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Sep 8, 2011

Life Is A Horizontal Fall

My Wednesday was a Monday...and a Monday from Hell to boot. But bear with the story - it ends well.
It began with an early morning call from my hernia waking me in pain. I got up around 2AM and took some pain killers, at which time the effective insomnia kicked in. I resolved this by remoting-in to work until about 5:15. Then I crawled back in bed, hoping not to wake Kristina as her alarm was set for less than 45 minutes from that time. Of course, I disturbed her prior to the alarm. No major incident, but it disappointed me that my early-morning struggle had become an irritant to her as well.
The day continued with a sluggish morning ritual, resulting in leaving later and getting Rachel to school later than normal. Traffic was heavier due to our delayed schedule. We finally dropped Kara off at day-care, but as we left I turned the wrong way. I shrugged this off and drove a different route. However, being unfamiliar with the route and still in a hurry to make up time, I zoomed right into a speed trap.
The officer was nicer than I attributed at the time. However, I discovered it is a misdemeanor to fail to notify the Department of Public Safety within 10 days of an address change. This was in addition to the speeding ticket which I knew was inevitable from the moment I popped over the hill to recognize the municipal ambush of this suburban village.
Work was stressful with new processes being put in place for which I am responsible for enforcing, even though I have no authority to do so. Basically, part of my new job duties is to be a nag to my peers. There are a few who are not very pleased about the structure; of course, I might be one of them. While I won't bore anyone with the details, let's just say we have painted a barn to call it a factory, and my job is to continue to tell everyone, "No, it's not a barn; it's an industrial factory." Anyway, long story short - yesterday, I discovered I had failed to follow the new factory rules and introduced a semi-serious bug because of it. So, the company-nag exposed himself to be as mule-headed as those from whom he should be demanding conformity.
By the end of the day, when I picked up Rachel from her mother's house, I found out that in our hurry that morning, I rushed her off without her phone or keys. This, of course, meant she was locked out of her mom's house after school and had no way of calling anyone to help. Again, no major incident, but it set the tone for the evening of what had been a "lovely" day already. It was at this time she reminded me she needed that calculator for her advanced algebra class. I knew I had to go buy it. So, I shopped online to find who had it in stock. Also, Kara had a prescription to be picked up; so, I could accomplish multiple things after dinner.
However, I soon discovered I had become one of those old people who curse the technological paradox of progress, as [the unnamed pharmacy chain] could not fill the prescription claimed to be ready because their printer broke. I'm not sure how we put pills in a bottle before the invention of laser-writing devices, but I don't really believe they could not have handled this problem. Nonetheless, I went to a different store four miles away to be told the order had not been transferred, and it would be a half-an-hour before they could put pills in a bottle.
No problem, I thought. Rachel and I could go get that calculator. It was promised to be in stock by that new-fangled internet-based shopping and inventory control method. Of course, by the end of that trip and being told to "stay here" for a extended amount of time by the stocking clerk - you guessed it, no calculator. "We don't even carry that model at this store."
Furious, thoughts of smashing items in the electronics section racing through my head. Rachel and I leave to return nine miles back in the other direction to [the unnamed pharmacy chain] store. I'm spewing rage at this point; the day had finally overfilled my tolerance line, and Rachel began to get nervous by my driving.
It was at this moment that the wisdom of a twelve-year old set Dad back. Rachel told me, "You know, Dad; I know you're mad, but at least we are well-fed, driving a nice car, listening to music while traveling, and have a beautiful house where we live with a loving family. And you are on your way to pick up some medicine that will help improve the quality of life for Kara. The frustration of getting all these things tonight are not even possible to have in some places of the world."
I was just mad enough not to respond, but I knew her words were correct. A funny song later and my bad mood was gone. I calmed down enough to realize the truth of how fortunate I was - despite a difficult day. It's hard to remember how great we have things sometimes, especially in our spoiled society and habits of leisure.
I returned home with Kara's medicine, relayed to Kristina my Oddessy adventure to get it and gazed at the wonders and loved ones that make my life truly amazing - even if I don't appreciate it all the time.

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