Why we do what we do

Imagine this. It’s the week before Christmas. After work you brave the chaos of the shops in search of the last gifts you need to buy. After seemingly hours of scouring the aisles with nothing to show for, you give up and make your next stop: the assisted living facility that your mother calls home. As with anyone suffering from mental illness she has good days and bad days. Today is a bad day.

After sitting with her until she is ready to go to sleep, you leave, concerned that there have been more bad days lately. On the way home, your stomach tells you that you have not eaten in a while. With your mind going a hundred miles an hour, you stop at the first place you see. You’re so out of it, in fact, that you don’t even notice the friendly greeting and the door held open for you. After some polite conversation, forced smiles with your server and mindlessly ordering a burger and fries, you begin to think. It’s been a long day. When will this never-ending holiday season be over? I need a break.

Your burger and fries are placed on your table and you begin to eat. And wow that burger is good. Every bite melts in your mouth, the fries are hot and crispy, everything is fresh. How can everything be so good? This time you notice the smiling face of the server that refills your cup. A bit livelier conversation occurs. You return to eating your delicious meal. Oh no, it’s almost gone. You take your server up on her earlier offer of dessert. Good call. Satisfied and full, your bill comes. You leave cash on the table and grab your receipt, leaving to sincere goodbyes from the staff and the door held open again. Your smiles weren’t forced that time.

You sit down in your car, and before reality can fully set back in your eye catches the back of your receipt. “Tomorrow is a new day” was written in pretty script.

Yes, tomorrow is a new day. And it will be a good one.