Yesterday, I was livid. Genuinely livid. I was so angry that I had an existential crisis, which has never happened to me before. I know exactly what happened to make me angry, but I genuinely didn’t see it coming, which made it worse because I couldn’t prepare for it.
They day started off well. I woke up well rested and without an alarm clock. I exercised for thirty minutes, which didn’t hurt so bad. I can drown the headache I still have from my concussion with regular doses of Tylenol. I showered and got dress for work. I was able to read a bit and right a bit. I charted out my calories for the day and knew I’d come out on top. Things were going well. Until I went outside.
I knew it snowed. I also knew that schools and churches were cancelled. Basically, what comes next is my own fault. I gave myself and hour and a half to get out of the driveway. I could see that the actual road was beautifully plowed and salted. I just needed to get my car through half a mile of driveway. I’ve been saying a mile long since yesterday. I’m trying to be realistic about it today. The driveway is long enough to fit probably seven to eight cars easily and then by the garage door the driveway doubles and there is space to turn your car around. It’s genuinely the longest driveway I’ve interacted with. And yesterday it was covered with snow up to my knee.
Stupidly, I tried to drive over it in my wittle Ford Focus, a testament to my constant and delusional eternal hope. I got stuck, which I foresaw as its own in surmountable feat. But when I got out of my car, I looked down the driveway and saw just how impossible my day had gotten. I just didn’t know how to get from Point A to Point B. I mean, I knew my one option, shovel, but Christmas crackers. I cannot express how desperately I wanted something magical to happen and for someone to come make all the snow disappear.
I woke H up from her nap to enquire about the snow plow. She didn’t know how to work it and it was out of gas. Then she went back to sleep while I mumbled that I’d go shovel. That made me angry. She wasn’t being a bad person, but my anger exploded the situation. I wanted her to leap up and fix the problem. It was her house! Her driveway! Her snowplow! I unfairly villainized her because I was upset at the situation. I thought if the tables were turned, my family would never have made Chelsea go out and shovel our driveway! It didn’t matter that the differences in situation between my family and Chelsea’s are so starkly different that you can’t fairly compare them. I was angry.
So I shoveled. A lot. In this type of snow you have to shovel the top half first and then the bottom half. You can shovel forward maybe two or three feet and then shovel across to the other side. Everything made it worse. Sweating despite being bundled up. Wind whipping my hair around. Back aching. Arms throbbing. People judging me for being stupid or pathetic while driving by. I felt a bit like the butler from Private Eyes that goes into a rage whenever he hears the word murder, or like a spitting cat.
I thought, “This is exactly what a person recovering from a concussion should be doing! Why am I working so hard to get to a job that isn’t my calling? Why am I trying so hard when every other day I coast by? Why is this my life?” I called into question my whole existence while sinking deeper into a dark hole. The problem with this is that some part of my brain realized I was being an ass.
“But, masters, remember that I am an
ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not
that I am an ass.”
Dogberry, Much Ado About Nothing
So I tried to regain a sense of composure by thanking God. I thanked God for shovels, jackets, glovs that I got for Christmas but thought I’d never use, iPhone’s with music on them, earbuds that stayed in my ears, a boss that despite telling me I should get an Uber to drive me to work said it was okay if I was late, having boots that kept out the wet snow, and so on. I did not thank God with a thankful heart, but I also knew that the things I thanked him for were genuine things to be thankful about.
At some point, the neighbor came home. He asked why I wasn’t using the snowplow, which offset the calm I was trying to achieve with being thankful. I informed him with as much politeness that I could muster, that it had no gas. He came over to look at it, initially acting as a typical white male who could do all things. I didn’t care. If he could get the blasted thing to work, I’d throw a ticker tape parade for him. Quickly, I realized he didn’t entirely know what he was doing, so I continued to shovel while he fiddled with the snowplow. I was upset to the point of tears. My one chance at someone magically dropping by to solve my problems was a big fat failure. Nevertheless, it resigned me to the fact that I really was going to have to shovel the whole damn driveway.
