--Bill Watterson, "Calvin and Hobbes" comic
Think you had a bad day? Maybe it started with a lukewarm cup of pumpkin spice coffee from Dunkin' Donuts you failed to discover the clerk had mistakenly given to you in the drive-thru. Stomach churning traffic on the Pike heading into the city for work. Did you burn the family dinner, go from gourmet cook to culinary disaster in sixty seconds? Or you forgot to hit "save" on the big project just before your computer crashed.
There's bad days. And then there's really bad days.
Like those endured by Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish, who in the recently completed epic 2017 Major League Baseball World Series lost not one, but two games, to the eventual champion Houston Astros. Darvish's earned run average (the number of runs he'd have given up if he pitched a full nine innings) was 21.6, more akin to football than the sandlot. In the seventh and deciding game, he and his team fell behind so quickly, 5-0, that most folks in the stands hadn't even bitten into their second hot dog. And he went down to defeat in front of 54,124 heartbroken hometown fans.
No place to hide. A very public and a very, very, very bad day (night actually).
But give Darvish credit. He didn't have to, wasn't expected to, yet post game Darvish faced a scrum of reporters and reflected on his performance. Speaking through an interpreter, Darvish, whose first language is Japanese, said, "I had bad days and that means somebody else had a great day." With that bit of eastern wisdom, Darvish packed up his stuff and went back home for an offseason of wondering "why?"
Why do we have such bad days? Why on one grey morning when we awaken, do we step into a tidy "package" the new puppy left bedside because we were tardy in letting him out? Why does the toast blacken and the train arrive late? Why are the kids surly and the new boss fuming as we rush into the office at 9:15? Why is the printer out of toner only when we need to print out the movie tickets? Why does the toilet overflow just as guests arrive for the big dinner party? Why, when the catcher clearly called for a slider, low and outside, did you instead throw a big fastball, a meatball, right down the fat part of the plate? That one is outta here and still in orbit!
You had a bad day. We all have bad days.
Filled with bad impulses as we speak, when clearly we should just keep our mouths shut. Bad breaks when it seems like the universe conspires against us. Bad streaks when we can't catch just a little luck. And so in the midst of this day. How goes it? Good? Bad? Middling? Are you pitching a no-hitter or watching the baseballs just fly out of the park?
Here's the good news about bad days.
They end. Eventually you pull your car into the driveway. You walk in the front door. You remove the bullseye from your back and you sit down and you take a deep breath and you thank God that this one bad day is finally, almost over. Because the truth is that with this one amazing life, beautiful and broken, ugly and gorgeous, miraculous and mundane: every single new morning we get to start it all over again. Our creator mercifully and faithfully, gives to each of us a brand new day to begin again. Every twenty four hours. Guaranteed. A reset. A do over. A reshuffle.
And so even while those bad days are truly bad, these bumps along the way can make our good days that much sweeter. That much more graceful. That much more surprising and wonderful. So the person in front of you at Dunkin' Donuts pays for your coffee in an act of unexpected kindness. And the traffic into Boston is light and you find a parking spot on the first try. And dinner is a hit with the kids and they actually ask for seconds. And you finish that work project early enough to watch the game on TV.
Good days. Bad days.
So...you had a bad day. At least you didn't lose the seventh game of the World Series. And guess what? There's always next year and yes, there's always tomorrow too. Who knows? It just might be a good day!