Because dating should be as easy as friendship

Being an adult certainly isn’t the easiest assignment in the world.

If you have a friend like Amanda, keep her. End of story.

Especially when the word “dating” is thrown out there.

I live the life of a single girl—a very single girl—so I’ve grown accustomed to going to places alone and having solo adventures. At the same time, though, I’ve also made some wonderful friends since I moved to Cali, and I get excited when I have others along for the journey with me.

My sweet friend Amanda and I recently went on a beach boardwalk walk (one of my new favorite pastimes) together and were talking about all things life. One thing we discussed was how making friends as an adult is kind of like dating. It’s a lot easier to make friends when you’re in school—you’re placed in this huge atmosphere that really isn’t that huge, you’re around the same people all of the time, and you’re thrown into a lot of the same activities together, so the friendships happen pretty naturally.

When you’re a grownup, though, it’s different. You have to make conscience efforts, and you actually have to ask people for their numbers and find time in your busy schedules to make the hanging out part of the friendships actually happen. After you spend time together once, one of you has to make the suggestion that you should get together again soon, or maybe that relationship doesn’t actually become anything more than a mere acquaintance thing.

For me, adult friendships aren’t difficult, because I’m pretty shameless (cue Garth Brooks). I ask people to coffee all of the time, and I hate coffee. I’ve even straight up used the phrase “we should be friends” on more than one occasion. I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed about that, but I’m not because I’ve actually made friends that way. I love people, and I love spending time with them. I love knowing them and being known.

Why, then, is it so hard for me to do this when it comes to actual dating?

For some reason, I’m more hesitant about being honest with a guy I’d like to spend time with than I am with a stranger whom I don’t want to be a stranger anymore. Sure, I’ve gotten a little better, but there’s still the fear and anxiety of being rejected and feeling like I’m not enough.

Friend, whether it’s dating or friendship, you are enough.

Maybe this should be my new tactic to get guys to ask me out.

I certainly have to remind myself of this often. I’ve mentioned before (probably more times than you’d ever want to hear) that it can be tough to live your life solo while almost everyone around you is either dating, engaged, or married while you’re sitting on the sidelines wondering if anyone will ever actually want to take you on a real date. One thing I’ve always valued about true friendship is that it’s genuine, and you know that the other person wants to spend time with you, too—you’re both pursuing each other, in a sense. With dating, though, it seems like it’s much more of a guessing game than any friendship ever is.

Sure, there are some friendships that become one-sided, and you eventually move on and realize that perhaps those individuals were only in your life for different seasons. So I guess that’s one way dating relationships are pretty similar, because all of those certainly don’t last forever. Though I don’t really like saying this, many of the friendships that I’ve lost along the way haven’t caused me a ton of emotional pain. While I might have been sad for a bit, I knew that growing apart is sometimes just a part of life.

So why does it hurt so much more when it’s a guy who is walking out of your life than a friend with whom you might have been even closer? Honestly, I think it comes down to the importance we place on those relationships because of the way they make us feel. It’s nice to feel wanted by someone (and I’m really hoping that I will know how that feels one day) so much that he chooses you over everyone else. Maybe that’s the real difference—your friends probably have many other friends, but your person picks you and only you.

Since moving to California, I’ve been trying not to think about my lack of a dating life (even though I know it’s the main topic of most of my blogs—but it says “flying solo and writing about it,” so you really shouldn’t be shocked about that), especially now that it’s been so long since one homeboy broke my heart so many moons ago back in Texas. Instead, I want to focus on investing my time in others to help them know how valued and loved they are and how much they matter. I want them to know just how much God cares for them and that they are enough in Him.

I’m just sitting here thinking about froyo.

And it’s also something I’m reminding myself of often.

