7 December 2011

Making the Best of Things

I feed the cats twice every day. Two pouches of wet food and a handful of dry.

Most days, I open the cupboard in the utility room, take out two pouches, tear them open and plop them in the bowls. Not a lot of trouble and I am rewarded with two appreciative cats munching happily.

Yesterday was different. It was like I was treading through treacle all day, the more effort I made, the less progress. The simple process of cat feeding became a major chore. When I opened the cupboard door, I knocked over a bucket containing various household cleaners in squirty bottles. This particular bucket is used to carry the cleaning fluids and cloths from one bathroom to another and is a handy piece of kit to have around. Unfortunately its proximity to the cupboard containing the cat food meant that I either had to take the trouble to move it or allow the door to shove it aside. The latter choice proved to be the wrong one.

At this point let me point out that the difference between moving a bucket and knocking it over is the difference between a good day and a bad day. A happy day and a miserable day. An day full of positive energy and a day of listlessness.

The way I approached the bucket was the way I was approaching life.

When the contents of the bucket spread over the floor, I also knocked the box of cat food off the shelf. In trying unsuccessfully to prevent its fall, I grabbed at the foil packages, cutting my finger. I stood for a moment amongst 48 packs of food and several bottles of cleanser and bleach, then decided that my finger was dripping blood which would also need cleaning up unless I attended to the wound first.

I found a box of plasters, applied one to my poorly finger and apologised to the cats for the delay. Carefully, I gathered up all the food than fed the little angels. A pungent smell led me to the discovery that the top had detached from one of the bottles of cleaner, allowing its contents to leak over the utility room floor. The stuff was called Lime Lite, a particularly powerful little blighter which I use to get the most stubborn deposits off the sides of the shower. The scale of the spill was reasonably small, a few sheets of kitchen towel were all that was needed. All I had to do was to go upstairs, pull down the loft ladder, ascend, fish about a bit then descend clutching a fresh supply of kitchen towels. I then cleaned up the spill. When I went to throw away the soaked tissue in the kitchen bin, it was so full they wouldn't fit. With great difficulty, for the bin had been subject to several days of intense pressure every time an additional item had been added, I managed to extract the bin liner and carry it out to the wheelie bin. There were no bin liners left under the sink, I had to go out to the garage for a fresh supply, pop one in the bin and dispose of the tissues.

Feeding the cats was a microcosm of my whole day. Nothing was easy. If a thing could go wrong, it seemed to. Even my chickens were misbehaving, invading the conservatory when I have told them time and again not to come in the house. I got one egg, that's all, only one egg from four chickens.

Today, I also got one egg. Yippee, one beautiful egg just for me.

The hot water stopped working. I bathed using a kettle of hot water and the bucket. It was like being in India again, joyful.
The wind and rain snarled at me all day, I rejoiced at the warmth in my office.

I can't help having good days and not so good days. It's not what happens, it's how I'm feeling. If I had the choice I'd choose happy, but I don't always give myself the choice.