Do you have those days when nothing goes your way?
Yesterday was one of them days for me.
I couldn’t get a handle on anything.
I often write that I am surrounded by “stacks” of chores to tackle: magazines to throw away, clothes to be mended, laundry to be folded, etc. Yesterday, I couldn’t make a dent in any of them.
I tried to work on this article all morning without success. By noon, I decided to give into my distractions and lounge on the couch.
If you want time to fly by try losing yourself in reading something good. Two hours and several interesting stories later, I tried to be productive again but without success.
I wandered aimlessly through Pinterest, the most luxurious, mindless way I know to let time fly by, and while I found some great new patterns for crocheted and knit dishcloths, some wonderful new artists and some mind-blowing photographs, I felt like I was wasting the day.
Those stacks were still there, beckoning.
I did watch one excellent video on the Internet: a 2009 PBS interview of R. Dwayne Betts by Tavis Smiley. Betts is the author of “A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning” and “Survival and Coming of Age in Prison.”
Betts was a 16-year-old honor student in Maryland when one night he and a friend decided to carjack a man who had fallen asleep in his car.
He was sentenced to nine years in prison and shuffled to five different prisons during that time. Eventually, he found comfort and freedom through books.
“A Question of Freedom” was selected as the summer reading choice for incoming Middle Tennessee State University freshmen this year, and Betts came to Murfreesboro to speak at Linebaugh Library and university.
When Betts got out of prison, he found gainful employment in a book store and started a book club for boys in his then hometown of Washington, D. C., before graduating from college. He was the speaker at his own graduation from the University of Maryland and sat on the dais with the chief of the Central Intelligence Agency.
I had read the book from cover to cover and felt fortunate to have had an opportunity to be in a group setting with Betts and 12 other people. I was interested to hear the questions others asked him because they were the same ones I had asked:
• “Why did you have to go to solitary confinement three times?” Each answer made sense.
• “Do you feel remorse for the victim?” Absolutely, he does.
• “Did you convert to Islam?” No, he just found security in the discipline that Muslim groups in prison represented.
Betts is now happily married with two young sons. This month he begins Princeton Law School.
He never fails to credit his mother who always stood beside him and said he was plagued daily by thoughts of having let her down.
After watching Smiley’s interview, I started making a little progress on my "chores."
I cut out some dresses for my granddaughters, made a yummy dinner, and reconciled myself to the fact that not every day has to be productive.
And I realized every day offers us a clean slate and some happenings are predetermined by our careers, our past history and our health, but we can still chose to make it a good day or bad day by our attitude and out outlook.