is given by the King.’ These words have been going round my head for the past 12 hours and, once again, I feel thoroughly shamed. I spend most of my weeks counting down the days to what turns out to be yet another unsatisfactory weekend, and then saying ‘I wish it was Friday’ for the four days after that. I structure my life around holidays (but only if the daddy’s off too -otherwise it is NOT a break), and spend the rest of my time either nostagically reminiscing about them, or counting down the weeks until the next one. The worst offence recently was me constantly telling the kids, ‘this time next week we’ll be in our new house.’ Now, I’m having to scrabble that back as solicitors delay everything, and leave us hanging.
This is not a happy way to live. Maybe those words from the hymn ‘My heart is filled with thankfulness’ came into my head for a very good reason. When are we ever going to be content? Our lives are always strung together by ‘if’s and ‘when’s. I wonder when the last time was that any of us said ‘I am happy’? I think I did once a few months ago, but I can’t remember the reason, the time or the place. It was most likely when I was on holiday.
Imagine waking up on an average Monday morning – it’s still dark, there’s been a frost in the night so the car will need scraping, your children won’t get out of bed because it still feels like night-time and there’s a work deadline hanging over your head like the sword of Damocles. Would the first words out of your mouth be ‘I’m so thankful for this day’? More likely to be what most of the population agrees on – ‘I hate Mondays.’
I am one of the most negative and pessimistic people around, but I have an inkling there’s a way to change that. What if, every day, more than once, I say ‘this day is a gift to me’? What if we look for the evidence, even in the hard times? Sometimes it can almost feel good and easier to wish the days were over, but what would happen to us if we held onto them, as though they were given by the King? And you know what? They are.