Change Your Day

Today was a mountain range. A rise and a fall, over and over again. But that’s a matter of perspective, isn’t it?

My first day in Salt Lake City I wake up to anxiously begin my search for an urgent care clinic as I realize that my chronic headache for the past month post insane head cold could mean that I might have a more serious sinus infection. Finally a clinic is found AND there’s an adorable cafe on the way so I can finish my last minute work, get some grub, and be on the way for the clinic that will open later in the morning. Score.

I stuff my bag and set out. Halle to google maps- you go google! Leading me down this magical hidden stairwell as the sun is lazily reaching up into the ice blue sky. The sun is warm but the air cool. The stairway leading down to the quaint street is surrounded by the sweetest smelling spring blooms. The breeze so sweet and so chilled my nose stings.

As I’m waiting to see the Doctor I remember I forgot to get a prescription filled back in Chicago and I need it tomorrow. I call one pharmacy they call the one I’m at. Boom taken care of. Doctor’s visit- smooth. Heading to the pharmacy when BAM! The pharmacist reminds me the prescription is quite expensive. I admit I had a discount card but had forgotten it on the other side of town. Would I really have to walk another couple of hours to go get it and bring it back? No! What a stud, this guy googles the discount card and saved me big bucks.

Didn’t even have to switch to Geico. No lie.

Then the hike back, at this point I’m getting tired, thirsty, hungry, and concerned about sun exposure. Basically everything you want in your late Saturday morning. Mr. Pharmacist Man informed me of a grocery on my way back and I swaggered on up and was instantly greeted with a watering hole! Oh glory be. I stocked up- 2 oranges, an apple, a pear (splurged on a bosc..hayyy), two sub rolls, faaaancy cheese (from the deli counter), 6 mushrooms, an onion, and a clove of garlic. Oh and 2 bananas an a big vat of discount vanilla yogurt. Holla. Atcha. Feast!

Oh so much stimulus in a day! And alas I never completed the work I so badly needed to accomplish. It stayed with me the whole day like a caterpillar crawling up my back, gradually growing more and more legs, just starting to get to my neck as I reached back to the home of the lovely lady who agreed to put me up for two nights on recommendation of my aunt.

Sofie greets me at the door and informs me she’s off to spend the afternoon with the refugee family she mentors. PLOT TWIST: I don’t do my work and I go to a petting zoo with this amazing Afgan family. The caterpillar slithers away.

The relationship between these 3 kids and Sofie- wow. She’s 26 and decided to become a mentor for an at-risk Salt Lake City youth, so she was assigned to the daughter in this family, let’s call her Shirin. But through getting to know her, she also got to know her two brothers and their mom. The time she spent with Shirin quickly turned into time spent with all of the children and sometimes even the mother too!

One day, she told me, Shirin had gotten into a fight at school, and one of the sons skipped class. As her mentor, the principal will contact Sophie with any disciplinary updates regarding Shirin. So Sophie knew what happened but the kids didn’t know she knew. She picked them up from school and asked if they wanted to go for ice cream. Ummm of course! She started with the usual- so how was school? Anything interesting? Nope. Alright cool so she drives them to a homeless shelter where she had set up with the director that two homeless men would talk to the kids about the severity of their actions and how it could wind up leading them to the other side of the table.

We get home and I start to finally crack down on my work. I’m plucking off caterpillar legs one by one when my mom calls but I can’t hear her. My phone’s ear piece has died. Oh sweet mother of clams. I’m on hold with the apple store for 15 minutes then talk to a technician for another 15 minutes just to confirm that indeed the earpiece has died. And alas apple can’t fix it until Monday. BUT there’s an apple knock-off repair shop on the other side of town closing in 45 minutes and if I can get there in 15 they can fix it. I get in an uber and I’m there. ALAS not only the ear piece is dead but the speaker as well! They won’t be able to fix it until Monday or later because I have no idea what my work will be like yet. I get another uber back and am simmering at this point *scowl* oooohhh all the wasted money I spent on you Uber!!! And I’m hungry, and thirsty, and tired, and the caterpillar is growing back. This time with little stupid legs of titanium.

It’s 8 now, sun just barely sharing any of its rays. I don’t bother to look for the kitchen light switch but I turn on my dubstep channel on pandora and fall into the flow of cooking. Crunch crunch crunch chopping the onion and garlic is cathartic. My mind slows as the fancy cheese melts over the sub bun and the titanium legs crumble as the spinach melts. I shovel it into my beak and reflect on the shift in mood.

Maybe 8 years ago I sat in my friend’s dining room with her family. Her brother shot out a snide remark with which his mother paused, then calmly yet firmly responded, “Steven…Change your day”. Did she just say that? I think what I would do if my mom said that to me, maybe I’d be extra snooty just out of spite…But he changed. He was quiet for a minute. Then he bounced back into our banter with a fresh attitude. I was shocked. But I also knew this was true- who else has the power to control our day? It is only us. It must be us.

I think of Sofie and how when she was faced with this challenge of mentoring a child who was going through so much, she didn’t back down. She opened her heart and saw there was more need and she reached out to fill that need.

At the end of the day what story line do we choose to tell ourselves? That you had to walk 2 miles up hill to the clinic and wait 2 hours to get your prescription filled or that the flowers on the walk there were some of the sweetest you’ve smelled in your life and Mr. Pharmacist Man cared about you as a person so much that he took the effort to google around a bit to save you some cha-ching?

Think about it. Change your mind, and change your day.