My mom and I were talking about miracles today—it’s a crappy day outside, people are trying to push their drama into our lives (it ain’t workin’ by the way), and she’s coordinating all the volunteers for graduation in the freezing cold rain…Plus, her office flooded a couple weeks ago, and she had to move down the hall into a shared office with a huge window to the hallway (she’s now working inside a fishbowl). The result? Interruptions. all. day. long.
When I barged into her office this morning after my very last nutrition class of the semester, she was looking over some fallopian tube diagrams (that actually turned out to be route maps for graduation), answering the phone, listening to a co-worker’s vacation story, and answering emails.
I got a little twitchy just observing it…and asked her if she wanted to go on a walk.
She smiled, put down her fallopian tubes, and laced up her sneakers.
We talked about miracles today. My favorite one is that a 14 year-old boy she knows spontaneously got called to receive a new kidney and will probably live, while as of last Thursday, he was probably not going to make it to his next birthday. It also means, though, that someone else did not live.
In between stories, I asked Mom how she can handle all that work chaos, and she responded,
“In those moments, I stop and take a breath and think, ‘Matthew got a kidney.’ Then nothing else seems so serious.”
She also told me a story about her former boss, Jeff, who was also a great friend through more than one employer. They would be in the middle of the craziest most f—ed up (my term, definitely not hers) situations, and they would just stop and look at each other and he would say, “We rent cars.”
Then they would laugh and move on.
That saying was a mini Come to Jesus meeting, as if to point out how funny this little life is that we’re living. We take things oh-so-seriously, and in the end most things don’t matter. We do strange things like force situations to work and damage our health in the process, instead of going with the flow. We stress out over jobs that have nothing to do with life or death or the pursuit of happiness. And we do things like dress up for Halloween, pay people to put paint on our finger nails, and we rent cars.
When we remember how made up and silly all of it is, then the day-to-day hustle can no longer bring us down. In fact, we can use it to be lifted up.
I’m practicing it—it’s fun, actually. And funny.
We rent cars.
What would your call back to reality saying be?