We were meant to have friendships and relationships with others. We were meant to live boldly. We were meant to love people well. And that’s how I want to live my life—even so boldly that I am comfortable enough walking up to a guy I fancy and saying, “Hey. We should go grab froyo or walk the boardwalk together soon.” I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

When you think about it, life really is a lot shorter than we realize. And the older you get, the more quickly it seems to fly by. I hope that you live every day as completely as you can and that you never miss out on an opportunity because you were afraid. I hope that your friendships are many and that your love is bold.

And I hope that you always know that you are enough as you are.

Three words on a froyo spoon that might change your life

I often find inspiration from unexpected people, places, and even objects.

You know, like froyo spoons.

I love froyo. In fact, I consider myself a froyo connoisseur (yes, I have become that much of an expert on all of the best places and what all they have to offer—taste, texture, flavors, toppings, atmosphere, etc.). My absolute favorite place is still in the DF-Dubs area, but I have found a handful of places out here that I frequent.

As if I needed another reason to love froyo

One that I go to sometimes near work is Yogurtland, which is a popular chain that exists here and in Texas. One day when I was eating there recently during my lunch break, I looked down and noticed my spoon had a few words on it that I needed to read in that moment: Hope changes everything.

Word.

As I sat there, I started thinking about how sometimes it’s really difficult to find hope within your heart, especially when you feel like there is no hope worth hoping. It’s been the story of my life in terms of guys—I always have hope for my friends and their relationships or them finding their perfect matches, but I never really have hope for myself in that regard. Whenever I’m interested in someone, I assume it’s not going to work out and that I probably shouldn’t get attached to him. And it doesn’t help that none of my crushes have ever panned out and the two times that I’ve actually let those feelings be known and not just sit back and do nothing about them, it’s eventually ended in heartache for me.

But, despite any broken heart that I have to endure for whatever reason, I still need to remember that hope changes everything.

I went for a long walk Sunday after church, and it didn’t end up being the walk I had planned. I normally hike at a canyon I love, but I wanted to try a new area this day. I drove toward what look like mountains, but I’m not sure if they actually are, and I spent longer than I wanted trying to find a place to park to get to where I wanted to go. (Yes, using Google Maps was my first thought, too, but I didn’t like how long homegirl was telling me it would take to get to a certain spot. When I looked on the map, it seemed like I could get there a better way on my feet.)

But Google Maps can make things seem simpler than they are.

I parked at a high school and started walking toward where I thought I could enter the mountainous/hilly area. However, much of it was fenced off and didn’t look very walkable. I know it’s cheesy, but I thought of my yogurt spoon from a few days before and reminded myself to keep the hope alive. After walking for about 20 minutes, I turned on some sketchy street and found a dried-up ravine I could cross to get to an area that had a path. Navigating down the steep slope to the ravine was a bit tricky, and I had a slight concern I was walking straight through poison ivy at one point (it’s fine—I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because I only had a small rash on my arm and minor itchiness later). But I made it to the other side and felt a little accomplished.

I honestly had no idea where I was, but I knew that I needed to do what I was doing—I needed that hike because I needed a small victory. Life is tough sometimes, and we often need those moments that make us remember that we can do the hard things, and we can see our desires come true.

Especially when we let hope change everything.

I eventually turned around because I needed to get home to watch the Cowboys (which didn’t even air out here—I can’t talk about it), and I had a minor concern that a bear would pop out at any moment. I don’t know if bears frequent that area (I’m guessing not at all), but you never know. There were zero humans around, and it’s probably not super safe to continue hiking in an area with no cell phone service, no people, lots of trees and maybe poison ivy, and potential bears.

We aren’t always going to get the things we want in life. I’m pretty sure we’re all living proof of that. Ask anyone you know if he or she has had every single aspect of life go as planned, and I’d bet that the answer is a big NO. But it doesn’t mean you can’t hope for the things your heart wants.

I always have confident expectations for my froyo being delicious.

I know all too well that Proverbs 13:12 is correct: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” It hurts when we don’t get what we want—when the cancer isn’t cured, and you lose someone you love; when the job you applied for doesn’t work out; when the guy you poured your heart out to walks away and lets it break into thousands of tiny pieces; when your team is one pitch away from the World Series and blows it. Whatever it is, we’ve likely all been there at some point.

