Monday, August 23, 2010



This particular post is almost completely out of character for the Pontificator, given that it is somewhat personal in nature and has nothing to do with the burning issues of the day. But I’m thinking (but not hoping) that it is something to which many of my readers can relate.

I’ve had one of those days today in which everything seems to have gone wrong. Nothing major, just minor stuff the outcome of which, positive or negative, would, and will, have no discernible impact on the course of my life, or even of my week, for that matter. First problems with a password on a website, then a kitchen mishap, then an appointment the other side of which forgot and double scheduled, then trouble with another website, that kind of thing. Just little things, but little pinpricks. It seemed like even the simplest task was an insurmountable challenge. Everything, and everyone (especially me, I am sure) seemed like an almost unbearable burden. Irritability came easily, laughter and mirth only begrudgingly. I took a few minutes to call an old buddy to whom I owed a call anyway; speaking with him (and not about the crummy day I was having, just about things in general; friends don’t need to hear one’s minor irritations), or with most of my friends, usually puts things in perspective. We lost the connection (or at least I hope so!) midway through the call. It was one of those kinds of days, a day on which the best strategy seems to be going back to bed to make tomorrow come that much more quickly.

Maybe this day happened because it’s Monday. Maybe it resulted from a bad night’s sleep last night. Perhaps it is the end of the summer, with the kids going back to school in a few days and my classes starting over the next few weeks. I have no idea. Back when I used to work downtown and go to St. Peter’s on a regular basis, I used to make a habit of going to confession to a very old and very revered and loved priest whose name, like many names, I no longer remember. He was a great and saintly man, with the wisdom of his years and the serenity of his true vocation. He told me once, after I related a day like this to him, that there are simply days on which we are not fit to be lived with. There wasn’t much we could do about it but do our best to make it through the day and to avoid, to the extent we could, situations in which our foul moods could affect other people. Above all, he told me something I knew then and know now; these times pass and are not a reflection of our true character. Thank God.

Such problems come under the category of high class problems. They are not on the scale of which car to buy, where to go on vacation, or where to invest one’s savings. But they are still far better problems than where to find the rent money, where am I going to work now, what am I going to do about this illness, etc. And I didn’t write this to whine or to vent; the former is one of the least attractive activities in which a human can engage and the latter is counterproductive. I just wrote it to convey a mood, or a set of circumstances, that will surely pass but to which many of you can perhaps relate.

More fun stuff later…I promise.

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