Somewhere between realizing MLK Day meant lots of folks weren’t working and the second person bursting into tears in the office, I knew it was going to take a whole lot more than coffee to get me through my Monday.
What, unfortunately, didn’t exactly volunteer itself.
Instead, I took a deep breath and asked again what was wrong, realizing that my ability to actually help in the situation was unlikely.
After all, neither of these two were sad, upset with me or any one single thing. They were just having a rough Monday. If you’re a gal, you’ve probably been there, more than once. If you’re a guy, don’t you dare tell me you haven’t had to deal with one of us gals when we’ve been somewhere between utter frustration and on a true tear.
Mondays are just like that sometimes. Work piles up, families want you to be three places at the same time and you’ve promised you’d take care of that 30-minute deal that turns out is going to take about three hours. Meanwhile, you’re still trying to figure out those “friendly” how-to directions you’ve received. You know the ones. You’ve got to have about seven college level degrees to understand them.
At that point, when you’re a gal, you don’t know whether to scream or cry (or, in the case of Army brats like me, you find the nearest Wack A Mole game and have at it while plotting the next major invasion of ... well something).
Oddly, this is about the time when I remembered a few of those little pop culture pearls of wisdom. You can actually learn a lot from fiction if you take the time to listen.
A couple of my favorites came to mind immediately: “Never tell me the odds” and “Do or do not do – there is no try,” but somehow I didn’t think Han Solo or Yoda would be much help in this particular case.
When folks aren’t science fictions fans, they tend to dismiss any advice coming from a little green dude who waddles around.
That’s when I thought of Batman or, more specifically, Alfred his butler.
“Why do we fall?” he asked Bruce Wayne receiving just a puzzled response. “So that we can learn to get back up again.”
Holy tripping toes, Batman, maybe we should all remember that little piece of advice, seems mighty wise to me.
While I debated offering up that little tidbit of knowledge, I realized neither wanted a pat answer beyond “It will be okay.”
After all, “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly,” according to one of the lesser known books by a fella named Richard Bach.
The response to “it will be okay” wasn’t much in the way of agreement, so I debated going with a little Army logic rather than the mysteries of science fiction wisdom.
General George “Blood & Guts” Patton said, “Courage is fear holding on a moment longer” ... and “Don’t let the X%$S! win,” but that one isn’t really the rest for a polite family newspaper.
Despite the struggle, frustration and perhaps a bit of fear, they, and I, made it through the day.
Maybe the coffee finally kicked in.
– Shannon Crabtree is editor & publisher of the El Campo Leader-News.