I left work a little stressed today. I have definitely noticed a shift in my temperament since I’ve been back at work this week. I blamed the surgeries for knocking me off whack.
I’m a teacher and for some ridiculous reason, I decided to make an appointment with my doctor for 3:00. The minute all of my students were dismissed, I found myself rushing. Rushing to pack up, rushing to the car and rushing down the interstate.
I thought about the papers that I left behind, the papers that are still piled around my room from my time out on medical leave, the materials that I wanted to set up for the next day still sitting in the hanging folders.
I thought about morning duty in the morning and how I won’t be able to laugh with my own children before leaving for work early, the conferences that I still need to schedule since I’ve been off, setting up my own children’s conferences to meet with their teachers.
I thought about the children that I talked with today and their sad outlook on how they think life should be, my headache that has been with me for a few days, the pain that I knew was coming from today’s appointment.
Then something happened. I looked up while sitting at a stoplight and saw the most beautiful shades of orange, yellow, purple and red all around a green leafed tree that hadn’t begun to change colors yet. I was honked at from behind to get going.
This time as I drove to the doctor, I had different thoughts.
I thought about my children sitting at my parent’s house carving the pumpkin for tomorrow, them having fun playing with toys, and checking out things on the computer.
I thought about how excited they were to go trick or treating tomorrow, about my older son going from dressing up for candy to now wanting to dress up to scare, about fun times as a kid running to houses filling my own jack o’ lantern with candy.
I finally got to the doctor ‘s office and waited with my husband to be called back to the exam room. An hour later we were still sitting there. We watched an agitated man question the receptionist a few times. Patients came in, got called back and then left. My doctor was running late so my husband and I sat and talked. We talked and laughed through the stories of our day, held hands and talked about upcoming events. I realized that I was no longer stressed.
We were finally called back and had a great appointment with my wonderful plastic surgeon. His easy going nature, willingness to listen and his respect for what I say, makes waiting that much more easy to deal with, because I know that he’s giving all of his patients that same care.
My day looked a lot brighter on the drive home. Instead of worrying about papers that are out of reach, I sang along to the radio. Instead of feeling sad about the things that were shared with me, I thought about ways to try to turn things around for them.
I can’t change all the things that happen during my day, but there is always something that I can do. Today, I chose to look at the colors and appreciate fall, laugh with my husband and smile through the pain. Tomorrow will be here soon enough, but today, that’s the true gift to find the joy in.