The shortest day deserves the shortest blog post.
I began this shortest day quite irritable, feeling overwhelmed, despite being officially “off” from school for two weeks. I celebrated the midday by putting my foot in my mouth, and I finish it feeling somewhat relieved and tired.
When I awakened this morning, I was visually disturbed by my house, which I have, of necessity, ignored. Christmas baking, school work, and evening varsity basketball games have taken priority, and, thus, my house seemed a bit overwhelming this morning — especially as I meant to help my daughter and her husband move from their first apartment to their first house. Could I just say I was a bit irritable? Noticeably irritable? My husband was likely happy to go to work.
But it was nothing a few hours of housework couldn’t cure…
Then I went to my daughter’s apartment, with my 17-year-old son in tow. He is somewhat shy, and he didn’t think he’d know the other helpers. Just as we parked, however, an Asian young man parked beside us and yelled, “Mrs. Dagen!” It was Jason, who had attended the school where I teach for a full week several years ago but had managed a prolonged friendship with my son. Whew. My son Adam was relieved; he knew someone.
We walked to the moving van, where I noticed a black and a Hispanic young man, along with with my red-headed, Irish-appearing daughter, and her husband.
“Wow, I love the ethnicity represented in this moving crew,” I said aloud to people I had never met.
(I inwardly cringed; what prompted that? Could I be more racially insensitive?)
The moving crew looked around, noticed what I observed, and began laughing and cracking jokes.
“All we need is an Indian,” I said, continuing my unabashed commentary.
“He’s on the side of the truck,” said Jason.
I looked and saw the painted figure of a Native American and was amazed he had noticed in our quick pass by the truck just moments earlier. I had noticed nothing.
Adam and I worked for a couple of hours, enjoying the fellowship and the work, and then returned home, where I continued my own house work. I made progress and now feel relatively satisfied and relieved.
As I end this shortest day of the year, hoping to make the most of the longest night of the year, I am thankful that I had fewer daylight hours to display my faults. I am even more thankful I have people in my life who can overlook my irritability and my occasional, unfortunate outspokenness. I am more thankful for a God who loves me despite all my flaws.
And tomorrow I hope to have a better day. A slightly longer one.