Today as I was making my way to the open maw known as metro, I overheard someone utter a sentence that rose above all the other background noise. He spoke into his cell phone and proclaimed, “I have some good news, and I have some bad news.” At that point I was passing by and I would have had to very obviously stop dead in my tracks to have heard what the good and bad news was.
I tried to read my book for the three stops I have to get to Gallery Place-Chinatown stop, but my mind kept wandering back to my earlier encounter, and it made me think. Now for those who are unaware of my ongoing saga and trials and tribulations with the D.C. public transportation system- metro is a great challenge in my life.
This morning, right after I heard the immortal phrase in question, I was walking down to get to the train platform and I saw people actually jarring the doors to the train open, super hero-style, attempting to SQUEEEZE in. Not only is this incredibly stupid and ill advised, it is infuriating because IF some imbecile breaks the doors and they can’t close, EVERYONE has to off board the train and wait for the next one. So, if a person is stupid enough to risk life and limb- literally, in order to get on a train, which is probably taking them to their crappy job downtown anyway, by all means- be my guest. Except for the fact that it is going to screw up the commute of about a thousand other people, including me.
But I digress.
Back to the original point of this post, the question of good and bad news. Mind you, I arrive at the Pentagon Metro station via the Bus of the Damned, around 7:15 a.m., and that is not my best hour of the day to be fully awake and aware, but that sentence struck me like an electrical charge and woke me from my sleepy apathy.
Isn’t it funny (not “ha ha” funny) how good and bad things are usually intermingled? If you really open your mind and think about it, almost everything or event has a good and bad component.
Getting married: The good news- Yay for the happy couple! Marriages are a joyous event and it makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy about love and commitment and happy moments.
The bad news- The expense, the family and friend drama, the stress and pressure on everyone involved can be a serious drain and emotional thermo nuclear catastrophe.
A great new job: The good news- CONGRATULATIONS! Thrilled you are out of that old and unsatisfying job where you weren’t appreciated, the pay was lousy, and your co-workers made you want to run screaming from the building. That’s all behind you now!
The bad news- Wait six months.
A brand new home: The good news- You’ve finally gotten your brand new dream home! You’ve been waiting for this your whole life. It has everything you’ve always wanted and now you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings and reeeee-lax!
The bad news- Now you have to really worry about what will happen if you lose that fabulous new job and pay for it all.
And you see where I am going with this. The secret of happiness, serenity, peace of mind, whatever is balancing out the good and bad news. The sad fact is that too many people only see the good, or the bad, to their own detriment.
Balance is one of those maligned and distained concepts. My husband gives me endless grief about my endless preaching the Gospel of Balance, but in reality it is the best one can hope for in a world full of extremes. (More of the Gospel of Balance later.)