Every morning a curious arrangement of items graces the kitchen counter that my partner and I have come to call a “reset.” It’s a temporary sculpture designed at the end of the day to help bring in the following morning with a chuckle and a new start. Either one of us might take on the task of creating the next “reset.” The building blocks of our masterpiece include cups, spoons, vitamins, and jars of ground coffee or hot chocolate–all the makings necessary to help us start the new day in a good way. When we complete the design at night, we announce with conviction, “We have a reset!” It’s silly, I know, but it makes us laugh.
The reset has taken on new meaning since its inception. It has become a reminder of two simple things: 1) it’s important to laugh every day, regardless of what the day brings, and 2) every day is an opportunity to start over again, to let go of whatever has been troubling you, challenging you, making you angry or bringing you down… to start with a clean slate.
Yesterday, I received a letter from an old love. In it, he expressed some things I hoped one day to hear but never expected. He offered the hand of friendship, putting me to the test of whether I was ready to let the hurt go, to let bygones be bygones. We all know it’s important to forgive. We even sometimes think we have already forgiven. But nothing holds you to your words more than truly managing to be friends with someone you’ve hurt or someone who has hurt you.
Tomorrow, I’m attending a funeral of a 34-year old woman who died from brain cancer. Her dying wish was that those who attended wear bold, bright colors, for her “funeral” was to be more of a party than a solemn affair, the point of which was to celebrate her life.
One of the stories of her life is that she and her now ex-husband had gone through a stormy and bitter divorce. They’d had one child together and she had three children from previous relationships. For years, all interactions between her and her ex regarding their shared child were fueled with pain and pride, leading to some pretty turbulent arguments.
That is, until the brain cancer came along. Pain and pride stepped aside late 2011 as love and forgiveness, patience and understanding took their place. By this past November, she and the ex and the ex’s new wife all broke bread together at Thanksgiving dinner, thankful to have each other in their lives. And the closer she got to imminent death these past couple of months, the more she challenged herself to laugh and live well every day, to let yesterday go and to never give up hope. Sadly, though, as the rest of the winter’s holidays passed, the cancer got the better of her. Now that she is gone, their daughter in common and one of her daughters from a previous relationship will live permanently with her ex. Talk about letting bygones be bygones.
Every day is a chance for a reset. Every day presents us with the opportunity to let go of our petty differences and sometimes even our fairly monumental differences. Sometimes it’s just necessary to call it a truce or to consider that yesterday’s difficulties–whatever they may be–belong to yesterday.
What are the building blocks of your ‘reset’? Forgiving an old foe? Letting go of yesterday’s failed job interview? Releasing the crippling sorrow from having lost a loved one?
Allow me this twist on a fairly well-known bible verse about Caesar’s tax money: Give to yesterday what belongs to yesterday, and give to today what belongs to today.