Sitcoms have been around so long that some of the younger folks do not even know the origin of the word sitcom. You think I’m kidding? Pick a youngster around 12 or 13 (even a 15 or 16 year old) and ask him/her for the definition of a sitcom. I think you may be surprised to find that I’m right about this. Those of us who have been around “a while” know that the word sitcom is the combination of two words: situation and comedy.
A sitcom is usually built around one main situation: Lucy and Ethel get jobs in a chocolate factory. Comedy is added when they realize that they can’t keep up the pace of wrapping each individual piece of candy that the automatic conveyer belt sets for them; they begin hiding the candy wherever possible (under their hats, down their blouses, in their pockets, and in their mouths) so that the supervisor doesn’t realize that they are getting more and more behind. Hence, the name Sit—com.
Do you ever have days when your life is such a sitcom that you feel that your name may as well be Lucy or Ethel? Another term that comes to mind is comedy of errors. Those are days that you do such (pardon the terminology) stupid things that you just have to think, “Where was my brain?” or “What was I thinking?” or, better yet—“WAS I thinking?” And I must admit that the older I get, the more often those Lucy/Ethel days invade my life.
For example, do you ever put something away, but when you go back to use it again, some little elf has moved it—to who knows where?! I am a person of routine, to the point of being in a rut sometimes, but I function better that way. Having a routine way of doing things often saves my sanity. Certain products are always kept in a certain place so that when I need them, I don’t have to hunt for them, and that saves much frustration. For instance, my detergent, fabric softener, bleach, etc. are always kept on a wire rack beside the clothes drawer. Did I say always? Well —there was this one time. I had done a load of laundry one day, put the detergent back on the wire rack (surely I did!), and went about my business. A day or two later when I needed to do another load of laundry, the detergent was nowhere to be found. It was an almost-new bottle, so I was relatively certain that I hadn’t thrown it away. I was doing the typical Lucy number, looking every place that I could possibly have stashed it, getting more frustrated by the minute. But it was nowhere to be found. G-r-r-r! The next day as I looked for something in the fridge, I saw an orange-handled container toward the back of the top shelf. I remember thinking, “I don’t remember buying orange juice,” so I reached for it, and, you guessed it—it was my detergent. In the fridge!!
Then there was the time that I was packing for a trip to New Orleans, and, as I always do, I put the charger for my cell phone in a small ziplock bag to put into my suitcase. This probably won’t surprise you, but that charger did not make it to New Orleans, and to this very day, that charger has not been seen again. I have no idea what I did with it! (Perhaps I should check the fridge!)
And I probably don’t have to explain to you the kinds of mix-ups I’ve encountered in the shower where there are bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Some days, I get really bold and even use a skin product on my face while I’m in the shower, but I have to pay very close attention on those days.
Probably one of my prime Lucy/Ethel moments came as a result of having chemo. One of the chemo products that I was given in 2007 was one that had the “potential” side effect of loss of fingernails and/or toenails. (One of many, many things I did not know about chemo.) Even though there was a lot of pain with my fingertips and my fingernails, I didn’t lose any nails. However, I did eventually lose the nail on both big toes—of course, the biggest, most noticeable ones! I decided to give those fake toenails a try; after all, it was approaching spring, and I had all those cute sandals that I wanted to wear. Now bear in mind, I’d never had fake nails, and I had no (none, nil, zip, nada) experience in using those products. Bottom line—take my word for it, that glue will stick; it will even stick your toe to-the-floor! Not a pretty sight!
If you’re like me, having one little episode often causes another one which causes another one, which causes another one, etc; rarely do I have just one of those experiences a day. What do you do with days like that? Not that I’m always successful, but I’ve learned to remind myself that, “This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
“B.C.” (before cancer), there were many times that those Lucy/Ethel days drove me to distraction. I let the frustration get the best of me, and my resulting temper could not have been pleasing to God. But one thing that cancer taught our family is to take laughter wherever you find it. You have to learn to laugh at yourself and to learn to discern what in life is truly worth getting upset about (and how to handle it). Believe it or not, there really are worse things in life than having your big toe glued to the bathroom floor!
This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.Psalm 118.24
Hopefully, you have just realized how wasteful we sometimes are with our days when we allow “little things” to ruin the precious time that God has given us. But I’m also hoping that, perhaps, something hit home with you and that now you are more determined to take those crazy episodes and realize that, “This is (still) the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
But what about when those “little things” aren’t such “little things”? The pronouncement of cancer, the loss of a job (and, therefore, benefits), a pregnant teenage daughter, a spouse’s walking out on you, an unexpected death in your family—not so “little,” huh? Does God still expect us to “rejoice and be glad” in that day? That’s the next blog; watch for it!