The date on the calendar arrived in all its anticipated significance and melted into a memory as quickly as it came. That’s usually how it is with birthdays, holidays and anniversaries. The anticipation prior to the day itself seems to swell bigger than the expectations the actual day can meet, apparently. But even still, we mark our calendars with thick exes all across the squares leading up to the special day with the hopes that the day will be all we’ve imagined and then some. We attach some sort of future ecstatic feeling to these vague tomorrows.
This cycle continues throughout history and we continue to ascribe enormous value to single days of the year. And rightly so. The day my son was born is an exceptionally special day and so are the birthdays of all my loved ones. But so it was for me with one particular day that passed this week. One day slipped through me this week with the force of an era shouting to be remembered though I would have preferred for it to be just another day. And there I was: sitting on the edge of this day, taking mental and emotional inventory of all the “shoulda, woulda, couldas” as the day paraded its commemorative number before me like a proud peacock.
Sadly, I succumbed.
I sat there and thought: on this day, my life perhaps, should have been this or that; things should look this way or that way. My reality sat nearby begging to differ. I stewed in the number on the calendar for a bit too long. Long enough to allow entry to thoughts that didn’t need to be entertained; to ideations of a life that wasn’t meant for me anyway. The right perspective was up against a faulty sense of idealism.
Perspective. The wise ‘word’ from my soul sister set me back on the right course with the reminder that “perspective” has the power to steer my views in the direction of positive or negative conclusions. Sounds simple enough, but necessary advice when I’m caught in my own web of nostalgia. And nostalgia is interesting…it’s like a fog that settles over me and distorts the feelings of my present reality with the recollections of my past memories. It’s great to remember all kinds of things, seasons, events and people. It’s not great to not remember it all in context.
Anyway, today, the calendar settled on what I would normally consider to be an ordinary date. There’s nothing to celebrate or commemorate. There’s only usual happenings, a hot, sunny day, and relatively ordinary feelings within this day. But just like that day came to undo me in its significance, I have the opportunity to have the perspective that appreciates this ordinary day as one of the much-anticipated “special” ones just like the ones you put a litany of exes in front of. Why? Because it’s another day to worship, live, breathe, love, learn, laugh, be, feel, see, do and experience. It’s another day “above ground”, as they say. And that makes every day a day I should not dread, but celebrate from the second I first blink and my pupils adjust to the light of a new morning…
We can’t negate that many dates in our lives have negative or melancholic associations attached to them. That’s just life. But if we are still alive the day before and after said dates, then we have to savor them no matter how many ashes from the past want to push through and settle on our future. Rejoice and be glad. It’s not just a command, it’s a perspective.
This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24 NKJV)