there'll be good days like this, all is not lost

Days like this

Not the End of the World

Ever have one of those days? You know—it seems the world is against you, and everything you do goes wrong. Maybe you oversleep and in your rush, you fumble, make mistakes and get even later. You hurry to the stop as your bus pulls away. You flop down reviewing life’s punishments, and some jackass walks by telling you to “Smile, it’s not the end of the world.” What would he know? You open your phone and scroll: trivial drivel. Then this one story blows your insignificancies away. You phone your appointment, apologise and reschedule. All is not lost.

All is not lost Carrot Ranch flash fiction challenge

I wrote this in response to the challenge that Charli Mills of the Carrot Ranch set for writers this week, to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about “not all is lost.” It can include recovery from disaster, an unexpected insight after a fall, or however the phrase moves you. Go where the prompt leads.

In her post, Charli tells of her friend Cynthia who normally sleeps outside in a tent, even in the snow, but not on the night of June 16. As Charli explains, “In a few hours, the thunderstorm stalled over the lower Keweenaw and dumped 7 inches of rain. Cynthia, who usually sleeps where a mountain slammed into her house, slept inside that night. She and her daughter woke up when her refrigerator tumbled over. Water filled her stairwell to the bedrooms on the second floor and pushed against their doors in a torrent, preventing escape.”

Though much was lost during that storm and its aftermath, Cynthia did not lose her spirit or her optimism. As she looked around at the devastation, she had thoughts other than loss (as quoted in Charli’s post):

“This is what I saw: beloved neighbors talking with selfless helpers and eating something finally as they gazed over tge work of some long days, people still digging and puzzling in the waterway, laughter ringing, dogs barking, a moon rising… and I was so pleased, so happy, so fulfilled. This is life, this is who we are capable of being. This is who we are. It was such a beautiful scene. It is our new reality. Blessed be.”

All around the world, there are tragedies of enormous proportion: wars, floods, fires, droughts, volcanic eruptions, illness. The list goes on.

What I attempted to show through my flash is that it can be easy to get caught up in the trivialities of our daily lives and forget to look from afar and see how small they are. When our problems seem overwhelming, we don’t need to look too far to see someone in a worse position. For those of you who are truly suffering, I apologise, I in no way intend to trivialise your concerns.

I also intended it as a reminder that we don’t always know what someone else is going through and an off-hand remark to tell them to “cheer up” may not helpful.

It is the same for children in our schools, in our classes. We don’t know what bumps they may be experiencing to make them withdrawn, moody, hostile or aggressive.

To truly understand another’s position we need to listen, put ourselves in their shoes and consider how we would feel. We need to accept that the world doesn’t always work in the way or timeframe we wish.

If we could lend a helping hand, a listening ear, kind words, and an open heart what a more beautiful world it would be.

Just as Cynthia chose to see beauty in the scene around her, it is important to remember there’ll be days like this, that all is not lost.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

31 thoughts on “Days like this

  1. macjam47

    Great song, Norah. Love Van Morrison! Your post is such a positive reminder that “days like this” get better, we just need to persevere. You are so right about children. No one truly knows what battles a child endures at home, in the neighborhood, and even in school out of the teacher’s view.

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  2. Jules

    I am reminded of the saying to not judge another before walking a mile in their shoes.
    One persons trivia is another’s world. All is gained when we lend a hand and continue forward.

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. dgkaye

    Yes, I can so relate to ‘one of those days’ Norah, too many times. That’s why I remember to count my blessings for the big things that count. And love Van Morrison! 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      I’m pleased you enjoy Van’s music too, Debby. 🙂 I do think it’s important to look at the big picture and count our blessings. Thanks for your support.

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. robbiecheadle

    I can truly relate to this piece, Norah. Sometimes it feels as if everything in your life is falling apart but there is nothing like perspective to make it feel less awful. Great song too.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Annecdotist

    You cover it in only two sentences but your post really brings home to me what a difficult task teachers have especially in areas with a high ratio of “problem” families. There’s potential to be overwhelmed if you/they try to take account of a whole raft of difficulties but on the other hand how can they teach withdrawn/angry/distant children if they don’t? And who is supporting the teachers who support the children who have “days like this” – often doesn’t seem as if government policy is doing so.
    Great to hear from Van as I know you’re a fan. And I’m curious as to the ratio of fiction to memoir or BOTS in your flash.

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    1. Norah Post author

      I should have stopped after two sentences then, shouldn’t I?
      Thanks for your understanding of teachers, Anne. The role can be extremely difficult, especially in those parts where education is not valued. Often times they receive little support. I guess no one really knows how to help.
      That’s an interesting question about the ratio of fiction to memoir to BOTS. I’m not sure how to answer that. We are told to write what we know but I generally try to add a good dose of imagination in it. I was going to say that this one had little semblance to my life except for and then I realised I was going to say, ‘and then’. The most like me is that I have a huge dislike of being told to cheer up! I think we may have discussed that before, some time ago, in the distant past. 🙂

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      1. Annecdotist

        I think we have discussed that, Norah, but definitely worth repeating. It’s extremely insulting and intrusive to infer that someone’s apparent mood is wrong. We’ll have to think of a suitable repost.

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  6. robinettercleave

    Ah, this is so good, Norah, and thanks for sharing Charli’s Cynthia story – it’s a good reminder to try to stay positive and always try to “always look on the bright side of life.”! Dah tee dah, dah dah tee dah tee dah … Thanks for the prompt!

    Liked by 2 people

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  7. Charli Mills

    Your flash expresses that rushing we often get carried away by and mistakenly think that our lives are harried. Sometimes, we need to just slow down and reflect, be in the moment instead of being in a hurry. In a strange way, disasters give us that chance. From that perspective, we can see that not all is lost. Thank you for sharing Cynthia’s story!

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. Norah Post author

      Hmm. Interesting, Charli. You’re right about disasters, of all types. They are life’s way of insisting we slow down and take stock of what’s important.

      Liked by 1 person

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  8. thecontentedcrafter

    Good old Van, he always points us to another way. I’m avoiding all unpleasantnesses of the world currently. I’m seeking to find in myself what the Buddhists call right action and right thinking. I’m looking for light and joy in myself and finding those who make choices to see a bigger picture, or people just plain refusing to stare down into the pit of despair. I love this post and Charli’s post that inspired it. More power to both of you!

    Liked by 3 people

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    1. Norah Post author

      I’m rather fond of Van’s music. 🙂 I’m pleased you are avoiding unpleasantness in the world. It’s quite a feat to do so. There is so much of it. When we find, and make, what light and joy we can, the world is a better place.

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