I cleared halfway-ish down the driveway before he got it to start. He plowed a single row to and from the road and wheeled it back to the garage. I followed him, curious, excited, nervous, and in pain. He informed me that one wheel was flat. I almost killed him. Instead, I asked, “Can I still use it?” To which he replied, “Yes,” which was good enough for me. He taught me how to use it; I’ve never used a snowplow in my life. Shoveling snow is character building in my family and rewarded by dad making me hot chocolate. (Another point of anger because when I was done I still had to go to work.)
I managed by the grace of God to plow the rest of the driveway from where I stopped shoveling to the road. However, when I tried to plow by my car, the I noticed that one of the tires wasn’t completely on the wheel of the plow, so in lieu of doing irreversible damaged to I machine I could not afford to fix, I put the plow in the garage. I won’t describe the ugliness of me trying to get my car unstuck but it did involve sweating, grunting like a boar, and crawling around in the snow with a broom in yoga pants. I also “rocked” the car and luckily didn’t destroy it. Anyways, I managed to get my car facing the right way in the driveway so that I could go to work. I just had to quickly jaunt back inside and completely get ready for work for a second time that day. I’m not going to say that I was happy when H woke up from her nap as I was finishing re-getting ready and said, “Oh! I thought you went to work,” because I was actually really fucking angry that anyone would have the audacity to say those words to me after what I’d just been through. I couldn’t be outright mean because I was raised better than that. I also knew that we functioned on two different schedules with two different goals in mind and had different needs to meet in a day. So I tried to be respectful over my anger. Mostly, I was terse as fuck and left without saying have a good day. Then I cried all the way to Starbucks where I got a drink that was 640 calories, calories I had not budgeted for the day and would blow my day to shit, essentially.
But then a wild Plot Twist appears.
The fecal blizzard ended. My day abruptly spun for the better. My boss cared deeply not just about my physical wellbeing, but my emotional wellbeing. Kimmie, my coworker but more importantly one of my dear and closest friends, listened to me while I complained because I had to, but also attempted not to complain because I didn’t want to be an awful whiner-baby about everything even though I knew I was. She also went out and bought me food and drink, which was outstandingly nice of her to do because she needs a paycheck just like I do. People at work were on their game and supportive. I was in pain, but medicine was working. The work I had to accomplish was not overwhelming or terrible like I’d been anticipating. And, as it turns out, I didn’t eat some of the food I was expecting to. Not to mention, you burn hella calories when shoveling snow. In the end, I didn’t eat too many calories for the day. Success! I had two conversations with friends at moments when I needed to talk to people who got me and loved me. Also, H called a company to plow the driveway so I didn’t have to worry about my car getting stuck in the driveway or about having to wake up early to clear out more of the driveway that I had missed. One of the greatest texts I’ve received this week.
I can only conclude that God was watching out for me. I don’t think he rewarded me for being thankful even in me anger. Having my day turn around wasn’t a treat for being a good girl. However, I think that attempting to keep the focus on God, even when it’s the most difficult thing to even imagine doing, changes life. God changes life. He allows you to see the good. He takes care of you through others he’s placed in your life. He gives your strength and courage to remain strong. Maybe I wasn’t fighting the devil head on, but sometimes just fighting the day is overwhelming but God’s still there. I’m his beloved child and he takes care of me.
I went to bed last night having had an amazing day. I held no anger in my heart. I spent more of the day laughing than I did anything else. And that’s cool. It’s days like yesterday that prove in my heart that God’s not just real but crucial. Being a child of God does not mean bad things aren’t going to happen. That’s a ridiculous belief. Being a child of God means that He’ll get you through those bad things. He’ll heal the pain and suffering, even if it’s small. He’ll take care of you and give you his peace. I don’t know what I’d do without God and I am eternally grateful that he has claimed me as his own.