Two weeks ago, a friend of mine told me the following horror story: their sewer line had collapsed. Because they have a large tree in their front yard right next to the line, the pressure of the roots finally made it give way. The plumbers arrived on the scene and said that they couldn’t fix it until they procured the proper permits, which would take about a week.
That’s right — a week without being able to run the washing machine or dishwasher. They were able to rout out just enough to allow my friend’s family to be able to take a super quick dip in the shower, brush their teeth, or flush the toilet. Just not at the same time.
And the plumbers would have to dig up most of their front yard. And they couldn’t level off the resulting grave-like pile of dirt because it needs time to settle back down around the new line. And it was going to cost money. Lots of money.
Her attitude after she told me all this? “Well, at least it will be fixed and we won’t have to worry about it anymore.”
I don’t think I’d have that kind of outlook; I’m not that much of an optimist. But the more I think about how she managed to find the good in such a bad situation made me wonder if I shouldn’t be trying to look for the bright side more in my everyday life. I’m not talking about going all Pollyanna, you understand, but if there are issues that arise that I can’t do one thing about, it makes sense to find their silver linings rather than dwelling on their negatives.
And doesn’t it just figure that lately I’ve had ample opportunity to find those bright sides?
1. Spring snowstorm: We got hit with a late spring snowstorm that also affected other parts of the Midwest, the East Coast, and Canada. It dropped about 9 more inches of that heavy, wet snow that’s half slush, half heartache. I’d hoped for a snow day for the kids, but their school district was one of the few that was still in session.
The bright side?
My kids (and Louie the Wonder Pup) had the best time after school. Even though it was hard to snowblow, let alone shovel, it was the perfect snow for fort-building and snowman-creating.
2. Broken glasses.
And this was my son’s back-up pair. Enough said, right?
The bright side? We were able to find new ones quickly. They fit him better, since it had been a couple years and a few growth-spurts ago that he got those old frames. And he had his new ones before standardized testing started this week.
3. Standardized testing. Like other school districts’ across the US, this week begins our state standardized testing. The twins were nervous about it, since this is their first year taking these particular tests. Everyone’s regular school schedule has changed to accommodate the testing and that tends to throw off our equilibrium (and our moods) a bit.
The bright side? The kids have no homework. Which means that I won’t have to ask them about it, that they can’t possibly forget or lose it, and that there are no assignment notebooks for me to sign (which I have to do every day). They are thrilled.
4. Daylight Saving Time. It begins on Saturday — time to turn those clocks an hour forward. I saw it on my calendar yesterday and thought it was a mistake until I read Thea’s post confirming it (Thank you, Thea!).
Personally, I don’t feel like I have an hour to give right now. I know I get grumpy and discombobulated when we start messing with the time, but losing an hour each Spring always hurts a little more. And it seems far too early to be doing anything Spring-related with all this snow on the ground.
The bright side? It’s literally the bright side. We’ll get golden light longer into the evening as our location tilts more toward the sun. We’re closer to the end of Winter, closer to baseball’s Opening Day, closer to Easter, closer to all things Spring.
It’s just going to take that adjustment period where we all need to be mindful of acting a little more kind, a little more gentle with each other’s feelings.
And if all else fails, we’ll eat a ton of chocolate and take a nap. Now that’s a bright side.