- Mental Health
Living through Life's ups and downs
Finding middle ground
As a kid my favorite movie was The Pride of the Yankees based on the life of Lou Gehrig, a Yankee hero played by Gary Cooper. The movie made a lasting impression on me and the scene that invokes real emotion every time I see it is his famous speech made on the day he was honored at Yankee stadium on July 4, 1939 and those famous words he said that bring tears to my eyes, "I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." In watching the movie and knowing Lou's amazing abilities and accomplishments and his tragic illness I learned how life can be truly wonderful and filled with celebration at times and how it can be very painful and lonely and filled with despair other times. It seems no matter how great or how celebrated we are we all will live a life filled with ups and downs and we need to try to find a middle ground to live and weather through it all.
When I see my son smile when I get home after a long day working it brings such joy to my heart and makes me appreciate the good things in life. I have been blessed with a wonderful wife and son who are so special and bring out the compassionate and caring side in me. I just love spending time with my son as he means the world to me. I find that family is what helps us get through the difficult moments in our life and is so important to have behind us when we are dealing with the loss of a loved one or dealing with uncertain economic times or with trying to help find proper medical care for our son. I am now dealing with all three as my dad, who I always looked up to is no longer hear to talk to and I truly miss his phone calls as they always brightened my day. You never know how much you miss someone or something until they are no longer here in our life. I am quite worried also because I have a young son who is autistic and needs my support and strength and I am not always there when he needs me. Every day we send him off to school I pray he will be safe and not have a seizure or a meltdown. It really is a major concern in my life. I feel so frustrated in this situation because I have no control and I am relying on others to come to my son's aid in the event he has the need for medical attention. We all have our financial responsibilities and our primary focus of supporting our families and we need to prioritize our goals and our absolute "must take care of now" list.
The hardest part in facing life challenges is trying to stay focused and working on becoming stronger in our ways in dealing with such challenge and hardship. We must try to always look at the bright side of things and never be afraid to look to others for advice and a shoulder to lean on when we feel overwhelmed. I am starting to realize that working for a living, a necessity is changing for so many people today as many struggle with unemployment, threat of losing their homes and so much uncertainty. I have been blessed to have the opportunity of working with and for good people. I believe that you derive personal pride for the company and the people you work for and you always want to do your absolute best because as a professional that is what you learn and that is what you are trained to do.
Sometimes you have to have patience and find that over time you will start to make positive contributions. I always take cues from my parents and those I look up to as role models. We also have to be dynamic and always strive to be our absolute best like my sports hero Lou Gehrig. We also have to rely a lot more on ourselves to create our own opportunities. I believe that there are good employers and good people out there who wish to help and mentor us and we have to always challenge ourselves and learn to be free thinking and make a difference. I have seen a glimpse of what successful business owners in corporations and firms do to achieve success and how these self motivated starters find it within themselves to get to that position which takes time and hard work. To truly find peace of mind and happiness in life you need to realize that it is essential to always make the best of your opportunities and always show respect, eagerness and a willingness to learn and succeed. I truly believe we have to make the most of our opportunities, respect our employer and stay focused and committed and meet each challenge favorably.
When I get down I try to focus on the positives and try to stabilize my emotions and feelings. It is not always easy but it is essential so we don't get overwhelmed and depressed. Depression is a very serious matter and we have to utilize our coping skills so we can get past the sadness and loneliness we all will go through at some point in life. It is just part of growing older and dealing with change.
In life we all face challenge and experience ups and downs along the way and we just have to remember that we should always maintain calm, right the ship and carry on. My dad always lived his life with strength and courage and with all he went through and the tragedies he faced, I feel blessed to have him in our life for as long as we did and am so happy my son got to spend time with his grandfather, my dad. He will be missed. He is now with mom and they are both happy now.
I am reminded of the happy times and that is what we all need to remember and cherish. As I started this writing I will end it with one of my favorite sports legends who I always knew was one of the greatest baseball players in the game and it would have been a special treat to see him play. He was the iron horse and he lived his life as a very humble man with a great deal of courage and he gave so many the joy of watching him play hard everyday. His name, Lou Gehrig is now associated with a tragic illness but for many he was simply known as a legendary Yankee ball player who thrilled many and gave so many children a sports hero to look up to. Lou said in his farewell speech that he was the luckiest man on the face of the earth which rings loud and clear and shows how he appreciated life and all that he had despite his life ending illness. That is true inspiration and someone to follow in the footsteps of in dealing with life's ups and downs!
Edward D. Iannielli III