Those of you raised in the 1970s and 80s, as I was, may recall Ice Cube’s iconic 1992 Gangsta Rap anthem “It Was a Good Day.” It describes a day in the life of a young hoodlum; he walks us through his various escapades…from shooting hoops to having relations with a willing lady friend (several times) to avoiding getting pulled over by the police. During one of the refrains he mentions that he didn’t have to use his AK; therefore it was a good day. The song is catchy and seductive, albeit admittedly misogynistic. I choose to ignore some of the more offensive lyrics and enjoy the feel-good vibe of the song. The message is simple. Life is hard, but some days are good. And we should celebrate the good days. I can appreciate the sentiment.
Today was a good day. The sun was shining and the air was warm. I felt clean and accomplished, since I actually showered this morning. I called one of my dearest friends in Vermont and talked with her for almost an hour. She asked for advice and made me feel valued. I took Riley to the dog park. He frolicked with his buddies and made sure to play in the water bowl and dig in the dirt in order to get as filthy as possible. It’s one of his special talents. I chatted with a man with Tourette’s who was there with his beautiful Anatolian Shepard. As I drove home from the park I called my husband at work and sang the chorus of Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You”, loudly and slightly off-key, when he picked up.
I didn’t feel physically better today than I do on most other days. My body endured all of its usual aches and pains and fatigue, but my mood was high. Maybe it’s the season. Spring makes me feel renewed, in soul if not in body. At any rate, I was grateful for my good cheer.
Not too long ago my husband and I created a shorthand to use when we check in on the other person during the day. If I am having a particularly rough go of it, if my body is in pain and I feel exhausted and weepy, instead of sending him a long and detailed text, I simply write: “I had to use my AK.” If he’s at work and has a meeting that doesn’t go well he can do the same. And, of course, if my day IS going well, I can text, “I didn’t have to use my AK!” I find it a simple and elegant way to get to the point. Lately we’ve started to streamline it even further and will just text: “AK” or sometimes an image of a machine gun. It know it’s a bit gruesome, but it adds an element of lightness and humor to our struggles.