This morning I opened my Facebook feed whilst taking a break from my grading. A friend's post — a list describing all of the wonderful things she was experiencing during breakfast — was at the top of the feed. Her list, about her yummy peanut butter toast, the robe she borrowed from her husband and was wearing, and the baby kicking in her stomach, highlighted all of the things I sometimes wish were different about my life. It made my morning seem empty and unattractive.
In an instant, I’d mentally drafted a similar list describing my morning, and was comparing it with hers:
“The smell of a still-malfunctioning septic tank making me sick, and socks with holes in them, and greasy hair, and a floor that needs to be vacuumed, and a pile of grading that’ll consume most of my Saturday, and Saturday, you’re kind of a let-down.”
Yep, my life stinks, I concluded rather forcefully. Both literally and figuratively.
Then I remembered one evening in Sun Valley, Idaho, when my mom, sister and I watched the sunset on the patio. The western horizon was clear and calm, aglow with rose and lavender light. But to the east, dark, menacing storm clouds were spreading across the sky, devouring the delicious blue. I could have drawn a line straight down the middle of the sky, separating the peaceful sunset from the imminent storm.
“Life is like that,” my mom said. "You can look in one direction and see beauty and goodness, and then turn the other direction and see nothing but storm."
I remember her words often, especially when I’m tempted to fixate on life’s dark, thunderous rain clouds instead of its dazzling sunsets, as I had this morning after reading my friend's Facebook post.
So I wrote another list — a "sunset list” describing the exact same morning:
“Rain on the window, and a twinkling Christmas tree, and a bowl full of blueberries, and fuzzy sweatpants, and no place to be, and the kettle steaming and singing, and over half the weekend still unlived, and Saturday, won’t you stay awhile?”
Yep, my life isn't half bad, I concluded. In fact, I kind of like it.
Here's to hoping your Saturday is full of sunsets!