The Stress of a Day: Does it Equate to a Raffle?

raffle tickets

raffle tickets (Photo credit: aol_1979)

Things very rarely go exactly as you plan. This is a guarantee. Usually, the deviation is relatively minor from the “envisioned” plan and I move on, choosing to concentrate on the good and the positive that I am seeing. Such straying off my “envisioned” path occurs regularly, but typically, only one such event occurs in a day. Sometimes, two twists will occur in a day.

Recently, however, I experienced (and I stress the word “experience” because it was) a day that was a roller-coaster of ups and downs. Mostly insignificant things – a quick trip to the doctor’s office to pick up supplements for my very ill husband turned into an hour plus visit. The need to leave the house by a certain time foiled by a very determined little 4-year girl. The need to nix items off my errands for there wasn’t enough time in the day. Minor events. Not a problem. But then some substantial things occurred, starting with unpredictable mood changes in my husband that I didn’t see coming. I usually read him fairly well, and, fortunately, I can often help him get out of a bad mood. His moods are not bad as much as they are sad, and they are always understandable. He has been ill for so many years, he can’t breathe or walk on his own, and people have a hard time following his chosen method of communication – using a board to spell out words.

Perhaps it was because we were going to our son’s school for an outing. There is the sadness that it is not easy to just up and go as a family. There is so much planning and a simple trip for someone healthy, taking about 20 minutes to get the kids ready and everyone out the door, is over an hour for us. By the time we all got into our vehicles (my husband in a handicap van service and the kids and I in our family car), I was exhausted. Jim was in a mood, not anxious to move quickly at all, getting very angry quickly for no apparent reason, and we arrived with the kids so excited and the father so not. I was in a pickle.

The kids sprang into action, finding friends, and I finding kindness in souls willing to watch the kids and help them so they could run from event to event. I moved Jim in his wheelchair through a very crowded room with kids moving out of the way, staring at Jim and giving some very strange looks. I thought to myself often, “How must Jim feel with everyone staring at him?” It was awful. I feel badly, but could do nothing except steer him through the crowds. I couldn’t even see his face. Keep moving Erica, keep moving…….

Then he was cold, and I could do nothing to satisfy him. Next, after being separated from her friend temporary, my daughter threw a fit (literally on the floor, kicking her legs, and screaming). This was followed by a frantic search for a bag that I realized was missing, containing my car key, wallet, Jim’s medicines, and other valuables. It kept going and the stress kept building. It seemed like one bad event followed another. I felt like I couldn’t win and wondered why the day was going so badly. But then, the friend was found (and my daughter’s very brief craziness ended), the bag was found, and Jim was talking with a friend.

Not too long after this, I realized it was getting late. The handicap taxi service would arrive soon. The same awkward movement through the crowd happened in reverse. I could hardly move the wheelchair, sweat was dripping down my face. Jim looked so unhappy. Things were not going as planned. I felt my body ache with stress. Then I felt my stomach pang – oh yes, I forgot to eat. I haven’t eaten in hours. We see some friends, it is nice. They seem happy Jim is out. This gives me a moment to smile and to be thankful that people are nice and that Jim is hopefully remembering that people really do care about him. But, that feeling is fleeting. I start to panic. Time is running out and I still have much to do before getting Jim outside for his pickup. I start frantically looking around for the kids in the middle of the chaos. There are too many people. I have that sick stressed feeling again.
But then, it happened. We were all forced to stop. The big raffle drawing was occurring and the winner of a 50/50 raffle worth thousands and thousands of dollars was about to be announced. I had a feeling someone we knew would win. My son worked so hard selling tickets. I just thought the odds were in our favor and I would be so happy if someone we knew won. I strained to hear the woman making the announcement. Other people around us were struggling to hear too.

But, then it happened. The name was announced. I thought I heard the name of someone we knew, but I was unsure. I asked the man next to me. Yes, it was true – it was one of our nurses. We jumped for joy, so happy such a kind person could win. So thrilled that someone we knew really did win. We couldn’t wait to tell her the news. She would be waiting for us when we returned home that night.

We felt happy again. All the craziness of the day erased in a second.

Then it occurred to me – this kind of thing happens all the time. You just have to wait for it. If you are ever having a horrible day, a day of ups and downs, where more downs seem to be occurring – remember the raffle. You never know, but you do know. Wait for it. The good is a guarantee too, as long as you are patient. Your name and number will be called. You will win.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Peggy on February 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Such a joy to read this today Erica — reality check and also reminder to appreciate everything good that happens — hopefully it outweighs the bad on most days:)
    Plus it was reminder that I need to mail the envelope with the money for the tickets!!


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