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Bad days and silver linings

Oct 30, 2013 - By Chris Peck

Why did the dog have a bad bowel accident on the very day that my wife and I were leaving for a week of vacation?

And why does the copy machine jam just minutes before the most important meeting of the year in my office?

These were two questions I pondered over the last few days.

You know what I mean?

The plane taking us to a faraway vacation spot was leaving in less than 10 hours.

We had a full day of packing, making arrangements.

So I rose early.

Get a jump on things, I thought.

Downstairs, I imagined a quick visit to feed the dog, and then get on with it.

Then I saw the family room where the dog had spent the night doing, well, stuff that dogs shouldn't do inside.

It smelled.

It was gross.

And it wasn't even 7 a.m. on the day when I didn't have spare time.

That made it two days in a row.

Because only the day before I went in to the office early to get ready for a board meeting at the place where I do some work.

A big meeting. The most important of the year.

And I was on the agenda.

Charts, graphs, statements of purpose.

Why then did the HP Laser Printer start sounding like a blender and proceed to cough out a few, crinkled, illegible pages?

Sure, I opened up the back and looked. Mr. Printer Expert. That's me.

But who carries a pair of tweezers around in a coat pocket to pick out bits of paper lodged like ticks on the innards of the machine?

There must reasons for stuff like this.

Bad karma from past vacations that cost too much and shouldn't have been taken?

Residual resentment from earlier meetings that went on too long because of too many handouts?

No one can say for sure what inspires those gremlins that get in the way of daily progress.

But they seem to have a life of their own. They occur with too much regularity at just the wrong time.

As it often turns out, there are lessons to be learned from last-minute mishaps.

Not having that seemingly invaluable paperwork for the board meeting, in fact, allowed the meeting to end sooner.

And, I scored some major husband points for at least attempting to clean up the dog do-do without making my wife get up.

Yes, there may well be silver linings to be found in bad starts to a day.

But you have to dig for them.

And sometimes hold your nose.

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