Posts Tagged With: adversity

Life’s Agenda and Mine Don’t Sync

Monday at Grand Canyon.

Monday at Grand Canyon.

Three days ago MSH and I took a day trip to the Grand Canyon with my Dad and Mom.

After taking a few days to allow the experience some time to settle in and process a bit, I thought that’s what I’d post about today. I figured it’d be a good way to work through my goodbye blues after Dad and Mom left this morning to drive back home.

But, LIFE has its own agenda sometimes. 

Nine hours after pulling out of my driveway this morning, Dad called with news that he’d taken Mom to the hospital in a tiny town just outside of the middle of nowhere. From there they flew her to a bigger hospital in a bigger town.

The doctor’s are saying Ischemic Stroke. That’s what they said in April and it turned out to be seizures in the area around her first stroke. Dad says she’s already doing better than she was this afternoon, so that’s something to hang on to.

Dad sounds optimistic and calm.

I’m just a puddled mess of tears and fears. Praying lots. Staying in touch with the siblings and relatives. Trying to feel some peace. At a complete loss for words now.

The next twenty-four hours will tell us more.

Any prayers you want to add to the mix surely garner my appreciation.


“We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.” ~Helen Keller

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Putting on a Game Face, Going Through the Motions

Have you ever had a preconceived notion blasted out of existence?

I find myself guilty  of making assumptions about people and situations way too often.

And then, the reality I was so certain of gets blown out of the water. Usually, it’s me being small and covetous. Being judgmental is just me wishing the crud in my life wasn’t. It’s me thinking life isn’t fair.

Most of us put on our game face, our fake smile,  and do our best to look perky, energetic and do what needs doing regardless of how crappy we might feel or how heavy the world weighs on us that day.

A few people will see through our façade. But we manage to fool most of them and think our life is great.

You gotta figure everyone else does what you and I do. Everyone else has on a game face for the world to see. At home, the reality could be filled with tears, anger, and worry, much sadder and more desperate than we could even imagine.

That perfect little family down the street might be struggling with someone dying of cancer. The co-worker who seems to have it all together may be losing everything he’s ever worked for. The adorable Barbie-figured woman who jogs past your house every morning may be on her last gasp before running away from it all. The quiet, unassuming kid behind the counter who’s always polite to everyone, might have plans later that end it all.

Ah. You never know. Until it’s too late. Even then, you  may not know.


Poker (Photo credit: maorix)

The cards we get dealt in life are ours to play however we choose. We can let everyone see what hand we have.
We can hold ’em close to our chest and not divulge a thing. We can have a poker face that discloses nothing.We can bluff our way through and have everyone fooled. Only we know what we’re playing with.

Why I’m using a card metaphor, I’m not sure. I think it’s a big cliché’. And, I’m a lousy poker player. And, I only play for chips, for fun, for the laughter. Hopefully, I play out my life better than I play cards, or write.

I’m reminded today that I can’t guess at what anyone else has in their hands, in their hearts, behind their door. I can only wish them the best, help when I can and be kind to strangers.

What’s that quote? It’s attributed to a few different people. But whoever said it, said it well and was wise.

Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

I, for one, am going to try to be a little less judgmental, a little kinder, a bit more gentle. I want to give others credit for thinking through their circumstances and doing the best they can with what they have.

Maybe you’re the one fighting the hard battle. If so, you can be kind to yourself. Give yourself some slack, do a little something that feeds your heart and mind and soul.

If you’re one of those fighting a hard battle today, know that you are not the only one doing so. I don’t know if that helps or hurts. I do know that I wish you strength, energy, hope, happiness, coping ability, love, recognition of small joys, and the perseverance to keep moving forward.

Crop: I try. I fail. I don't give up

(Photo credit: juliejordanscott)

Don’t give up.

It will get better.

You are not alone.

Categories: Mental Health, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Mud, Potholes, Spinouts, Blowouts, and Other Fun Times

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.

Road blocked by landslide

Road blocked by landslide (Photo credit: wiesmann)

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.

Little SRisonS Enters The Old Zone

(Photo credit: Scott Smith (SRisonS))

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.

Bob Hope

Bob Hope (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

“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.

Categories: Gratitude, Humor, Mental Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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