But what about all of the great things that actually do work out? Would they ever have happened without hope? My friend who wasn’t supposed to be able to have kids now has two beautiful children—because hope changes everything. Multiple people I know have survived truly tough battles with cancer that even the doctors didn’t think they’d make it through—because hope changes everything. My sister found a man better than any guy she’d ever met and now gets to spend the rest of her life with him—because hope changes everything. I once sat through one of the Twilight movies for a grad school project and lived to see another day—because hope changes everything.

My good friend Michelle recently reminded me that hope is actually “confident expectation,” and I like that definition. You truly believe something will happen, and you don’t need other people or outside factors trying to convince you otherwise. You might be wrong, but you might be right. Either way, it’s good to believe in the things you’re working for or waiting for to happen. If you don’t believe, what’s the point?

There are certainly going to be letdowns in life. Your hope may be deferred, or your dreams may be fulfilled. Life can be pretty unpredictable, but it’s also short, and you only get one—which is why it’s so important to dream big and let every ounce of hope in your heart help to carry those dreams.

Because hope changes everything.   

Because sometimes you just want something good to happen

I really don’t like trite expressions, such as “when it rains, it pours.”

Especially when they’re true.

As I mentioned last week, things have not exactly been super pleasant in my world lately, and this past week was certainly pretty rough. I’ll spare you a lot of the details, but let’s just say that it was filled with a lot of pain and discomfort and hydrocodone and other medicines. I just want it all to go away.

I spent the majority of the week on my sofa (my company was really great about letting me work from home all week), and I didn’t drive my car much at all. I wasn’t feeling up for going anywhere—walking is a bit painful right now—and apparently you aren’t supposed to get behind the wheel with certain meds in your system. But Sunday was my dad’s birthday, so I drove out to my parents’ house to spend some time with him.

But I had no idea what was in store for me that day.

After I left their house, I drove toward my all-time favorite froyo place. My appetite has been pathetic all week—everything sounds gross and makes me nauseated—but I needed that froyo. On the way, though, my car radio suddenly went out, all of the dashboard lights started flashing and freaking out, and my steering wheel suddenly locked up. Something similar happened a couple of months ago, and it turned out to be the battery. Because I just got that battery, I didn’t think that was it, so I was a bit concerned.

I somehow managed to turn that brick of a wheel a few times and navigated my way to the froyo parking lot (I have my priorities in line), and I pulled through a space and got out but left the car running because I figured it wasn’t going to start back up if I turned it off.

I got my cup of heaven and hustled back to my car and said a quick prayer that I could get it to the Firestone across the street. Thankfully, I did, and the fellas there told me they thought it might be the alternator, though they didn’t actually give it a detailed inspection. They gave me a quote for what it would cost, but I called my car guy because I just got a new alternator about a year ago. The Firestone people said I could leave my car in their lot until I got it all sorted out, so I took an Uber home until I heard back from my car guy. When I finally got to talk to him later, he told me he could take care of it but that he needed my key.

Dag nabbit.

Dear car, I’m sorry if I took you for granted. Please come back.

My relaxing time at the pool was cut short, and I scurried upstairs to shower, change, and call for another Uber to take me to get the key to him. That’s when I met Earlene, an interesting woman who has a story for everything. She’s even had her own fair share of kidney issues. She drove me all the way out there and then waited in the car until I came back so that she could take me to my brother’s house so that I could spend some time with him, my sister-in-law, and my adorable niece. (I’m actually really glad I wasn’t the one doing the driving, because I began having tremendous pain and had to take some of the medication that I’ve grown to hate.) Earlene is a very kind woman—if you ever meet her, for the love, please ask her how excited she is about her 40th high school reunion cruise she’s using her Uber money to pay for next summer—and she offered me a lot of encouragement.

