I’m so not bitter.

A while back, I used to have this running joke going with my friends where at the end of certain things, I’d say, “But I’m so not bitter” or “The important thing is that I’m not bitter.” The joke was that they all knew that I was completely bitter.

But all joking aside, there came a point when I realized that my bitterness had gone a little too far.

This happened one evening when I realized that I was bitter against the sun.

Now, if we stopped this article right now and did a poll of 100 people and asked them, “Why would someone be bitter against the sun?” Most likely, 99% of people surveyed would answer, “Skin cancer.”  I am ashamed to say that my bitterness against the sun wasn’t that simple or reasonable.

One evening in 2006, I was walking along a beautiful stretch of beach in Okinawa. I was walking along my favourite spot in Okinawa in idyllic conditions and the sun was just setting. It was around 6:00 P.M.

As I looked at the sun, it occurred to me that in Canada it was about 4:00 A.M, that Canadians were still in bed sleeping and that if someone in Canada woke up right now it would be pitch dark. In about 2 hours though, if the same person got up at 6:00 A. M and looked outside they would see the sun. In about 2 hours in Okinawa, night would be falling, and the sun would be gone over to Canada.

All of a sudden it occurred to me, “If the Sun can get over to Canada in 2 hours, why does it take me 24 hours to get from Okinawa to Canada? ” How come I have to struggle with heavy luggage, go through customs, eat bad airplane food, people making me take my shoes off for security reasons before finally having to pay some overpriced taxi driver to get me home when the sun can just roll over and be in Canada in 2 hours?

Oh, and by the way, “Not that I’m bitter or anything” but the last trip from Canada to Okinawa took 44 hours. I’m not making this up. There was a flight delay at La Guardia in New York and this is the explanation I was given. I promise you I am not making this up: “The Pilot is coming in from New Jersey. He’s a little new and having trouble finding the airport!

To which my natural response was, “If he can’t find the airport, how’s he going to find Japan?” This flight delay in New York resulted in me missing my connecting flight at Tokyo Narita, being late for my flight to Naha, Okinawa and getting to Naha so late that I had to overnight in Naha. When I finally reached my house in the Northern part of Okinawa, it was 44 hours from the time I had left Canada.

But I digress.

The point that I wanted to make was that I did not take the news that the sun could do the same trip in 2 hours very well.

At that moment when my bitterness graduated from humans over to celestial beings, I knew that perhaps things had gone too far.

I thought about it for a minute and this is how I finally got over my bitterness.

I just took a minute and thought it out.

Carol: OK. Let me just think of a good reason why the sun should have all these special travel privileges.

The voice of reason: Sustaining all life on planet earth.

Carol: OK fine.

After reasoning it out like that, it was pretty easy to calm down and my bitterness against the sun has not returned to this day.

If you are out there, struggling with bitterness, let me tell you, it is possible to let go of these things.  I’ve moved on and you can too.

There is nothing really worth hanging on to and just remember, even though I hate going through customs and long lines as much as you, I am so not bitter.

This article was originally published on Oct 11th, 2009.

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