Heavy Groceries and Flood Warnings

Yesterday was a bad day.

In all of my experienced eighteen years, I have had days worse than the one I had yesterday. I’m a firm believer in empathizing though. Therefore, I won’t undermine my bad day, because everyone knows that’s just how you make yourself feel worse.

It started when I woke up a little too early than I would have liked on a day off. I was still exhausted, but sleep just wasn’t part of the schedule anymore.

The day got progressively better, I got up, I put on a nice outfit, I had a good breakfast.

Then, I had to go do some food shopping for the week.

The forecast warned of torrential rain storms, but the sky was blue and I was in denial.

I headed out into the heat to the grocery store down the block, filled up my wagon and innocently told the cashier to bag everything. I return my wagon, look at the bags and sigh.

There were so many bags.

It was 85 degrees.

I was on my own.

I took a deep breath and grabbed the bags. I wasn’t even around the corner before my bangs had blown straight across my face, and I could feel every one of my hairs rebelling and curling themselves up.

I flexed my arm muscles, pretending I had some, in an attempt to make it easier, but the bags just got heavier.

I stopped at a light, breathing in some hot, humid, NYC air. I started to put the bags down, but being in NYC I realized letting them sit next to my feet unattended was probably not the best idea.

So, I held onto those bags with everything in me. Just then the light changed, and I trekked across the long crossing, wondering if chivalry was alive somewhere.

Of course, I bump into at least four people I know but haven’t seen in months. Therefore, now they associate me with that sweaty, miserable, too-many-grocery-bags girl they saw for a second on the street.

But that’s not a real problem in the scheme of things.

So, I pushed past some people, never forgetting a hurried excuse me, as I pushed the last couple of blocks.

As I got to my door, I just dropped the bags, not even able to process the thought of looking for my key.

After a few minutes, I opened the door, heaved my groceries one more step and then dropped them at the door. I spent five minutes just pouring water over my face and fighting with my hair that had given up on the pretty curls it woke up with.

But I was home.

I looked at my phone- “Ready in a half hour?”

My friends and I had made up to go to the Celebrate Israel Concert in Manhattan. I was excited, but a little wary of going back out into the heat. I checked my weather forecast app, and of course, it predicted rain and thunderstorms. But the concert was on, rain or shine, so we figured we’d still go.

Navigating the subway system, we got to Central Park. Navigating Central Park was not as easy, but we followed the sound of many many people. Whom we found. We fell into a long, long line of fellow concert-goers, motivated by the distant sound of the concert. After about ten or fifteen minutes in line, a man came to tell his wife who was in line behind us that they had closed the gates, and weren’t letting anyone else in. The Summer Stage had reached capacity, and we were left outside. Being the teenagers that we are, we tried different ways to sneak in. It was impossible. They expected us to do as such, and had security at every entrance.

Slightly dejected, but not in terrible moods, we figured we might as well find something else to do in Manhattan to make the trip worth it.

But then…all that rain they promised showed up.

In seconds, there was an insane downpour.

People hurried for shelter, but we were too far from anywhere to hope to find shelter with empty space when we got there. We just cowered under a tree with our umbrellas barely protecting us.

After a few minutes of giving up on it ever slowing down, we headed out of the park. My friend had forgotten an umbrella, and was soaked to the bone. We were all wet, tired and a little cranky.

Much more tired and definitely more wet, the subway system on the way back was a little more complicated, but after a little train hopping, we settled in for the ride back home.

While traveling, we wondered the reason for our sour day. What had happened to make it a day worth happening?

We couldn’t put our finger on anything that made us feel better about our wet clothes.

Two strangers got on the train with beach chairs and gear.

“At least we didn’t have their day.” I joked.

We got out at our stop, and walked towards our homes. I stopped to grab something I needed, and my friends headed home without me. I bought my item just as the store was closing, and I headed home myself. As I was walking, the intense downpour started up again. At this point, having had it with the day, I made a run for it. As I ran, my phone buzzed and I looked down to see that my area had a flood warning in effect. I laughed at the sheer craziness of it all and kept running. I knew something was weird as I walked into my house. I looked down and realized the belt I had bought that morning had somehow fallen off my outfit amidst the rain storm. I knew it was gone, and that just did it for me.

My sister had made a nice dinner, but I was past being nice. I was grumpy, sopping, hungry and exhausted. It was a terrible mix.

A few minutes later, another sister who was coming over for dinner came in and handed me my belt. She had found it in the rain, a little worn out and sad looking, but she found it all the same.

I ate dinner. I did some breathing. I changed out of my wet clothes. I felt better.

But I still was upset that I had to have such an awful day. I have final exams all this week and next, and I figured I deserved a nice, relaxing, enjoyable Sunday to prepare me for the long week ahead.

But G-d had seen fit otherwise, and let me have the day I had.

As I write this, I’m not even 100%  sure where I’m trying to go with this. When I started writing this post, I figured I might find a reason when I got to the end.

I did, but it’s not the one I thought I would, and it doesn’t make me all that happy.

My lesson for myself is that bad days happen. Yesterday was a hard day, but I’m not naive to think that G-d doesn’t know how to make it a whole lot rougher.

It was hard. I won’t deny that yesterday was not my favorite, and I would have loved if the whole thing could have played out differently.

But it was an interesting day, and I definitely had some experiences I never would have had if I hadn’t had the day I had.

There were rays of sunshine that I didn’t speak about in this post, because this post was primarily written about my bad day. Amidst the bad parts, there was plenty of laughter and amusement. I wasn’t even angry during lots of parts of it.

Sometimes, I think G-d gives us bad days to remind us that we are stronger than we think.

To remind us that there’s always a little bit of sunshine on those rainy days.

If we train ourselves to find it now, it’ll be easier when the rain is a bit more stormy.

It’s these days that give us those memories that one day I’ll be telling my children, as we sit around some fire somewhere. I’m sure then I’ll be laughing at my petty thoughts about what a bad day was. By then, I’ll have had more bad days and also many good days. Life happens.

As an eighteen year old, my bad days are still significant to me.

But I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

I think it’s a good way for me to put everything into perspective and remember what is really important in life.

Whenever I start forgetting, G-d has a way to remind me.

And in the scheme of things? It was just a little rain.

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