You’re on the upside now—I can tell.

When she said those words, I felt a little bit of peace. And I really hope she’s right. I’ve been trying to remain positive with so many tough things I’ve gone through over the last year, but I feel like they tend to pile up all at once. It’s not easy for me to ask people for help sometimes, and I already felt like I had been causing inconvenience to people with all of the help I needed while I was in the hospital, but now not having a car makes things even more difficult. I’m thankful for Uber, but I’m also pretty sick to my stomach at how much money I spent Sunday afternoon. (After my ride with Earlene—also, please ask her about her theories on the JFK assassination, because I guarantee you’ll be intrigued—when I left my brother’s house, he dropped me off at a Kroger near where he lives so that I could get some needed groceries, and I had to take yet another Uber to get home. I was Ubered-out.)

I know I have a lot in life for which I need to be thankful, and I am. At the same time, though, I think it’s OK to admit that life can feel like a never-ending storm at times. There’s a country song that says “every storm runs out of rain,” and I’m going to believe that. I’m also going to believe that Earlene is right about me being on the upside.

I talked to my dad and then my sister at the end of the day, and my conversations with them reminded me how much the issues with my car don’t actually matter in the grand scheme of things. Sure, the situation is quite frustrating and will likely be expensive, but what really truly matters are the people in my life. I still got to spend time with my dad on his birthday. I still got to see my mom, whose love is bigger than life itself. I still got to laugh and enjoy precious moments with my brother and his family. I still got to see my sister this weekend and make a bad day better by talking with her. My car might stop being there for me, but my family never will.

And their love is the sunshine to any storm that comes my way.

And then I made a first date even more uncomfortable

At my age, you’d think I would know when to bite my tongue, especially on a first date.

Between two other people.

Over the weekend, I went to get froyo like I normally do, but I was a few minutes early and had to wait outside until the place opened. A woman came up and sat down at one of the tables outside, and I figured she was simply really eager to get froyo like I was.

It turns out she was eager for something else.

A man arrived, and there was an awkward exchange between the two of them—sort of a “Hey, are you so-and-so. Yeah, great! I’m so-and-so.” Then they sat down and started talking, asking each other all of these get-to-know you things with lots of uncomfortable silence between the Q&A portions. I should have minded my own business—I really do know that. But I had left my phone in the car, so I couldn’t pretend to be scrolling through Instagram or texting someone, and the gal inside the froyo place was still checking the machines and toppings and not coming to the door with the keys in her hand, so I did what I shouldn’t have done: I started talking to them.

“First date, huh?”

They both looked up at me and at first didn’t say anything. Then, thankfully, the guy said it was. I probably should have stopped there, but I think we all know I didn’t.

“You picked a great place to come to and definitely a great time—the froyo is always best right when they open because that’s when the machines are freshest. I recommend the cake batter flavor. It’s incredible.”

The blank stares they gave me made me feel like I was back in the classroom, standing in front of a room full of students as I tried to explain why they should care who Edward R. Murrow is. At this point, most people probably would have kept their mouths shut. But I just really wanted to know more about them.

“So, did y’all meet online?”

They actually answered and told me which app they used, and I was about to keep going, when the froyo employee FINALLY opened the door. I bounced inside, and she handed me my sample cups without me even having to ask (they know me there), and the potential couple remained outside chatting while I filled my froyo cup full of delicious bliss. I can’t say I blame them at that point. I don’t think I helped their situation any (aside from giving them extra conversation topics regarding the odd girl who wouldn’t leave them alone).

They were still outside after I paid for my froyo, and as I walked out to my car, I felt I couldn’t leave without a farewell to my new friends (they might have a different choice of a word for what I am to them).

“The place is all yours! Have fun! Hope to see you again!”

I don’t know that the feeling is mutual.

If you need someone to crash your first date, I’m your girl.

