Stating the Obvious

“You’d better bundle up today because it’s cold, Cold, COLD out there! Most areas are currently experiencing single-digit temps that aren’t expected to climb out of the teens until tomorrow!”  The way-too enthusiastic weatherman squawked at me from inside the TV.

Face buried deep in the pillow, half comatose and wrapped blissfully in my flannel sheets I groaned as I felt an overwhelming desire to violently hurl the remote at him.

“Studies show that this is the most miserable time of the year for Americans.”  The annoyingly chipper anchorman regurgitated immediately after the weatherman stepped down.

“No shit.”  I mumbled aloud as a peeled myself from the heavenly embrace of memory foam and goose down and set my feet on the cold, hardwood floor.

The anchorman continued.  “…With the holidays over and most people heading back to work after a long vacation, people report finding this time on the calendar to be the most difficult. Darkness still looming in the early morning, the frigid weather combined with poor driving conditions effects people significantly. Not to mention that the bills from the holiday season are already beginning to arrive adding even more stress to the average financially-strained citizen.”

“Well aren’t you a genius. Like I needed YOU to explain to ME why my current mood is creeping from ‘just a little blue’ ever closer to ‘murderous rage’.”  I spewed at him as I pulled on my robe and bitterly thrust my ice-cold feet into their slippers.

Mr. Brilliant then expressed that  “one individual we spoke to explained that she felt rudeness was particularly an issue during the actual holiday season this year so she can only imagine what it will be like now that the so-called ‘Season of Joy’ has come to an end.”

“Really?” I questioned in a flattened but sarcastic tone. “You only spoke to ONE individual? Perhaps you ought to pay me a visit. I’ll give you something to talk about. My focus would be on the phenomenon of bubble-headed news anchors stating the obvious and then going so far as to call it ‘news’.”

Perhaps this is the person they spoke to... Ain't she a peach?

For One Day

Maybe for one day…

We will forget the little things that are troubling us.

We will forget to be angry or frustrated when we get stuck behind that awful driver.

We will chill out when we inevitably choose the slowest line at the checkout counter.

We will smile anyway when someone hurts us.

We will extend kindness to a stranger who—for all we know—may be in desperate need of some.

We will forgive the petty arguments we are in the middle of.

We will allow bitterness to loosen its grip on us.

We will hold close the ones we love and tell them how much they mean to us.

We will drop our shoulders
our guards
and our anger.

Miraculously, we did that ten years ago this week. We all stopped and for at least ONE day, we remembered the most important things. We remembered that all we really, truly need is right in front of us… be it family, friends or neighbors. We remembered what a gift it was just to be safe and to be alive. We learned that kindness and goodness will always trump jealousy, selfishness and rage.

This is how we should live each day, even though we don’t. Believe me… I include myself in that I-don’t-do-it-even-though-I-know-I-should category. I worry, I fret, I pace and I wring my hands while obsessing over what I think I need to accomplish that day, over a lack of money, or a lack of time, or a lack of respect I think I deserve, or an awful thing that someone said or did to me.

But perhaps for just ONE day … ten years after we witnessed first hand—through billows of black smoke and piles of ash—what hatred and fear and ignorance are capable of …

We will take a breath and remember.

And rather than dwell on everything that has gone wrong … we will pause and give thanks for everything that is still right.

This waterfall at the site of the 9/11 memorial at ground zero now fills the "void" left behind by one of the fallen towers.

A serviceman kneels at the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon.

Families walk amidst endless flags in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.