“I didn’t think it could get any worse,” Diane said. “The day began terribly when my alarm clock failed to sound off and I was late leaving for work.”
“Yeah, that sucks,” Lena replied.
“I burnt my breakfast. Put too much sugar in my coffee, which made it disgusting.”
“Oh, man,” Lena said attempting to hide her lack of sympathy.
“My car ran out of gas. Silly me, I should have filled up last night before I went home.”
“That would have been smart.”
Diane disregarded Lena’s sarcastic remark, “So I was late getting to work. My manager was ornery this morning. Decided to write me up. These bills are piling up. I don’t need any of this in my life right now.”
“It was just a rough day. We all have them sometimes.”
“It feels like it’s been a rough life overall. Seems like no matter what I do or which way I turn, there’s always something in my way.”
“Nobody’s out to get you, Diane.”
“I know. It just feels that way sometimes.”
“Well, you know where you fell short, right? What choices you made that lead up to what happened this morning?”
“Yeah, but–,” Diane started.
“But,” Lena interrupted. “Not trying to tell you what to do or anything. I just want to suggest that maybe you consider the role you play in your own troubles. Sometimes things happen that are out of our control, but most of the time we play a bigger role than what we think.”
Diane paused and considered Lena’s words. Being late to work was the least of her problems. When she thought harder about it, the need for money wouldn’t be an issue if she had managed it better in the past. Her level of stress wouldn’t be as high if she had done what she needed to do before. She slumped her shoulders feeling defeated at the realization of the true cause of her anxiety.
“Don’t be sad,” Lena consoled Diane. “Look on the bright side, it’s solstice.”
“It is the shortest day of the year, which is a miracle on its own. It’ll be dark soon and you can brood for much longer. Sleep it off. Then it’ll be daylight again, a totally new day, and you can start over like nothing happened.”
“You have a weird way of looking on the bright side,” Diane replied.
“I know. But, have you ever noticed how much brighter the sun seems to shine during the winter? I don’t know if it really does or not, but I like to think that it shines brighter because we have a shorter time to enjoy it. Really, there’s probably some scientific explanation why it does, but I think it is a nice thought, anyway.”
“Yeah, it kinda is.”
“Yeah. There are all kinds of metaphors in nature. Anyway, I didn’t mean to minimize your problems. I wanted to throw a few thoughts out there to consider.”
“I appreciate that. Now I’m going to go brood,” Diane said walking away.
“I expected nothing less.”
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