Today was just one of those days:
My computer shut down in the middle of writing this morning, for no reason.
I literally had trouble getting dressed. I kept getting so twisted in my clothes that I had to start over four times. At one point I just stood in my closet in my underwear, wondering what the hell was wrong with me.
Because of the dress debacle, I was late to work.
A little while later, I looked down to realize that there was a crack in the lid of my coffee cup, thus meaning that I was spilling coffee all over myself – and had been for a while without noticing.
I totally mixed up my schedule today and, unaware of that fact, ignorantly and blissfully ran about an hour behind until lunchtime.
…when I promptly forgot to eat, so that at 2:45 I had to yank a corner off of my sandwich and devour it to stop my stomach from public grumblings.
Because the day had been frustrating, I decided to treat myself to some relaxing hot-tub-and-sauna time, one of my new addictions. As I was pulling out of the parking lot from work, I was notified by several staff members that there was a meeting I was supposed to be attending, which I either completely forgot or was never notified about.
And finally, after the hot-tub-and-sauna time, when I was so relaxed that I was just looking around at the sky and thinking about the beauty in the world, I stepped in dog shit.
There you have it. Some days are simply like this, right? It just happens, from time to time, to all of us. What works for me on these days is to accept that I’m a little off, and that tomorrow will be better, and that my life is pretty damn good, even when I can’t get dressed, spill coffee on myself, and step in poop. I’ve always just guessed that it had something to do with me on that particular day – maybe not enough sleep, maybe too much wine the previous night.
But that was before I moved to Northern California. I explained my day to a woman who was unsuccessfully trying to run my credit card through her machine today. “It’s been that kind of day,” I told her, and gave her a quick overview.
When I finished, she nodded sagely, not missing a beat. “Well, Mercury’s in retrograde.”
I nodded back in agreement. “Oh, I didn’t realize. Is that what it is?”
I’m sorry, but I don’t actually know what that means, even though I instinctively agreed. It was an explanation, after all, to everything that had been off today – meaning that maybe it had nothing to do with my sleep patterns or drinking problem habits. And when she said it, I really did feel instantly reassured, and I’m pretty sure she was right about the cause of my troubles.
Yet I had no idea what it means. So let’s look it up.
Here’s what Google has to say:
When Mercury is Retrograde. Sometimes the other planets appear to be traveling backward through the zodiac; this is an illusion. We call this illusion retrograde motion. Mercury’s retrograde periods can cause our plans to go awry.
Hm. That sounds about right, though I’m not sure that I would recognize if the planets were traveling forward or backward through the zodiac. Now that I think about it, what’s the formal definition of the zodiac, anyway? Google, help us out:
noun: zodiac; noun: Zodiac
a belt of the heavens within about 8° either side of the ecliptic, including all apparent positions of the sun, moon, and most familiar planets. It is divided into twelve equal divisions or signs (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces).
- a representation of the signs of the zodiac or of a similar astrological system.plural noun: zodiacs
- 2. trademark small inflatable boat powered by an outboard motor.
All right, we’re going to go with the first definition for these purposes, though I wouldn’t mind having a little blow-up water vessel of my own. Is “heavens” an actual thing, though, that exists beyond the religious definition?
Merriam-Webster clears this up with stunning simplicity:
heav·en noun \ˈhe-vən\
: the place where God lives and where good people go after they die according to some religions
: something that is very pleasant or good
the heavens : the sky
Got it. Heavens = sky. But, just because it caught my eye, what exactly are we saying when we decide who falls into the category of “good” people?
1good adjective \ˈgu̇d\
: of high quality
: of somewhat high but not excellent quality
Hm. So looking at this second criterion, then, I have a feeling I know where this blog post is headed. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not excellent, but yeah, it’s not particularly terrible, either. It’s not really my fault, though.
I mean, there is coffee on my dress that I might be wearing appropriately, and poop on the sole of my shoe, and I was late to work and forgot a meeting completely, and this blog was supposed to be posted 16 hours ago and I should have been asleep by now. But what can I say?
Mercury is in retrograde, after all. (How long does this last, by the way? Because I might need to call for back up if it continues into the weekend…)