It was one of those Murphy’s Law days. You know, the kind where you keep exclaiming, “What on earth can go wrong next!” and are instantly rewarded with an answer. It was as if someone let loose a box of gremlins during the night and they busily crossed wires and hid things and demagnetized all the electrons. Late start. Rain. Traffic. Crying children. Orney adults. Ringing phones. Paralyzed software. Spilled coffee. Leaking pens. Out-of-order machines.
About noon, my glazed-over eyes spotted a little sticky note on the bulletin board next to my desk. “Why are you so happy now?” it asked. What an absolutely ridiculous question! I broke out in laughter at its sheer absurdity just as a coworker walked past.
“What’s so funny?” she demanded, sticking her head in my door.
“Everything!” I gasped. “You. Me. Diane. The whole damned day. I mean, could it be more outlandish than this?”
“You have a point,” she said, rolling her eyes. The gesture was so exaggerated that it made me laugh again, and seeing herself through my eyes for a second, she started chuckling, too.
“What’s so funny?” Leslie said, pulled in by our laughter. I pointed at her and Kathy and I laughed harder.
“Everything!” Kathy choked out. “Everything!”
“You’ll have to excuse us,” I said, “We’ve gone over the edge. Just slid right on over into hysteria.”
Kathy and I pulled ourselves together. Kathy was wiping a tear from her eye. “What a zoo!” I said. “Aren’t we amazing, to function at all in the midst of so much chaos?”
“Yeah,” Leslie said. “I guess we really are.”
They left, smiling and relaxed, and I sat for a moment and thought about the magic my little sticky note had triggered. Instantly, it brought us a round of comic relief, and in its wake, renewal and perspective. “Why am I so happy now?” Because, I answered silently, we are all so willing to be.