If the week had just six days, I’d be curiously okay with that. Saturdays nearly undo me. It’s a long eight-hour stretch of unscheduled time. In its throes, my mind freely conducts a post mortem of my sorry life. I wallow in the failure of my expectations for myself.
By Sunday, my focus turns to whatever Monday holds. This weekend, I’m headed for the office to get a week’s worth of work done and prepare for a trial that starts in twenty-six hours. The trial should not be proceeding. The parties settled on Tuesday. Mid-afternoon on Friday, I got accidental wind that the other side has had a change of heart, so off we go. In a weird way, the burden makes my week both more difficult and easier. I have precious time for complaint when I’m so busy that I can’t sit still for a second.
I’ve figured this complaint thing out, you see. It’s just a strategy for wallowing in self-pity. That’s why everybody agrees that I’m allowed to lobby on behalf of better customer service, rights for my clients, and redress for economical skullduggery even in my own life. We’ve narrowed the truly objectionable complaint down to groaning about insignificant occurrences and situations beyond salvage.
I’ve gotten to that point at which I can avoid such drivel most of the time, but in the wide yawning cavern that constitutes the last day of a week (or the first, if you’re Jewish), I flounder. I got through yesterday by inviting my friend Brenda for coffee, relentlessly cleaning my house, and seeking Katrina’s assistance with planting bulbs which my friend Catherine dug from her mother’s yard and brought to me.
I hovered over Katrina as she troweled the rich earth along the border of a patch of ground which once held an evergreen. The shrub died in the drought four years ago. I’ve got my old bench there now, and the surprise lilies which Katrina planted yesterday will surround me as I sit and read this spring.
And so I pushed back against despair to navigate the dangerous path of one more day of empty hours. I rose this morning to the strains of Humankind on KCUR, as the host and a guest discussed which my favorite ancient poet’s work. I gauged this cheerful coincidence to be an auspicious beginning for the day. On the strength of that good omen, I hauled myself down, made coffee, and gave myself over to the affairs of the day.
It’s the thirtieth day of the thirty-fourth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.