It’s just a bad day


I found the quote above at Singing Loud and Strong’s website.

When I first read it, my heart smiled in recognition. I love her attitude!

Singing Loud and Strong is recounting the story of finding her car towed away after a really bad day in court. Yet, even in the frustration and crazy-making drama that fall-out of the circumstances of spending a day in court with the husband she is divorcing, she was able to keep it all in perspective. It’s just a bad day.

That’s courage. Fearless honesty. Living her truth with love and grace.

So often, it is easy in the midst of a ‘bad day’ to think, this is my life! Bad from the get-go.

Seldom is that true.

Year’s ago, while teaching a course at a homeless shelter on self-esteem, one of the attendees said, “When I was born, my mother said, ‘he’s a bad one’. I think I’ve been living down to her judgement of me ever since.”

He was 24. Had spent the majority of his young life in and out of correctional institutions.

He’d never had a ‘good day’, or at least an easy one. Life was hard.

In the session, I invited the students to write a love letter to themselves. We talked about the challenges, fears, possibilities of writing kind words to yourself.

“If you can’t write it from you to you, write it from someone in your life you admire, or write it in the words you wish someone in your life had said to you.

The young man wrote the letter to himself from his grandmother. At the end of the session, he asked if he could read it to the class. The class agreed to hear his words.


There is something humbling about sitting in a group of men, all of them homeless, most of them sporting multiple jail-house tattoos and attitude to match, and listening to the words of a young man making them cry.

In his words, possibility awoke, hope arose and spirits took flight.

After he read his letter he told me that even when times were tough with his mother, and in his life, his grandmother was always there for him. “It wasn’t all bad,” he said.

For everyone in that class, as he read his letter, the bad days that seemed to continue one after the other with the speed of a freight train careening out of control, seemed to stop, even if only momentarily, so they could each catch their breath and know, there is good amidst the bad. Possibility amidst the hopelessness. And Love, amidst the fear.

It snowed here last night. The world is pristine and white. The roads not so pretty.

Part of me wants to say, Oh No! Not Snow!

Remembering that young man, I am reminded to move into gratitude. For my life. The love and friends and laughter and joy that permeate every day.

Even with the snow outside, it’s still a good day.

Even behind the grey skies, the sun is shining.

Even beneath the freshly fallen snow, spring is waiting to peek out from beneath the ground.

The snow shall pass. Spring will come and summer will follow. And no matter the weather outside, my heart is grateful for this day.

Life is good.


10 thoughts on “It’s just a bad day

  1. your piece triggered an old memory, something an influential boss told me: “when things are bad, you are never as bad as you think you are, and when things are good, you are never as good as you think you are”. …. this recurring reminder helps me keep some balance when highs and lows would otherwise flatten or float me …

    da ‘ting dat leaps out of your column this morning, for me, is not that I feel unworthy but rather that I know people who fit what you’ve described. They aren’t homeless or incarcerated, they aren’t tatooed or labeled – they walk around and drive around this city looking just like you and me – but their issues, their negative influences, are no less significant. You’ve hit something here which I believe will resonate with many people who need to ‘go back and reverse that negative influence’ and ‘go back and reinforce those positive ones’ … and we’ll all get stronger

    Liked by 1 person

    • I too know people you describe Mark — and it makes my heart feel sad for them that they cannot see they are not their ‘labels’, they are magnificent human beings on this very human journey.

      We can all spend time changing our perspectives I think!

      Thanks for your insight.


  2. Why is it that small (2 or 3) letter words have such a broad approach to interpretation. IF is probably the best example. BAD follows closely. It is the remaining word in the phrase, the intonation of the voice that inflicts an interpretation, or perspective on that word and its intended meaning. The young man took the positive approach, a good sign for his future hopefully. In my tiny world, that speck of sand called life, there is no bad day, some are just better than others. If one allows the negative to creep in, there would be no tomorrow, ever!

    Liked by 1 person

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