‘Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in: forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day: begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you are me, a typical day may involve more than a few blunders and absurdities. Sometimes I wonder if I am a magnet for trouble, or if the universe has it in for me. Then I remember that I lead a complicated, sometimes messy, often wonderful and rich life, and that the many people and activities in my life leave more opportunities for good, bad, and, yes, absurd things to happen.
I woke up with pink eye today. Yuck. Doubtless a result of imperfect hygiene with all the sickness I’ve been around in my office. Luckily it is a weekend and I have a bottle of Sulfacetamide eyedrops in my bathroom drawer. Except for some reason, nothing is coming out of the bottle, despite the fact that it is full. I sterilize a needle to stick through the dropper part of the bottle. Then I drop the needle on the floor before I finish the task. I light another match and re-sterilize, this time burning my finger. Shit. Oh well. Now I have pink eye and a burnt finger. But I get the eye drops working. And I put a hot compress on my eye, as I tell my patients to do. Hygeine is everything. I throw the washcloth in the hamper and wash my hands 14 times.
I tried to log onto Facebook and got a message saying that someone tried to access my account in Orange County, California last night. I don’t know anybody in Orange County, California. I reset my password like they told me to, but I felt unsettled. Last year, I spent months cleaning up my credit after my identity was stolen by someone in Culver City, California. Strangely, a detective called me about a month into that ordeal, and told me that they were working on arresting someone for stealing my identity and the identities of 7 other female physicians, most of whom reside in the Philadelphia area. The group of us have all been in contact, and the whole thing wreaked havoc with all of our lives. They finally arrested some woman in California, someone who is doubtless the bottom of the food chain, and the police out there still have no idea how they got our information. We were all subpoenaed countless times to go out to California and testify, but in the end, none of us ever actually had to appear: the case was pled out, and for all that, the woman got 5 years of probation. This all just wrapped up a couple of weeks ago. So when someone in California hacked into my Facebook account, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was related. I called the detective in Culver City. They think it’s a coincidence. My son tells me that hacking into Facebook accounts is common, and is done for the purpose of obtaining as many cyber contacts as possible to send out annoying ads or possible viruses… so I’m forgetting about it.
I noticed a huge new dent in my car this afternoon. I have no idea how it got there. But there was already a big dent near it that my son put in the car when he backed it out of the garage and was too close to a wheelbarrow that was inside the garage. What’s one more dent?
I can’t find the manuscripts that I read and wrote extensive comments on for writing workshop tomorrow night. This is not uncommon for me. I will have to rip apart all the papers that are strewn on my desk and in my bag to mind them. Truth be told, I am NOT a disorganized person. It’s just that the manuscripts are one of 20 or so activities I have been participating in this week. I suppose I could be a more organized person. I could color-code and categorize and sanitize and re-strategize and have a place for everything and put everything in its place. I could be more careful to park in places where nobody will put dents in my car. Or just not go to as many places. But then all I’d be doing is figuring out how not to make mistakes and lose things and get into situations. And that would be kind of sterile and dry and pathetic.
Instead, since this is just post-Thanksgiving, I’m going to be grateful. Grateful for all the amazing people I meet in my work, all the patients I see who give me the opportunity to catch a cold or get pink eye now and then, grateful for all the places I have to go and things I have to do and the manuscripts I get to read and misplace, and yes, grateful that I HAVE an identity, even one that can be stolen. I’ll worry about the consequences of all of this as they come along. If that sounds reckless, consider me reckless. I wouldn’t have it any other way.