What is wrong with me? I really love people, and talking to people about almost anything to get to know them better is one of my favorite pastimes, but I know that there are simply times when it’s not appropriate. Yet, for some strange reason, I didn’t listen to any of that in this particular instance.

I think there are certain times in life when it’s fine to say what you want to say, but I think there are also moments when you should simply be silent. I’ve felt this way a lot regarding things other people say to me. Sometimes you have to let people do their own things and go their own ways—and be on their own first dates—without saying exactly what’s on your mind. Perhaps there are times when the best way to show love to someone is simply to let them be without trying to interfere.

I certainly don’t understand the things other people do. I don’t know why people who have broken my heart hurt me the ways they did; I don’t know why people like the online dating thing and the often uncomfortable first dates that accompany that tactic (yes, I know it works for some people); I don’t know why people ever liked and used MySpace; I don’t know why fidget spinners are a thing; I don’t know why people like PCs over Macs; I don’t know why anyone would ever want a bird as a pet; and I don’t know why people choose to subject themselves to vacations at places with snow—where it’s COLD.

I don’t know so many more things, but I don’t have to—because I’m not everybody.

I remember when I was in a rough patch a few years ago, and I got this spontaneous notion to drive to Tennessee to hear one of my favorite authors speak at a conference. It was on a weekend that was going to be pretty tough for me, and I simply needed to get away. I texted my sister to see if she would come with me, and she didn’t even ask why at first. She said she was in. She didn’t tell me I was crazy or ridiculous for wanting to drive all that way and turn around and drive all the way back the very next day. Instead, she let me do what she knew I needed to do.

There are times when it’s great to say what’s on your mind, and there are other times when people simply need your support through your silence. To the couple at the froyo place, even though you will probably never read this, I’m sorry I ruined the first part of your first date—I truly am. I hope the rest of it went well, and the hopeless romantic within me really hopes you end up together forever.

Because love is stronger than anything a person could ever say.

Because some things are worth every second of waiting

Remember the days before iTunes when you waited and waited by the stereo for your favorite song to come on the radio, and when it did, it was such a great moment?

Life is a lot like waiting for that song to play.

I can’t say I’ve ever been fond of waiting long periods of time for things to happen. I’m sure there are reasons I could try to cite as blame for this, but the bottom line is that sometimes I’m simply impatient.

Because, like math, waiting is hard.

One thing I’ve learned, though, is that some things truly are worth waiting for because they make your heart feel bliss that you can’t necessarily explain. But it’s not always easy to remember that when you’re in the waiting period.

Cue an actual waiting room.

My sister-in-law went into labor Friday morning, and I left work early that afternoon to go be with my family at the hospital and await the arrival of my precious niece. (Seriously, she is adorable.) We all tried to make predictions of when she would be born, but we were way off—predicting when babies will be born when you have no expertise is like trying to guess what time it’s going to start raining when you don’t even know how to read a radar.

So we did a lot of waiting on Friday. It was the good kind of waiting—the kind for which you know what the outcome will be (like meeting your niece and becoming an aunt), and it’s an exciting time when your heart grows with joy more and more each moment. The impatience is still there, but when what you’ve been waiting for finally happens, you simply don’t care. What you waited for was worth every single second.

I held my niece in my arms, and I remembered nothing about the hours spent wondering when she would finally get here. She was here, and she is beyond beautiful. Olivia Kate is worth every single second of waiting.

waiting
Olivia Kate and froyo—worth every second of waiting

The next day, I had to wait again for something else I love dearly: froyo. I stopped at my favorite frozen yogurt place before going to hang out with my niece on her second day of being a little human, and my patience was tested. The place opens at 11, and when I went inside at 11:02 or so, the manager said there was some situation and that it would be a few minutes before they were ready. I asked how long it would be (usually when people say “a few” they don’t actually mean three), and he said it would be at least 10 minutes if I was willing to wait.

Sir, for froyo, I’m willing.

