I hit a pothole once that literally tore a hole in the side of my tire. I didn’t think that was possible. That mangled tire made me much more cautious of those seemingly innocuous bumps in the road.
I’ve also been stuck up to the rims on a muddy road in a little Vega. Luckily my husband was up for a hike and found someone with a truck and a rope to pull us out.
And I’ve been in a van with the entire family on a snowy freeway and suddenly found ourselves spinning like a carnival ride. Not sure how the vehicle stayed upright. Half an hour later one of the tires suddenly went flat, so we’d obviously done some damage during the spin.
Why do I tell you this?
Life is a highway, a road, a path, a journey.
I’ve often felt that I’ve had my unfair share of uphills, spinouts, flats, mechanical failures, blowouts, impassable roads, uphill stretches and potholes.
We could all feel that way, rich or poor, blessed or not, third world or first world, ill or well, single or married. Life isn’t easy.
It is easy, however, to tell ourselves that it isn’t fair. It’s easy to look at the road behind us and curse and complain. It’s easy to look at the path ahead and decide to sit down and cry instead of moving forward.
Yup. Too easy to take the pessimistic, sad, sorry for myself stance. I give in some days. I wallow in self-pity sometimes. I allow myself some poor me tears.
But then, I, hopefully, wash my face off, get dressed, and do what needs doing.
With a smile.
That’s the hardest part of all some days. Especially if there are metaphorical storm clouds looming, or a deluge of life’s crud to wade through.
I am not really a fan of Nietzsche’s idea “that which does not kill us makes us stronger” attitude. I’m more on the side of the “I can’t tell if it’s making me stronger or killing me” team.
*insert rimshot here*
Meaning, I look at things not through rose-colored glasses, idealized and perky, but through the lens of humor or sarcasm. Laughter has gotten me through more rough patches than anything I know. I’m more likely to have a joke memorized and at the ready, than a quote about getting through life’s adversities. Depending on your temperament, one may work better than the other.
If I share a quote on this topic it’s probably because I see something humorous hidden in between the words. Or it resonated somehow with me. These few did.
“I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing. ” ~Agatha Christie
The words wildly, despairingly and acutely seem melodramatic to me. Reminds me of a toddler’s response to the word “no.” I can see myself throwing a tantrum when life isn’t going my way and that makes me laugh. Not to mention, life really is a grand thing. Keeping my eyes open to the grandness makes a huge impact.
“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” ~Japanese Proverb
This is the stuff of slapstick comedy. Carol Burnett, Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Robin Williams. We are constantly falling down, failing, messing up, missing a beat, off kilter and out of sync. Well, I know I am. I do a sort of mental double take and then dust myself off and keep going. At least usually.
Here’s hoping your path today is a smooth one and your road plowed and pothole free. If it isn’t, I hope you’re able to smile, or laugh, or at the very least, have a good cry and then keep moving forward.