In Spanish we don’t say getting up on the wrong side of the bed to express that we are having a bad day. We say getting up with the left foot. There are all sort of explanations of the origins of that saying, all of them related to the fact that the left was considered bad luck, and the right was always related to good. In English, even the word right itself, as opposite of left, is an homograph of the word right, doing what it’s morally correct or acceptable.
For sailors in the XIX century, it was considered bad luck to climb on a boat from the left side (babor/port). Left handed people, “zurdos” in Spanish, were considered antinatural, since the majority were right handed. Left in Latin is “sinister”, same meaning that has in English now. In the Catholic tradition, it is said that we will enter Paradise with the right foot, and Jesus is sitting on the right side of God. As Nazzir Haffar points out in the Quora forum when I was searching in the internet for an explanation of the origins of this saying, Menos mal que los tiempos han cambiado y, ahora, a la izquierda solo la derecha la demoniza.[Luckily, times have changed, and now only the right demonizes the left.]
Anyway, all this is a deviation of my original idea for this slice (and also my promise after Day 20, when I woke up with the left foot) which is writing about some of the things I appreciate of life, especially when I get up on the “right” side of the bed, or with my “right” foot.
The Ikea chair that is in one corner of our dining room where I sit on the mornings I don’t have to go to work (sometimes I have to rush, so Steve doesn’t take it before me). I can see the mountains from it, enjoy a cup of coffee, a book or musing over my own writing with my computer. Our almost 15 years old and blind dog Clyde sits next to our feet, on a mat made by one of the volunteers at the Humane Society. At mid morning the sun is in his shoulders and the other two dogs join him in.
My husband’s laugh, jokes, and stories of his childhood. His positive way of looking at things has saved my life.
Drinking a coffee with a bran muffin in the quietness of my favorite corner, or over a good conversation.
My thick, healthy looking, never dyed hair that just recently is starting to get some gray. I always say that Nature gives you what you can tolerate. I was not made for going to the beauty parlor, or to get my nails done.
People in the White House who might not coincide completely with my political views but that show compassion, and respect for who is suffering, and don’t mock or despise the poor, the disable or minorities.
Turning on the radio and don’t listening to news about the 45th president of the United States.
Receiving phone calls from my children.
My son’s accomplishments after so much struggles during high school. He is graduating this coming April and will start working as an Engineer in August.
My daughter’s friendship and care even when she is absent or silent. She is always with me.
Thinking about my children melts my heart, filled my body with warm sensations, and a huge sense of pride. They are not perfect but very close to perfection with all their strengths and weaknesses. And most importantly, they are buenas personas, good people.
Buck, my hiking buddy. He is a character and will always be my favorite, even when he sometimes doubts it and gets snappy with the other two dogs.
Poncho’s finicky ways of approaching life. He is our recently adopted Chihuahua. He was my mother-in laws’ dog. Nobody fought for keeping him, or wanted seriously to deal with him, so even if I were not that all convinced, we took him. He is quite a character. Not love at first sight but an evolving hate and love relationship that’s growing to be full love.
Clyde’s survivor skills. Despite his disabilities, this dog is full of life, stamina and positivism.
Goodwill. I love this store, probably the only store where I go shopping now. It’s my source of clothing, books, sheets, and appliances for the house. Nothing like the feeling of having rescued one or more things from a landfill ending and saving money in the process.
Listening to Violin or Cello classical Concertos or Bach’s well-tempered clavier, even when it makes me sad because I remember my mom dying of cancer.
The Largo movement of the Chamber Concerto in D major from Antonio Vivaldi. Every time I listen to it, it reminds me of a movie I went to see with my younger brother to the movie theatre. I still remember the pride I felt of going alone with no adult companion. It was a kids’ love story. Probably I was 11 or 12. I felt butterflies in my stomach. I remember it as a sweet awakening to the adult world, and realizing I was not a little child anymore.
Running water, a shelter, and heating system.
Spring for its burst of life, Summer for its warmth and laziness, Fall for its renewal and preparedness, Winter for all its forms of water.
My eyes, my hands and my legs that make me appreciate nature and bike.
My bike Dolores, companion of my sweet and awesome solo rides.
My family in Chile, and my husband’s siblings, especially his two sisters who are so generous, kind minded, strong and independent.
My friends dispersed all over the world.
The school I work at right now, its staff, its students and its principal. Everybody not just wear a shirt that says “Kindness is my superpower” but they live it, they show it, they spread it every single minute of their lives.
My Latinx students whose smiles I can see through their masks and sparkling eyes.
My public library, my books, any book capable to spark curiosity and be mirrors, windows and sliding glass doors to the world.
A Chai latte when I am feeling blue.
Going on journeys that make me encounter new people, different cultures and languages, different ways of being, that help me to be a better person.
Not any EVOO, but GringoCool extra Virgin Olive Oil. I know where it comes from and all the care and hard work that it was put on to bring it to my table.
My warm bed and soft pillows that almost always make me have a good night sleep and so not too often get up on the wrong side and make me limp the entire day. I appreciate those bad moments though, since they make me realized that I have more good than bad days.
I am ditching the Spanish saying. The left is the balance of the right, and both need to learn how to live with each other in harmony.