I sat at a table and waited for what seemed like way more than 10 minutes (because the waiting period pretty much always feels like an eternity), and then homeboy finally handed me some sample cups and said everything was ready. This is the best froyo in all of the land, but there was an added bonus: I got a discount for waiting. The manager said that, because of my patience, I could have the employee discount—50 percent off! It’s possible this ever so briefly made me consider working there solely for the discount. That froyo was worth every single second of waiting.

I had no idea I would get that discount, but it sure was a welcomed surprise. There are times when we are waiting but don’t know what exactly we’re waiting for, because the outcome isn’t known. I think that’s one of the most challenging kinds of patience to have—the one when you’re waiting for something that isn’t a complete certainty.

Like love.

Sometimes we have to wait on people who may or may not already be in our lives. We wait with hearts full of questions, and we wait on answers. We wait with hope. We wait with frustration. We wait with emotions we never expected. We wait with pain. We wait with anticipation. We wait with uncertainty. We wait with passion. We wait with fear. We wait with confusion.

But we wait with the belief that whatever (or whomever) we’re waiting for will be worth every single second of waiting.

It’s difficult at times to trust God’s plan, and it’s not easy to hear people tell you to do so over and over again, even if it is the way to go. I try to remind myself of Hebrews 10:36, which starts with, “Patient endurance is what you need now,” because the concept of endurance makes me think of running a race and the feeling you get when you finally cross the finish line. Just like enduring all that comes with racing, we have to endure all that comes with waiting—though that whole “patient” adjective is a true struggle.

I think that, even as adults, it’s challenging to escape from some of our childlike behaviors. Waiting is so difficult when you’re a little kid (think Christmas Eve), and you just want whatever you want to happen to happen when you want it to happen. But that’s not how life works, and I’m not sure we ever get completely used to that. It’s important to learn how to wait, though, when that’s the last thing you want to do.

Because oftentimes whatever you’re waiting for will be worth every single second of that patient endurance.

Car exclamation points are not good

There are unexpected things that happen in life that are pretty much never wanted.

Like car trouble.

I thought I had my Sunday planned out well. Everything appeared to be normal when I went to church in the morning, but when I left the parking lot afterward, a little light in the form of a battery popped up. That didn’t seem like a good thing. I called my mom to ask her where I should go to get a battery—we have a car guy, and I wondered if she’d suggest him for something as simple as a battery.

But it wasn’t that simple.

I went to the grocery store because that’s what I usually do on Sundays right after church so I can get what I need, and by the time I’m finished, my favorite froyo place is open. When I pulled in to the parking spot, my steering wheel froze up a bit, and another little light popped up—this one much more daunting. It was an icon of a steering wheel with an exclamation point next to it. A lot of times people use exclamation points when they’re happy and excited. I’m pretty sure a car’s use of an exclamation point is not so jolly. I hoped it was just a fluke, so I turned off my car and went inside to get groceries.

I know some of you are likely judging me for not immediately taking my car to get help. Your judgments will only get worse as this story progresses.

broken car
I was thrilled with the situation.

When I came back out to my car, it wouldn’t even start. Instead, it made some weird noise and did nothing. I didn’t know what to do, so I did the only thing that made sense to me: I walked over to the froyo place. After all, I figured this car situation was probably bad and going to suck a lot of energy out of me that day, so I needed to fuel up. I called my mom after I got my yogurt, and she said she and my dad were on the way with jumper cables.

Sadly, the jumper cables didn’t solve my problems. They gave the battery a jump, but the whole power steering thing was still an issue. We called our car guy, Ruben, and he suggested it might be the alternator and not the battery. All I heard when he said that was, “cha-ching.”

My parents drove me home to put my groceries away (did I mention I had stuff melting in the backseat?) and so that I could grab my toolkit. My toolkit didn’t have the ratchet set my dad needed, so my sister and her fiancé, Theo, had to bring one to us. Ruben told us to perform some test of disconnecting the battery and then reconnecting it to try to reset the power steering. That method failed. My dad made me get of out the seat so he could try—because apparently he might have special power steering powers—but that didn’t work, either. So then it was time for our last resort: towing.

