Life, It Is What It Is
Yesterday, as I drove my daughter over to the Wal-Mart and I was feeling lost as I've been feeling again this week, I thought to myself how different the world looked to me today than it had looked before the last set back a week ago. It’s been a pretty rough 4 years now with a lot of ups and downs, trying to just take it one day at a time and trying to focus on the positives – which there are many and I should be thankful (and I am) but I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I’m feeling like a stranger on this planet again and a bit sorry for myself again (which I loathe). As we drove by other cars and people going about their routines it washed over me that in reality the world really doesn’t change much – not really – not week to week – it’s just how we look at it that changes. The world stays constant but how we feel about it changes. I mean, I guess I've know this for quite awhile now and it has been a core belief I’ve carried with me for most of my life but I’d never really realized it in one of those “ah ha!” moments. Ah-ha!
If you’ve read my hubs you know that my mom died of congestive heart failure after fighting that wicked decline for a year and a half. Hospice doesn’t really come in until they think you are in the “few months away” range and certainly within the half a year range of dying but my mom lasted longer than anyone would’ve thought – except for her possibly. She always did like to maximize a good value. During that time we lived day to day and for that day. We tried to make that day another good day and if we couldn’t we tried to make it a comfortable rest day so we could have energy for tomorrow. It’s difficult to live when every morning you wonder if your mother is just sleeping late or if she is in her bedroom dead. And grimly you sort of wait it out because if she’s sleeping then you don’t want to ruin that rest and if she was dead it didn’t really matter anyway. So we waited and every morning you’d hear her stir and then shout out that the coffee better be brewing!
Day By Day
I’m not sure but I think that most people are settled in their routines and then once in awhile you get that kick in the ass that changes it all – like you lose a job or someone you love learns they are seriously ill or dies. It shakes all that was comforting to you. It disrupts your routine and you feel lost. In the past four years I’ve often felt like I was in one of those stop motion commercial sequences where I’m looking around me and I’m in slow motion while the rest of the world is just racing by. I think most people aren’t in that zone. They are in their routines. Even during that year and a half with my mom we settled into a routine eventually of caring for her and as hard as it was – it was what it was – and it became our “new normal”. Then she died and it was right back to that lost feeling and it truly sucks.
I lost my job in 2009, which worked out in some ways because it let me spend valuable time with my mother… but it constantly weighed on me. It was like sands of the hourglass running out. I wasn’t sure if I could get back in the game and provide for my family. When I started to get back on my feet again I thought back on the unemployed days and wished I’d enjoyed them a bit more. We were living day to day and we were enjoying most of those days so in a sense I did enjoy the time off and the freedom of not having to worry that something would go wrong at work but I still fretted about my future. I told myself I wish I had not fretted so much and that I needed a little faith.
Now here I am again, needing a little faith. I had a great job with great people but it came to an end and now I’m once again looking for work, for a purpose – for a place in this earth – and I just feel lost again. I mock my old self for thinking I could “just enjoy it” – the time off because it is hard to enjoy something that if not changed will lead to a complete financial collapse. But I do think it is true that the only thing that changes was my perspective even though I have lost my faith in the idea, the feeling that the world just is what it is and the only thing that changed was my feelings about it. So I find myself slipping into that pity pit and that’s no good. Wallowing sucks. I gave myself two days to wallow. But it’s no good just feeling sorry for your self – it’s a poison. It’s not good to feel like you are a victim. I’m a good person and I do the best that I can most every day. That’s all I’ve ever truly strived for. That’s the measure of a man that my mother instilled in me. To be positive and to keep my head up no matter the circumstances. To not lose who I am.
Just words I guess if everything is going smooth. You’re never tested if things are always going smooth. When things are going smooth they don’t tend to stay that way for very long. Change is about the only constant in the Universe beyond a person taking control of their outlook and keeping that constant. It’s the “life isn’t what happens to you, it’s how you deal with what happens to you that’s important” philosophy. I’ve had a lot of crap in this life and if I have faith in anything I have faith in that. And you do it for you. You do it to show strength to people that rely on you and hopefully the people you relied on showed the same kind of courage. And if you fall short, you deal with that too – you get up, you dust off and you try again. Life is a struggle but I do think that most of that struggle is our own perception on events. Because bad things will happen and good things will happen to all of us and that is just how this place works. What ruins us is when we can’t look at it for what it is and have faith that if we hold our heads up and take our steps day by day to get back on our feet – we will. Or at the very least an ah-ha moment washes over us and realizes that sometimes all we need to feel good again is to have faith in ourselves and maybe just a little change in perspective. It’s what I try to do. I guess it is what I’m suggesting anyone feeling left outside of the world tries to do. If any of this hits home for you, I'm suggesting it is what you try to do.