>If you’re familiar at all with the Oprah empire, then you know that she asks all her highlighted guests one question: “What do you know for sure?” Sometimes the answers are poignant and profound. Sometimes they’re goofy and light. Recently the actress Julianna Margulies (you’d know her from ER, but she recently started the series The Good Wife) discussed finally understanding the wisdom of her mother’s words, “This is only a moment, this is not the rest of your life.” Those words ARE especially good for those of us young moms to remember when the baby is waking up again in the wee hours of the morning or hanging desperately from our leg while we’re trying to cook dinner or screaming in indignant anger as we determinedly walk past the 10ft display of goldfish crackers and Elmos in the middle of WalMart.
Because I’m a little egocentric, I started to wonder what I would tell Oprah if she ever asked me her signature question. What do I know for sure? Well, not a whole lot at 27, but definitely a lot more than I knew at 17. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m counting on that life-learning trend to continue with age.
After a very underwhelming amount of thought, this is what I know for sure: Problems are always smaller in the morning. My mind does two things to me at night. It very easily distorts the amount of tomorrow’s work into giant, gnarled beasts of things and then it very easily becomes overwhelmed by the impossibility of defeating them. Once that gets going, it is a tail-chasing, chicken-or-the-egg cycle that just compounds upon itself until I go to bed exhausted for tomorrow before it even gets here.
A “Please help me God!” prayer. A night’s sleep. And then…the morning comes. Dawn’s light acts as an amulet against the overwhelming thoughts of night. In the morning it all seems like so much less of a problem. In the morning the day looks not only do-able, but dare I say, enjoyable. In the morning there is a new hope.
That is what I know for sure. And now when I start to feel overwhelmed by what I am supposed to get done in the upcoming day and wonder how I am ever going to produce what I am expected to produce and live through it, instead of fretting over it I finish this day as best as I can then I go to sleep. Because I know that problems always seem smaller in the morning.
If Oprah were to ask you her signature question, what would you say?