“It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. My mom says some days are like that… Even in Australia.”
I’ve probably read the final line of “Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” to my daughters thousands of times over the last few years. But, somehow, every single time I speak these words, I leave with a reminder that rings in my ears for hours. I often find myself holding back tears or swallowing to fight back a lump in my throat as I tenderly close the book and whisper, “The end. I love you.”
The truth is, I have more terrible days than I’d like to admit. Climbing out of bed is a daily battle, and there are even days when I don’t bother to get dressed or wash my hair. I’ve grocery shopped mid-afternoon in my pajamas. I’ve locked myself in the house for weekends at a time because I just didn’t want to face the world.
Sometimes, like Alexander, I grumble and complain. I throw tantrums over the smallest things and melt down on the floor when someone calls me out on my childish ways. Other times, I suffer silently with a smile on my face. I don’t know why, but I simply struggle to enjoy life, and I feel like my existence is purposeless.
However, I’m slowly realizing that I’m not the only one who has “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.” In fact, some of my best friends struggle with them, too. We think that the grass is greener on the other side, but the reality is that with each sunrise, we all battle our own demons. We all find reasons to hate life, but does that also mean that we have the capacity to love life as well?
Perhaps, life is not all doom and gloom, but rather a balance beam. We’re constantly in motion. We teeter between pleasure and pain and joy and sadness. Some days, we lose our balance and plummet into the darkness. Other times, we find the strength to remain on the beam and bask in our success when we reach the other side of the bar. Sometimes we win; other times, we finish dead last. Failures happen, and that’s OK.
I’m starting to realize that not every day will be rainbows and unicorns, and honestly, complete happiness isn’t what’s important anyway. What’s really vital is how we handle those tough days. What really matters is how we persevere to overcome the moments that challenge us. Do you get back up when you fall into the darkness, or do you allow your pain to consume you? Do you fight for your right to party, or do you suffer in loneliness?
I’ve decided that I want to be the person who climbs back out of hell when I fall into it. I want to keep fighting to overcome the tough times so that I can bask in the bright light of better days.
Not only will I fight for myself, but I will also fight for those who live in my heart. I will hold a candle for the strangers who are still stranded in the dark. We’re all strong on our own, but people really do need other people. And together, we can all overcome our tough days and survive until the next sunrise.
So, if today has been a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” (or even if it hasn’t), remember that you are loved, you are worthy, and you matter. Some days are just less wonderful than others… even in Australia.