In my guild, we have a very simple and strict rule about real life: Real life comes first, no matter how much it may interfere with your hobbies and the things you’d rather be doing.
The past week or so has been one thing after another, though it could have been far, far worse. My mom used to tell me that I was born with a lucky star; real life has deemed it necessary to balance that out with making me into the lightning rod of Murphy’s Law. Other than the fact that it’s a miracle I’ve survived this long, I truly believe there are days when I just have to let life, the universe, and everything do its thing while I try to hang on as well as I can.
Those Days™ often coincide with me trying very hard to seize control of every aspect of my life, like a not-so gentle reminder that there are things beyond my little mortal grasp. Eventually, after I’d gotten the point late last week, I started repeating Pandaren NPC quips to myself:
“Family. Friends. Food. These are things that matter in life.”
“There is no hurry.”
“Life is to be savored.”
In any case, allow me to regale you with the astonishing avalanche of real life from last week. It starts with two Saturdays ago— so, not this past Saturday, but the one before it.
– I get sick in the middle of my workday. Chills, hot-cold extremes, body aches, the works.
> I’m blessed with great coworkers who wanted to help alleviate my workload so I could take the rest of the day as easy as I could while working.
– Next day, too sick to cook dinner, I go pick up an order from McAlister’s Deli and find out my card’s been hacked.
> Met a very nice gentleman by the name of Dane who was also there to pick up an order, and he offered to pay for my food as he saw my plight unfold. I thanked him, but refused him. The manager of the deli also offered to just give me the food if I returned without cash. Turns out I had $30 in cash leftover from going to my parish’s festival the week before that I’d almost used a few days before for lunch, but decided against it and made my own lunch.
– Monday. Enough said. Had to skip teaching religious ed after work, but spent my entire morning working on a lesson plan for the substitute.
– Tuesday. Trying desperately to get caught up from the past two days of non-functionality, and more work.
– Wednesday through Friday were my days off. More trying to get caught up, plus an ophthalmology appointment for the little one. It’s still difficult for me to saying we’re “patching” my daughter without thinking that we’re trying to add software to her. In a way, however, this is very much like fixing a bug or glitch! I finally post last Friday a half-completed impression of MoP, which came out better than I thought it would!
– Saturday: Driving to work on the 71. Everything’s great until this SUV decides to cut across the no-man’s land of the connector ramp coming off of the 275… and directly into my lane where I’m still occupying physical space.
> Since it’s early on a Saturday morning, the freeway is rather spacious, though far from deserted. The lane to my left was empty. For whatever reason, I’d been watching that SUV the moment I spotted it out of my peripheral vision and my Jedi/hunter/ninja instincts were tingling. I reacted in that split second the SUV would have impacted, sliced into the left lane, nearly overcorrected, and swerved back into the lane two seconds ahead and safe. GOOD MORNING, TORI! says Life.
I’ve often half-joked about renaming my car “SR-71,” which happens to be one of my favorite aircrafts and the first model plane I ever put together as a kid. If I had a dollar for each time another car has nearly hit me because my car apparently has secret stealth capabilities, I’d probably have enough for my own SR-71.
The last few days have been mostly— thankfully and blissfully— uneventful. And its in the quiet aftermath that I look back and really see the wisdom of the Pandaren proverbs. Well, in the case of this past Saturday, “slow down” would not have been so useful. But when your life flashes before your eyes, you really try to look for the things that matter amidst the clutter of real life’s stuff. Heck, I’m quite happy to be sitting here and writing about these events, alive and in one piece!
Coupled with my faith, I found that I was picking out the good things, savoring them, being grateful for them, and leaving the bad things where they lay. More than that, I was often accomplishing this in the moment rather than in hindsight. That’s a big deal for me.
Next week, you’ll be spared of my ramblings and the sort! Why? I’ll explain later. Promise.
To close, I leave you with this quote from Winston Churchill:
“The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”