entire K through 8? Note to self...enroll B in K through 6 programs from now on. Didn't they consider possibly implementing a time limit on these skits? It's hour two and the kindergartners are dropping off like flies. Hey, speaking of flies, that kid seated next to B is scratching his head. A LOT. Move B away from him! Quick, move B!"
Off to oncologist appointment with mom. Biopsy results are benign! There is no cancer! Only sarcoidosis.
My reaction: Immediate and immense gratitude.
"The best Christmas present of all. Thank you, God."
Oh, but I'm not done yet.
Walking the dog through McKinley Park in the afternoon; rather, struggling to keep my rotator cuff intact as she lunges for squirrels, small children and other dogs. Catch a glimpse of Santa, yes, the big, red man from the North Pole, in a convertible, top down, with Rudolph in the passenger seat, cruising down J Street.
My reaction: Not surprised, but slightly miffed at myself for not carrying along a camera at all times for such occasions.
"Only in Sacramento would Santa be seen in a bright red, convertible Corvette. If this were San Francisco, New York, DC, or any other city with an ounce of sophistication, Santa would certainly roll in a convertible Saab or something comparable...Mercedes, BMW, you get the picture. I thought that the old guy was past a mid-life crisis but apparently he got the Sacramento memo, stating that all men should have a Corvette, preferably of the convertible variety, and should drive said vehicle slowly while ogling females and their dogs in McKinley Park. And I thought so highly of you, Santa."