I had a terrible day yesterday. I woke up more sleepy than I had gone to bed, fell immediately into a grumpy mood, and could not shake it all day. To be fair, I didn’t try too hard to rid myself of the malaise, but that’s another story altogether.
Today I woke up feeling pretty much the same, but some small acts conspired against me and my foul temperament: a cute pre-made sandwich I bought myself the night before, a favorite song on my iPod, forsaking my shower for an extra ten minutes sleep…
Best of all, while taking the train to work, listening to sad music, and leaning my head against the cold window, I opened my eyes just in time to witness the realization that sometimes life isn’t perfect, but we can still find delight in moments of happiness: as my train pulled into Tabata, matching pace with the Yamanote line, I opened my eyes to see the rear conductor of the other train, leaning out the window, speaking into his radio, hat dripping wet from the pouring rain, smiling. Just that; nothing else.
I try to remind myself that most of my troubles are first world problems. I try to remind myself, but it’s not always easy. I know in my heart that my misfortunes pale in comparison to those that affect others, but they’re my problems, so they seem enormous. I have to wake up early everyday, with few days off and very little sleep. I don’t get paid well for my efforts, and it can seem like things just don’t go my way…but I get to do all of this while living in Tokyo.
I can cheer myself up with an unexpected giggle at the overly animated train conductor, making the best of what most people would consider a bad situation. I can pass on that laughter to the high school girl who happened to be looking at me while I was gazing out the window. She may not have witnessed the same sight, but her laughter at someone else might just carry down the train. And that can’t be all bad.