I'm Still Learning What Not To Wear

The day was soiled before dawn. It started with the stripping of sheets and polka dotted sleepers. The freeing and feeding the dog. Shushing the shaking collars and singing toddlers.

The morning rushed out ahead of me like that dang dog, hurdling over my feet, extending not even the courtesy of a moment to step aside. Sure. Just slide around and remind me that I'm not the alpha.

I am a human doggie door. A shoe courier, the route from the mudroom to the bedroom now an eyes-closed path. A directions dispenser, opening my Pez mouth in the over and over speech. I redress the mattress, collect the trash, check the urine samples (did you really pee in the potty or are you just pretending to get a candy?).

I am anything but alpha.

And to make it worse, today I chose not to believe that it is better to serve. Can't I just serve long enough to be recognized as the mom who does everything around here? Somebody! Look! See how great I am! Tell me you don't know what you'd ever do without me. I'll accept any form of credit. Please, just hand over the card.

So I let the day soak in the soiled attitude. I dressed the hours in wet pajamas and then complained about the stink. It's embarrassing when I step back and see the outfit I wore. Were my inward grumblings really that whiny? That self-centered? That ugly?

Uh huh.

I don't have a quick spray solution. I'm not sure in the practical sense how to overcome the stench of this wasted woe-is-me day, to toss aside the what-was-I-thinking outfit and put on patience, kindness and joy.

But in my closet is the promise of a new morning with new mercies, a fresh start, a new outfit. It's hanging right up front, waiting for me to reach out, pull it down and make a wardrobe change.
At the end of my ugly day, I saw this. Don't you love that orange rock, dressed better than any other? It is covered in life, propping life up from underneath. If the rock had feelings, maybe they would be hurt. "No one sees me beneath this pile of takers," it might say. But the rock would be wrong. Because in serving the tiny bits of life that cling to its every crevice, it has become the most beautiful, the most remarkable rock of all.

This well-dressed rock is the gift I unwrap for Tuesday, a visual reminder to choose joy in service.

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