My day improved at the dinner table yesterday evening. Actually, nothing about my day changed except my view of it.
My tree-cutting brother spent his day wielding a chain saw and a rake in a hostile neighborhood. The homeowner was pleased with the job, but his wife was miffed about the tree work and refused to go out to dinner with her husband. The next-door neighbor granted permission for the work, but her daughter became upset and called her father who became even more upset. And the neighbor across the street threatened to sue because a log rolled on his lawn.
My college student sister was stewing about the previous night's accounting exam. She wasn't the only one who lost sleep over the assessment. A flood of emails between instructor and students ensued. The students complained that the exam wasn't fair. The instructor threatened not to let class out early in the future.
By the time I had eaten my potato I was content with my day. "Wow, I had a pretty good day today," I thought. Then I remembered the afternoon's frustration. The computer network wouldn't work; the picture files were too big and wouldn't open, the computer wouldn't recognize the card reader... it was terribly frustrating at the time. But by six o'clock my memory was fading. Compared with my siblings' misadventures it didn't seem that bad anymore. Besides, my frustration revolved around a machine, not people.