This was obviously not the ideal way to spend a day, especially since I don’t have a car now. Well, that’s sort of not true because my sister is letting me borrow her Kia Soul for the day. (She’s a freaking gem.) I feel like this is an understatement of the century, but car troubles are frustrating.

And they remind me a lot of the heartaches we experience.

Sometimes life is tough, and there is a lot of pain involved. It’s difficult to get things going—kind of like when a car won’t start, and the power steering is all out of whack. We’re stuck and need tow trucks to come rescue us. I think those are the times that God sends people we need to be those tow trucks for us—the people who will walk alongside us and will simply be there for us, even if they aren’t actually carrying us.

The good thing about people is that we don’t require jumper cables and new alternators to do what we need to do and be who we need to be. We need love—genuine love.

And that’s stronger and more lasting than any mechanical power you’ll get.

Because bad days happen

Every once in a while, I want to cue up Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” and play it on repeat.

And then listen to Taylor Swift songs to feel better.

Last Friday was not my favorite day. In fact, it was a day I wanted to end all day long. I sort of felt like I was living a real-life version of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and escaping to Australia felt like a pretty good option.

After all, I’ve always wanted to meet a real koala.

The day started off poorly when I spilled Gatorade all over my kitchen floor before burning my finger on my curling iron, and it just went downhill from there. I am not going to detail every single bad thing that happened, because there’s already a children’s book for that, but it was simply one thing after another. And it was all topped off with a rude comment from a woman at the grocery store who almost ran into me with her cart. (Side note: Bad days are going to happen for other people, too, and we don’t always know what they are going through. You might be the person who cheers someone up when a crummy day is happening. So maybe be nice to people in grocery stores.)

I was more than happy when I went to sleep that night.

froyo
Yes. Always yes.

Saturday was much better than Friday. I got to eat froyo and hang out with my sister and sit on my sofa watching The Office. Then on Sunday I got more froyo, found out my sister will be my neighbor soon, got to catch up with a good friend and was able to celebrate Peyton moving on to one more game (I can’t stand the Patriots, so it was extra special). Friday didn’t carry over—it was one bad day, and then it was gone.

If you’re ever having a horrible day and want to borrow some of my go-to cures, here are some things I recommend:

Froyo—Frozen yogurt is always a good option, even if you’re lactose intolerant (I can’t say that’s scientifically proven, but I also can’t say it’s not). Birthday cake, cake batter and salted caramel pretzel are some pretty incredible flavors you might want to try if you haven’t already.

The Office (or some other funny show)—Anything that makes you laugh almost to the point of tears is helpful when your day has made you want to cry the sad kind of tears.

Hanging out with people—I like people. I don’t think life is meant to be spent alone all of the time. Sometimes being alone is a good thing, but when you’re having a bad day or in a sour mood, other people can often help boost your spirits and make you not want to escape to Australia. Even if you can only call someone, that can help, too. I usually call my sister because she always knows what to say, and I’m guaranteed to laugh at least 14 times. Or she texts me this really funny picture of a foofy dog that says, “BI*$#, I AM FABULOUS.” I feel like everyone should have this picture for a pick-me-up on a bad day. I will send it to you if you want.

Coloring—I don’t care if it sounds childish. I promise it helps. Crayons are magical.

There are many other things, like climbing trees and beating the crap out of a piñata, but sometimes it’s too cold to go outside or too expensive to purchase something you’re just going to destroy.

Bad days are going to happen. Full House taught me that long ago. Well, I guess kindergarten taught me that, too. (I once had to move my pin for talking during nap time after getting a sucker stuck in my hair, and I learned what a bad day was that day for sure.)

But bad days end. Plus, you can’t really escape them by moving away, so it’s best to get past them and move on.

As Alexander’s mom pointed out in the book, bad days even happen in Australia—just ask Crocodile Dundee.