The Refresh Button

December 24, 2021 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Kim Stokely –

In the words of the classic Judith Viorst children’s book, it was a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”

The mild temperatures of the day before were gone and the thermometer had plunged some 40 degrees overnight. I spilled coffee on my shirt and had to change again before I left for work. The shoes I’d ordered from the internet were too big but I didn’t realize this until I tried walking farther than ten feet. I think Richard Simmons could make a new exercise video out of the gyrations I performed as I tried to keep them on my feet and make it through the day without them flying off and hitting some unsuspecting person in the head.

The annoyances kept piling up. The office computer froze, the low gas light in my car started blinking, and the grocery store was out of the chips I like. While I unloaded the car, a plastic bag broke and the fruit I’d bought splatted onto the garage floor. As I struggled to carry my food into the house, I whacked my funny bone on the car’s side view mirror. Not only did I see stars but all the planets as well.

Ugh. It was a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” And it wasn’t even a Monday.

I threw my bags onto the counter in the kitchen and screamed a few choice words into the air. Unfortunately, my husband and daughter got to hear them.


My daughter picked up the pineapple that landed by her feet. “Mom, I think you need to press the ‘refresh’ button.”

Out of the mouths of babes. Well, teenagers anyway.

While my family put away the groceries, I lay down, rubbed my aching elbow, and prayed. Just like when a computer freezes and can’t load a new page, I’d let myself get stuck in a rut of I’m having a horrible day. I had to press my own “refresh” button so I could “reboot” my mindset and remember everything God had blessed me with throughout the day. So my shoes didn’t fit right, I had another pair I could wear. I had money to buy groceries and gas. I had a family willing to extend forgiveness when I fall (or hit my funny bone and toss fruit around the kitchen.) And I know a God who is bigger than all of it put together.

It’s amazing what pressing the refresh button can do for one’s perspective. Soon, I joined my family in the kitchen (now sans flung pineapples) and enjoyed a meal and even laughter recounting my earlier trials. I hope if you’re having a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day,” you’ll think of pressing it too.

About Kim Stokely

Kim Stokely has toured throughout the country in a one-person musical about women in the Bible. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and a variety of creatures including: two teenagers, two dogs, a parakeet and a legless lizard. Her stories have been printed in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Vista, and Writers’ Journal and she invites you to visit her website @ to read her award winning short story, Bingo.
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10 Responses to “The Refresh Button”
  1. Dee says:

    Sounds like a few days I have had. Thank you for the reminder that God has given us a refresh button so we can live the way he wants us to live! Christ. The ultimate ‘refresh’!!

  2. Thanks Kim. Taking a break from a bad day or pressing the reset button is much easier than moving to Australia like Alexander suggests Judith Viorst’s book. I wonder if some days just are “bad,” or do our own action simply create them. And besides, even people in Australia have bad days. And New Zealand too.

  3. Kathleen says:

    Kim, I can so identify with your day (TRUTH), I couldn’t read about it without laughing (HUMOR), and I’ll remember your wise words every time I see the refresh button (MEMORABLE LESSON). Three elements for a helpful message, used well and effectively.
    Thank you so much!

  4. Kim says:

    I’m glad you could relate to my story. I so often feel that I’m the only one who forgets how much God has blessed me, it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  5. Julie S says:

    As usual, I totally relate. I learned long ago, when I’m in a funk, I have to let it go and not let it ruin my entire day, because it will. I remind my kids of this almost every day. Remembering all the things right in our world and how much we are blessed, clinging to that, sure does wonders in changing our perspective. Great read, Kim 🙂

  6. Kim says:

    Thanks, Julie!

  7. Mary Jo says:

    Kim, your “no good day” turned into a gem of one! I laughed through your misfortunes and remembered my own, only now seeing how easy it might be to smooth over the rough spots.

    “Refresh” is a flag word I’ll remember next time a minor, but looming challenge comes my way.

  8. Kim says:

    Thanks, Mary Jo! I wish I could take full credit for the “refresh button,” but I really have to give the kudos to my daughter, Annie. Perceptive girl, that one.

  9. Rhonda H says:

    Kim, we’ve all been there. Good thing your family knew to help you out. Hope all is well!

  10. Kim says:

    Hi Rhonda! All is indeed well. Thanks for checking out my blog.

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