Some days can be transformed

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By Robert Villanueva

Not every day is golden. Some days start out as tarnished copper and are — as if manipulated by an exceptionally-skilled alchemist — magically transformed into something brighter and much more treasured.

That was the case one particular day last week.

The day wasn’t particularly bad; it wasn’t like I’d rank it in the top 10 worst days, or even the top 100, or even the top 1,000 or ... well, you get the idea. That’s why it got the classification of tarnished copper rather than rusty tin.

Tarnished copper is not totally worthless but not remarkably valuable either.

Rusty tin, on the other hand, is useless and even hazardous, which aptly describes some days I’ve had.

That day I was dragging a bit by the time I got ready to leave work. I had hoped to attend an annual meeting for my financial institution at 5:30 p.m., but I was leaving work a little later than I had planned and still had to run home and take out the dogs and feed them.

I even begged off from a tempting visit to a restaurant with some co-workers, a pizza buffet even. That was difficult to refuse. (It did, after all, involve pizza.)

I almost blew off the meeting and told my co-workers I’d meet them at the restaurant, which was just down the road from my home, after I swung by my house and took care of the dogs.

But I decided to stick to my very loose plans.

When I got to my house, I still wasn’t certain I would make it to the meeting. In fact, I felt like I was dragging even more.

That didn’t bode well, because you know how it goes — a soft sofa or comfy bed can practically scream for your attention, beckoning you to the languid caress of its sheltering softness.

But I fought off the temptation to transform from vertical to horizontal or even semi-vertical, as in seated.

For some reason I had been determined to attend that annual meeting, even though I hadn’t gone in years. Maybe it was the fact that my girlfriend, Rebecca Ricks, had to work late that day, and I wanted to take the opportunity to get out of the house.

Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t want to succumb to another evening of inactivity.

Maybe it was the cash drawings, free food and cake.

It was probably a lethal combination of those reasons that motivated me to go, even though I was going to be late.

So how did my day transform?

First off, at the meeting I won a bit of money in the cash drawing. Yeah, OK, that was cool.

Then, as I was filing out of the auditorium with the other audience members, a young man in the row in front of me leaned over and told me he enjoyed reading my articles. I was sincerely humbled and appreciative, and it was such a nice gesture by the guy that I was at a loss for words — if you can believe that — other than to tell him I appreciated his kind comment.

In the reception area, I ran into a few friends, one of whom introduced me to a friend of hers. The three of us had similar senses of humor and soon found ourselves laughing incessantly. It was a like a comedic trinity of Apocalyptic proportions had formed.

I think I heard a wolf howl.

In the midst of everything I realized I had caught my second wind, or maybe third or fourth for that day.

The ended so much better than it had started out, and I even had a little extra money in my pocket.

The real treasure, though, was making new acquaintances and re-discovering that sometimes strangers are, indeed, just friends you haven’t met yet. And those are the alchemists that can make a dull day much brighter.

Robert Villanueva can be reached at rvillanueva@thenewsenterprise.com or (270) 505-1743.