These Are The Days

Smart ~ Writer ~ Mom

What’s Really Frustrating

So today was frustrating.

By the time I sat down to begin my work, after dropping my little one at preschool and taking my older daughter to an orthodontist appointment, I was already behind the game by about two hours. I logged in to my computer and – nothing. No Internet connection. So I rebooted the router. Nothing.

I restarted my laptop in hopes it was just a fluke – nothing. I called the cable and Internet provider and got a recorded message saying they were aware of a power outage in my area. Frustrated, I decided to gather up my stuff and head to the library to work.

It was then that I realized I was within hours – HOURS! – of missing the deadline to pay my recent traffic ticket. For those who know my love of fast cars and fast driving, please know that this infraction was not for speeding. Let’s just say that in the state of New Jersey, you can’t make a turn where it makes sense to make a turn. If you do? You get a “failure to observe road signs” ticket in the vicinity of $85. Not a fortune, but not my favorite thing in the world.

So it was off to the municipal court to pay the ticket. Turns out they can’t accept a credit card. Cash or check only, please. Of course I didn’t have my checkbook with me, so I circled back home, got my check book, drove back and paid the bill. Then, I headed to the library, which is in the same parking lot, to begin work. And guess what? The library’s Wi-Fi was down.


If not for the library’s quiet policy, I would have screamed in frustration. By now, it was 12:45 and just about time to get my little one. My whole morning was gone. After we got home and she went down for a nap, I was able to get some work done and as I was posting some work on Twitter, I came across this story:

Cincinnati Bengals’ player Devon Still’s four-year old daughter is battling a rare form of cancer.

I was familiar with this story and had seen clips of it in the news and maybe you have, too. But did you know that during the Patriots-Bengals game last night, the Patriots organization did something really cool? They ran a special video to honor Still’s daughter and other kids battling cancer. The New England cheerleaders wore his jersey to show support and some of the players on both sides of the field had the hashtag #leahstrong on their faces. My husband told me that Still’s shirt is one of the top selling items in the NFL right now.

For as much crap as the NFL has put forth lately, this was a moment of clarity and purpose. Some may dismiss it as a clever PR move by the Patriots organization, but I don’t think it was. To me, it was a sober reminder that cancer touches everyone: rich, poor, famous, not famous. And it was a reminder that although we sometimes cheer for different teams, when it comes to cancer we’re all on the same side.

My favorite part of this whole story is the clip Devon Still posted on his Instagram account. It’s a video he shot with his daughter in the backseat. He’s giving her a pep talk as they drive off for another round of treatment. Heartbreaking and so, so sweet.

Childhood cancer – hell, any kind of cancer – is so awful.

I wrote a post a while back about the amazing things the St. Baldrick’s Foundation does to raise awareness and funds to combat childhood cancer. And you know what I realized is really frustrating? The fact that more U.S. children die of childhood cancer than any other disease and yet childhood cancer research only receives 4% of federal funding. FOUR PERCENT. Makes no sense to me.

We have no guarantees, right? You do your best every day. You hug your kids and all that. But when it comes right down to it, having the right perspective puts everything in order.

No Wi-Fi and a traffic ticket are inconsequential compared to what thousands of kids go through each year. Goodness knows my perspective isn’t always on track. But today the universe gave me a swift kick you know where and reminded me that my day may have been frustrating in my own little world, but in the wider picture, there are more important things to get frustrated with.

I’m not affiliated in any way with the St. Baldrick’s Organization, but if you’re so inclined, here’s a link to their site. 


  1. Oh my goodness, that video is amazing. Can you imagine being the parent that has to give your little kid that pep talk? I don’t care how much your paycheck is, that is torture. Thank you for sharing this sweet and thought-provoking story!

    • Kim

      October 7, 2014 at 11:19 am

      Thanks so much Amy. And no, I cannot imagine having to give my kid this kind of pep talk. I don’t know if I could get through it without crying.

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